October 20, 2014
Albany, NY
Partly cloudy 52°
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Site Specific Installations

Since the opening of the new Albany International Airport terminal in 1998, an Art & Culture Program has been instituted that is committed to showcasing the artistic and cultural resources of the Capital Region. A comprehensive exhibition program that features the work of regional artists, area museum collections as well as national traveling exhibitions, has enhanced the environment of the airport, raised the visibility of the area's cultural institutions and identified the program as a national model for public art.

The Art & Culture Program invites artists to submit proposals for the creation of site-specific work throughout the terminal. The projects are usually a direct response to the architectural and environmental characteristics of the proposed sites. Proposals must include preliminary drawings and a project budget which are reveiwed by an exhibition committee. Since these installations are in many ways defined by the space around them, their existence is often conceived and constructed on the site. Selected artists receive a $2,500 honorarium and the installations remain in the terminal for a minimum of two years.

For more information about the Art & Culture Program's site specific installations, please call 518.242.2241 or email arts@albanyairport.com.

Current Installations

First Floor, Ticketing Area

Flight1 Flight2
Dana Filibert
Flight of Fancy
Wood, steel, foam, found objects, resin, paint
Installed 2011

The artist approached this work witht reflection upon her earliest memories of creativity, to times of play outdoors where the view above became as rich a playground as anything on land. Flight of Fancy takes its name from that experience of becoming lost in a vast an d shifting procession of billowing clouds. As it passes from its traditional exterior habitation to the Airport's interior, this abstracted cloud formation entices close observation. Like a child gazing up at the sky, the viewer is rewarded with the discovery of familiar and delightful visages such as flying pigs, birds, and even an airplane as they emerge from luminous, sculpted cream puff piles.

Concourse A

Colin Boyd
Cormorants and the Whale
Foam, PVC, rope, steel, paint
Installed 2012

Deep within the cellars of abandoned homes, overgrown lots and museum store rooms reside peculiar objects whose histories are obscured by the passage of time. Bones, journals, machines and other curious artifacts that have been separated from their original purpose and context retain the echoes of their former lives while inviting new narrative possibilities.

Colin Boyd's sculptures arise from antiquity and allegory; from our fascination with creatures long extinct and the impulse to preserve, recreate and revive them. In Cormorants and the Whale, Boyd poses a fantastical yet naturalistically rendered scenario of nine cormorants holding aloft the skeleton of a blue whale. While recalling the massive dioramas found in natural history museums, there is also the element of storytelling - what has incited this small flock of living birds to carry the remains of a giant beast? We are left to wonder, speculate and suspend our disbelief, just as the cormorants suspend their cumbersome cargo.

Second Floor, Concourse B

Boroson1 Boroson 2
Lee Boroson
Tracted Formation
Wood, sign paint, steel
Installed 2012

This sculpture was originally configured on the floor, and was intended to resemble and endless, rambling architectural folly inspired both by paintings from the Hudson River School and the evolution of neural pathways. Boroson has inverted this cluster of buildings and suspended them within an opening through which light becomes the ground on which they stand. Illusion resides too, in the viewer's upward gaze; where these glossy, glowing towers appear to reside in a fantastical world that is miles away from our own.

Sanford Mirling
Nylon, foam, fiberglass rod, steel
Installed 2012

Just as a flower attracts a bee seeking respite and nourishment on its journey, art can serve as a traveler's beacon for sustenance and renewal. Bellflower offers this bee's eye view, while inverting nature's order of scale; we are made diminutive in the shadow of this enormous blossom. As we make our way to ascend the skies and peer down on the world below, Bellflower calls us to look up; to be at once the walking human and the flying insect drawn to the nectar of a remarkable view.

Sherwood1 Sherwood2
Claire Sherwood
Horizon Sample
Rubber, pigment, lace, string
Installed 2012

Horizon Sample is composed of thin sheets of cast, pigmented rubber. Their translucency reveals lines of thread and patterns of lace that have been embedded within the forms. With colors echoing the rich tones of soil, sea and sky, these elements fold in upon themselves in gentle curves, much like geographic crests and valleys. The swift velocity of flight blurs the features of landscape, and distinguishing attributes become lost in the distance. Through this work, the artist offers visual flavors of the earth as we might experience them from high above. Suspended, as both they and the viewer are in space and time, one can examine these samples for the details of texture, form, and variation with a leisure seldom attained from the window of an airplane.

Treen1 Treen2
Kirsten Hassenfeld
Treen Three
Found glass, ceramic, plastic, metal, wood, shell, enamel
Installed 2011

Forms reminiscent of small, 17th - 19th century carved and turned household objects, collectively known as treen, hover here in a multitude of jewel-like clusters. The individual pieces are assembled from small ornamental and utilitarian objects found in thrift stores, gutters and junk drawers. Bangles, vintage buttons, plastic bottle caps, hobnail lampshades and napkin rings are carefully stacked on top of one another to reveal complex symmetrical configurations. While the individual bits of matter have outlived their intended purposes, they find new life in relationship to one another, together becoming curious treasures suspended in vast multiplicity.

Lillian Mulero
Flying Fish
Digital print on vinyl
Installed 2006

A Flying Fish darts through both sea and sky in this work that transforms our view to an aquarium of great proportions. The massive silver bodies of planes and fish overlap against the blue of air and water in this visual pun meant to cleverly delight and displace.

Past Installations

First Floor, Ticketing Area

Entner American Gothic
Benjamin Entner
American Gothic
Taffeta, wood, electronic components

In Grant Wood's iconic painting, American Gothic, a man and a woman stand in front of a typical Midwestern farmhouse that features a European gothic-style window. These incongruities are central to the work, and viewers ever since have seen something of themselves - something uniquely American - in the austere, hard-working pair. The figures in Benjamin Entner's American Gothic are also easy to identify with. These travelers wait, suspended in their anticipation of the happy diversions that lie at the end of their journey.

Mayer 1 Lines 2
Edward Mayer
What Comes Around: Lines of Types
What Goes Around: Types of Lines

Found objects, surveyor's tape, zip ties

This sculpture consisted of two parts created for two separate but related sites - the beams at either side of the Airport's escalators, where travelers begin a trip and end it. The artist collected a vast and varied array of common objects, then wrapped them with white plastic surveyor's tape. This covering served to equalize, transform and unify the pieces as they perched atop and interlocked with one another. While ascending or descending the escalators, curious travelers could recognize things or parts of things which they perhaps have left behind (domestic objects, shower caddies, shelving units), articles they are transporting with them (baby carriers, suitcase caddies), or items they might encounter at their destination (tiki torches, lawn chairs, music stands) along with a profusion of less identifiable objects.

By using found and common materials, Mayer avoids the traditional roles that preciousness and permanence often play in art. Instead, his interest lies in the way that line, material and space interact to summon the competing forces of chaos and order. By drawing in space with three dimensional lines and patterns, he connected disparate elements with intuitive spontenaity, and suggested new relationships among them, while reminding us of what we journey toward and return to.

Second Floor, Concourse B

Kenneth Ragsdale
The Quest
Foamboard, digital print

It is natural that any traveler, regardless of their immediate circumstances, should fantasize about what might lie ahead, while at the same time recalling the places they've left behind. In The Quest, Kenneth Ragsdale conjures a nostalgic portrait of the classic family voyage with his half-scale model of a 1965 Vista Cruiser station wagon towing a 1950's style travel trailer. The large-scale drawing is a two-dimensional pattern for the vehicles, which reveals their careful linear construction. An unfamiliar shape contained within that drawing is what Ragsdale describes as a ˜monster" a common entity in his work that hovers over homes, vehicles, fields and trees. This ambiguous form personifies the murky abstraction of memory and time that separates us from one another. While much of this work examines the elusiveness of memory, it is reconstructed here with razor-sharp precision. Foam-board sections, like past events, are folded in on one another, interlocking to create forms that rise up out of their flat repose and take on shapes that chronicle traveling through time.

Third Floor, Observation Area

oculus block1
Edward Mayer
Oculus Block
Zinc plated steel, wire

At the core of this piece, as in all of Mayer's work, is his concern with the repetition of modular forms, the reuse and transformation of everyday objects, a preoccupation with linearity and transparency and the creation of a delicate balance between order and chaos. Oculus Block is a 9 foot cube of wired together, garden-variety tomato frames. The multiplicity of these common items and their web of intersections create a structure whose tunnels and surfaces seem to endlessly open and shift, inviting the navigation of both a six sided block and an intricate interior pattern of cones, circles, spheres and diamonds.

First Floor, Concourses A & B - Second Floor, Concourses A, B & C

sonnet project1
Paul Katz
The Sonnet Project
Oil, sand on linen

William Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, poems that tell of love, jealousy, youth, age, art, death and desire. Paul Katz has set himself the task of making paintings that both embody these sonnets and serve as a personal memorial to them. After a long layover one day at Albany International Airport, Katz envisioned the paintings hanging where travelers could contemplate the words and imagery while they await their departure.

Katz begins each painting by layering sand and glue over stretched canvas, elevating some areas to create a sculptural surface. After painting the entire canvas black, he writes the sonnet with red oil paint on the low-relief areas, methodically avoiding punctuation and normal line breaks. The succession of words is broken instead by the raised forms of an emerging landscape of trees and rocks. Upon reaching the end of the poem, he begins again with the first word, lending a cyclical quality to the form.

WORDS IN TRANSIT, Poetry Project

WORDS IN TRANSIT, October 2000 to present. Lori Anderson, Druis Beasley, Belle Gironda, Jil Hanifan and Nancy Klepsch exhibit poems that are graphical representations of travel, love and home. At six unexpected locations throughout the airport, travelers and visitors are confronted with provocative prose in a unique way.

Work On the Fly, LORI ANDERSON

Work on the Fly was inspired by the well known Japanese haiku: In this world even butterflies must earn their keep. In the second floor Business Center each computer mousepad and screen saver features a haiku, superimposed with images of butterflies and dragonflies, providing a flash of inspiration about the transformative power of work.

Praise Song For The Traveller, DRUIS BEASLEY

This poem was written in praise of travelers and "...for dreams of flying as birds do." To complement the praise poem, Beasley pays homage to Ogun the Yoruba force of nature represented by iron with an altar piece that reflects current tools and technology of the airport.


Imprinted directly on the baggage claim belts, Best Wishes consists of three poems, Ibiza, A Blessing for Two and Here's to a Beautiful Day, that reflect an international travel diary, a blessing and a glimpse of a glorious weekend.

Sharon Bates, Director
Art & Culture Program
Albany International Airport Gallery hours:
7:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. daily.
For additional information phone: 518.242.2241 or email arts@albanyairport.com

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