Fall is knocking hard on our doors right now, and if you are new to the Capital District you are in for a treat. I have a soft spot for contemporary art so let me recommend three open air museums that combine foliage and creativity: Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, Art Omi in Ghent, and A Rising Tide in Athens. I’ve mentioned Art Omi earlier this year, but I recently unearthed a few photos I took… around 1AM. What looks like the sun shining bright in the photo above is actually the moon. I pay the place a visit at least once a year to check for new pieces but I had wanted to experience it in the quiet of the night and challenge a different set of senses. Maybe give K. and I a little scare too. I took some photographs in the process, with the sun out of the equation.
More photos below. Click on any of the thumbnails to open a larger view, or check the full-screen Flickr slideshow if you have Flash installed.
Omi International Arts Center is a not-for-profit arts organization with residency programs for international visual artists, writers, musicians, and dancers. The 300 acre campus is also the site for The Fields Sculpture Park, a public exhibition space with nearly 80 contemporary sculptures, presenting the works of internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists. Find the visitor center 1405 County Rt. 22, Ghent, NY 12075 (try their bread).
The fields are open every day to the public during daylight hours, though there isn’t really anything preventing you from sneaking in at night, besides courtesy. I shot an email to the Director to be on the safe side. I scheduled the visit on a full moon and we arrived a little after midnight. We spent a couple of hours rediscovering the art in a new light while trying to identify the invisible critters taunting us from behind the bushes. Word of warning, the place can be a bit spooky, even now that the giant baby heads are gone. The sculptures in the woods, in particular, seem to suggest you shouldn’t overstay your welcome. Aren’t these beds below inviting though?
With so little light to work with, I was left to use a tripod and try to capture as many photons as possible in long, 30 seconds exposures. In particularly dark sections where the moon light couldn’t reach, I used either a bit of flash, or painted the scene using a flashlight — a reminder that I have no career in painting whatsoever. Either way the end result might not match what you would expect from a dark starry night, but that’s what 30 seconds of moon light look like.
Above and below, familiar sculptures around 1AM.
There is a lot more to see in the Fields Sculpture Park, but let’s be honest, I screwed up a ton of photos. And I’m pretty sure we were being followed by chipmunks.
A Rising Tide
A Rising Tide; Imagining a Warmer Climate in the Hudson Valley is a temporary exhibition that is still up until October 21st near Athens, NY (directions). The keyword here is “near”, as the dozen or so pieces are located in three different sites around town. They are fairly easy to find though, provided that you download the map (PDF). I enjoyed this ballet of umbrellas perched in a tree. Word of warning (again), one of the sculpture is guarded by an army of freakishly smart mosquitoes — you will know which one, be quick on your feet. I would suggest your stop in Athens be part of a larger trip, maybe on your way to Hudson, across the river, where more galleries, music venues, and great restaurants await. In the meantime, find a few pictures below, shot from my iPhone (I’m not proud of that, believe me).
One More Thing…
Don’t forget what this season is all about. Indian Ladder Farms is where it’s at.