March 19, 2018 7:20 am

Omi International Arts Center exhibits the work of Iran do Espírito Santo

GHENT, NY.– Brazilian artist Iran do Espírito Santo’s monumental cast concrete sculpture, Playground, originally commissioned by the Public Art Fund for exhibition in NYC’s Central Park has found a new home at Omi International Arts Center’s Fields Sculpture Park. Four of Santo’s gallery works are also on view at Omi through May 15 to complement the sculpture.

Santo will be on hand at Omi’s Benenson Visitor Center (1405 County Route 22, Ghent NY 12075) for an artist talk and opening reception featuring light refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

Santo is one of Brazil’s most highly regarded contemporary artists, known for his austere yet sensuous drawings, wall paintings and sculptures. His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide; and are included in the collections of many prominent international museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. His works have been included in the Venice Biennale, the Bienal de Săo Paulo, and the Istanbul Biennal. Recent exhibitions have included The Portrait as an Image of the World at the Museu de Arte Moderna de Săo Paulo, Brazil and Present Tense at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Playground is his first public work in the United States.

Omi International Arts Center is a not-for-profit arts organization offering world-class public exhibitions, arts events, education programming, and international residency programs for visual artists, writers, translators, musicians, and dancers.

Omi seeks to foster an environment of creative exploration and exchange, professional opportunity and exposure, and a stylistically and culturally diverse community for creative artists from around the world supporting Ensys Prediksi Togel

Omi is situated in the beautiful Hudson Valley in Ghent, New York. Comprised of 120 acres of rolling farmland, wetlands and wooded areas, The Fields Sculpture Park presents the works of internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists, offering the unique possibility to experience a wide range of large-scale works in a singular outdoor environment. The Fields offer nearly eighty works of art on Data SGP and Data HK – with several pieces added or exchanged every year.

March 19, 2018 5:18 am

Francis Greenburger, Founder of OMI International Arts Center

rancis Greenburger purchased his first painting at 14. The literary agent and founder of New York real estate firm Time Equities Inc. was ogling artwork inside an about-to-close gallery when he was asked to make an offer on the piece. The young Greenburger responded he had no money, but the owner cut him an appealing deal, letting him have it for just $10. “Since then, I’ve been collecting and living art,” says Greenburger

Much of that passion has blossomed in the Valley, which Greenburger has called home for more than 50 years. In 1992 he opened the not-for-profit OMI International Arts Center in Ghent, which has garnered a world-class reputation for its residency programs hosting artists, writers, dancers, translators, and musicians.

Greenburger initially discovered the bucolic OMI site while working for another arts organization, which was on the prowl for a new location. While that wasn’t the right fit, the site owner kept after Greenburger, encouraging him to buy it by lowering the price. “I told my wife we would own the largest walk-in closet in Columbia County,” remembers Greenburger. When he left the organization, he realized he had an opportunity to build his own artistic vision from scratch on what was then just 40 acres of land.

OMI’s origins were humble, with visiting artists gathering daily in the barn for workshops, then holing up for the night at surrounding neighbors’ homes. Gradually the campus grew to include proper residential facilities and the impressive open-air Fields Sculpture Park. “It was an evolutionary process,” Greenburger points out. Over the past 24 years, more than 2,000 artists from 100 countries have made their way to OMI to hone their craft.

The sought-after residencies are deeply intertwined with the inspiring backdrop of the area. “It’s obviously a different experience than an urban one, working in a rural community and experiencing nature,” Greenburger explains. “The region, from an aesthetic perspective, has long been known for its beauty and natural light, a tradition that goes back to the Hudson River School painters.”

Although OMI makes waves abroad, its impact on the local community is equally profound. The sculpture park — spread over 60 acres of scenic farmland, wetlands, and woods — attracts visitors with myriad large-scale contemporary installations from artists like Haresh Lalvani and Catherine Lee. OMI’s educational programming is also robust, with a sought-after summer camp that immerses more than 350 kids in dance, yoga, and art projects.

Always looking to the future, Greenburger hopes to expand the site’s Charles B. Beneson Visitors Center Gallery. In addition to a slate of concerts, recitals, and lectures, the space will accommodate more indoor exhibitions. The addition of a new residence building also ensures that jet-lagged attendees don’t have to double up in small rooms with strangers.

“It’s infinitely rewarding to spend time with creative people,” says Greenburger. “I feel extraordinarily lucky that I have these amazing talents coming to my front door.”

June 2, 2016 3:53 am

What's on display at museums and galleries

OPENINGS & EVENTS

Athens Cultural Center, 24 Second St., Athens. ”Olivia’s Birds.” Drawings and paintings of backyard and endangered birds by the young artist and environmentalist Olivia Bouler. Opens Saturday. Artist’s reception 6-8 p.m. June 18. Through June 25.

Center Gallery @ the Commons, 6 Clifton Commons Court, Clifton Park. Caroline Love Miller: Artwork to Poetry. Free. 383-1343. “Visual Verse, Dreams, and Transcendence of Time: Caroline Love Miller, Artist” depicts paintings of personal revelations inspired by a moment in time. Gouache, paper cuts and pencils. Opens Thursday. Through June 29.

McCartee’s Barn Fine Art & Antiques, 23 E. Broadway, Salem. Works of Robert Moylan. Free. 854-3857. Artist’s reception 2 p.m. Saturday. Through July 11.

William K. Sanford Town Library,, 629 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville. Artists Group Exhibit. Free. The annual exhibit by one of the oldest art groups in the area. Opening Thursday; reception 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. Through June 29.

GALLERIES

Albany Center Gallery, 39 Columbia St., Albany. 2016 Mohawk Hudson Regional Invitational. Free. The exhibit features the work of regional artists Fern Apfel, Jess Ayotte, Roger Bisbing and Thomas Huber. Through June 12.

Carrie Haddad Gallery, 622 Warren St., Hudson. 25th Anniversary Exhibit. Free. The exhibit will feature new paintings by Leigh Palmer, color field panels by Ginny Fox, photographs by Dale Goffigon and sculpture by Leon Smith. Through June.

Clement Art Gallery, 201 Broadway, Troy. Jon Gernon. Free. Gernon’s work draws from pieces of the past. Using elements associated with symbolism, mythology and fantasy, he blends history with contemporary ideas and whimsical beauty. Through June 22.

Ferrin Contemporary, 1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass. Steven Young Lee & Peter Pincus: Works On View. http://ferrincontemporary.com Showcasing Lee’s contemporary interpretations of classical Asian forms and geometric designs by Pincus. Ends Sunday.

Greene County Council on the Arts, 398 Main St., Catskill. “Words and Images: The Art of Storytelling.” Free. 943-3400. Group exhibition dedicated to the art of storytelling, featuring the work of over a dozen local and international artists, including animated short films, graphic novels, illustrations, sculptures, photographs, zines and mixed media. Ends Saturday.

Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy. “Patrick Pigott: Storytelling with Sculpture.” Free. 629-7343. Noted pop-culture collectibles sculptor Patrick Pigott exhibits figures, production figures, book covers, wax originals and relief plaques, supplemented by photos and concept drawings of other creations from “Star Wars,” “Lord of the Rings,” “The Simpsons,” “Star Trek” and “Alien.” Through June 30.

John Davis Gallery, 362 1/2 Warren St., Hudson. Sara Jane Roszak, paintings. Free. Paintings by Roszak with Gail Goldsmith (sculpture), Yura Adams and Dale Emmart (paintings) and Jean Feinberg (paper). Through June 19.

Mandeville Gallery, Union College, 807 Union St., Schenectady. “Slippery Slope.” Georgie Friedman was invited to create a site-specific video installation exclusively for the atrium area of the Peter Irving Wold Center. Through November.

Morningside Gallery, Newton Plaza, 588 Loudon Road, Latham. Amy Roth Hoffman: Recent Works. Free. Oil and acrylic pieces depicting abstractions of natural landscapes. Through June 11.

Omi International Arts Center, 1405 County Route 22, Ghent. 2016 Summer Exhibition. Free. 392-4747. With artists Rob Fischer, Charley Friedman, Folkert de Jong, Freya Powell and Andreas Savva. New sculptures on view in the Fields this summer include a gang of squirrels, an interactive steel zoetrope and a floating glass house. Through July 24.

Photographic Expressions Studio & Gallery, 455 Broadway, Troy. “Photo21.” Free. Group of photographic images explores the boundaries of photographic art in the 21st century. Included are mixed-media and photographically based works by Jennifer Jeffers, Chad Kleitsch, Chris St. Cyr, Courtney Stannard, Jeremy Starn and Thom Williams. Through June 24.

Stage 1 — Albany Barn, 46-48 N. Swan St., Albany. “Paperback.” Free. An exhibition celebrating words and the pages we write them on.

Union College, Wikoff Student Gallery, 807 Union St., Schenectady. ”Society After Revolution.” Free. Photographs by Kian Nowrouzi. Through Aug. 7.

Thompson Giroux Gallery, 57 Main St., Chatham. “Here-and-Now.” 392-3336. Featuring the work of Gabe Brown, Steven Careau, Isabel Piazza and Joseph Yetto. Through July 10.

MUSEUMS

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, 2 Erie Blvd., Canajoharie. Allen, Mastroianni and Wilcox Art Exhibit. Pastel landscapes by Neal Allen, abstract paintings by Mark Mastroianni and Frank Wilcox’s large acrylic paintings. Through June 8.

American Italian Heritage Museum, 1227 Central Ave., Albany. Vince Forte Jr. 435-1979. Fine oil paintings, mainly realistic-style paintings depicting subjects such as landscape, seascape, still life, interiors, religious themes and portraits. Through July.

Athens Cultural Center, 24 Second St., Athens. 13th Annual Members Exhibition. http://www.athensculturalcenter.org The exhibition, curated by Sara Pruiksma-Rizzo, pays tribute to Greene County, the color green or “go green” with recycled art, ranging from watercolors, oils, pastels, pencil and ink-on-paper, photographs, ceramics and image transfer.

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs. “Liz Collins — Energy Field.” Long-running installation was created as a lounge and social space for visitors and students. Through October 2017. Also, “Alma Thomas,” featuring artwork spanning the career of Thomas (1891-1978), which she focused on after retiring as a schoolteacher at age 69. Ends Sunday. Also, “Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear Collection,” photographs. Through Aug. 14. Also, “Elevator Music 30: Critter & Guitari,” unique musical instruments designed by the Brooklyn-based artists. Ends Sunday. Also, “Plinth Guest Artist Project,” featuring artwork by Nayland Blake. Ends Tuesday.

The Hyde Collection Art Museum, 161 Warren St., Glens Falls. “Christo & Jeanne-Claude: The Tom Golden Collection.” This exhibition of over 125 original drawings, sculptures, collages and photographs traces the career of the artists. Through June 26. Also, Outdoor Installation, Camp Iris. Free. The outdoor installation by Glens Falls artist Victoria Palermo is a lounge-in, walk-through sculpture filled with prismatic color and light. Through Sept. 5.

Iroquois Indian Museum, 324 Caverns Road, Howes Cave. “35 Years of Iroquois Art: A Retrospective.” $8. 296-8949. Features highlights from the museum’s 35 years of presenting contemporary Iroquois art and creativity. Through Sept. 30.

MASS MoCA, 87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass. “Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space.” Totemic sculptures made from earthy and industrial materials, ground-based and wall-mounted. Through Sept. 5. “Liz Deschenes: Gallery 4.1.1.” Panoptic photograms.

State Museum, 222 Madison Ave., Albany. “St. Paul’s Chapel: A Place of Refuge.” Items from the church that survived the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and for eight months served as a relief site for police, firefighters, emergency responders and recovery workers. Through Aug. 21. Also, “Represent: Contemporary Native American Art.” Recent acquisitions to the museum’s contemporary Native American art collection from the Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, Tuscarora and Shinnecock nations include beadwork, basketry, painting, sculpture and ceramics. Through July 3. Also, “Imaging the American West: Selections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” Through bronze sculptures, paintings and works on paper, the exhibition explores the popularity of artworks with American Western themes. Through July 17.

Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 218 Spring St., Catskill. “Thomas Cole: The Artist as Architect.” http:// www.thomascole.org The central work of the exhibition is Cole’s 1840 painting “The Architects Dream,” depicting the artist overlooking a panorama of architectural styles.

Williams College Museum of Art, 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Williamstown, Mass. ”Both Sides Now: Lexa and Dan Walsh.” (413) 597-2429. Siblings Dan, a minimalist abstract painter, and Lexa, a socially engaged artist, merge their practices around a shared interest in perception and encounters. Through Sept. 25.

EXHIBIT SPACES

Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, 25 Quackenbush Square, Albany. “Albany Pine Bush Informational Exhibit.” Free. 434-0405. The 3,200-acre Pine Bush preserve is best known for providing a habitat for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. It also provides homes for many plants and animals and contains 63 wildlife species designated as species of greatest conservation need. Through June 26.

Columbia High School, 962 Luther Road, East Greenbush. East Greenbush CSD Art Show. Free. Artwork by students from all seven schools in the district. This year’s event will have a superhero theme, including life-size superhero cutouts for visitors to take their picture behind.

Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center, 2 Museum Lane, Waterford. Waterford 200: “Honoring the Past.” $5. Highlighted are businesses, canal, the notorious bank robbery of 1872, sports champions and the first area woman to win Olympic gold.

June 2, 2016 3:52 am

Fun Family Travel: 7 Awesome Art Parks

Children — those masters of snowmen and fairy houses — are potential aficionados of 3-D art from the time they can stack blocks. And it’s not such a big leap, really, from those childhood creations to modern, grown-up sculptures. A bright orange tunnel of steel, a giant tower of boom boxes, a 12-foot-tall eyeball, a king-size bed in a Plexiglas box — these are just a few of the playful, surprising works of art kids can see in sculpture gardens around the country. These open-air museums display their collections along trails, in meadows, and in landscaped gardens, which makes the experience ideally suited to small, curious beings with wandering feet and attention spans. Families are free to walk around (and often under and through) the art, picnic in its shade at most sites, and sometimes even touch it. The seven sculpture parks listed here make a particular bid for kids’ imaginations with interesting collections, good family programming, or both. Ranging from a compact city garden to an expansive 132-acre park, they offer a dynamic, exciting introduction to sculpture for art lovers of all ages.

OMI International Arts Center

Ghent, NY

by: Sasha Sicurella

A bustling hub for musicians, dancers, writers, and artists in residence, OMI also is home to The Fields Sculpture Park and Architecture OMI. Together they feature more than 80 cutting-edge artworks displayed on some 120 acres of meadows and woods. Kids will dig Paula Hayes’s planters with native trees and dive right into Alice Aycock’s “Simple Network of Underground Wells and Tunnels,” which is as cool as it sounds. For refueling, Café Omi has locavore fare. At Halloween, kids can trick-or-treat among the sculptures and listen to spooky stories. Free. omiartscenter.org

Getting into the art at New York’s OMI (at right)

Queen Califia’s Magic Circle

Escondido, CA

by: LHB/Alamy

French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle created a whimsical world from glittering glass, ceramic mosaic tiles, and river stones near San Diego. Visitors enter through a gate in the Snake Wall encircling a small maze, sparkling totem poles, and golden Queen Califia riding her giant eagle (Califia is the heroine of a 16th-century Spanish novel, and, according to legend, California was named for her). The circle is set within Kit Carson Park, which also offers a duck pond and trails. The circle was closed for repairs at press time, so check the website before visiting. queencalifia.org

Decordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Lincoln, MA

The world-class sculpture at the deCordova is served up with fabulous family programming. Hands-on, collaborative workshops (blanket forts! giant webs of string!) get kids thinking about sculptural architecture and materials. Portable activity kits, with clipboards, pencils, questions, and other supplies, help families interact with artworks. Among the more than 60 pieces, plenty have kid appeal, such as a reflective glass room and a king-size bed encased in Plexiglas. $14 adults, free for kids under age 12. decordova.org

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center

Dowell, MD

A quarter-mile paved trail at this cozy arts center winds past 32 sculptures (many on loan from the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum), azalea and butterfly gardens, and a child-size wildlife observatory on St. John’s Creek. From May through October, fairy and gnome houses made by local artists are hidden about the park’s 30 acres; year-round, kids can hunt for Tree Pops: segments of masterpieces painted onto trees in the woods. Drop-in art projects transform discarded materials (like broken CDs) into cool art (like disco ball-style picture frames). $5 adults, $3 kids ages 6-17, free for kids under age 6. annmariegarden.org

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Grand Rapids, MI

In this 132-acre park, you’ll find a wide variety of sculptures, from Rodin to contemporary colorful steel installations — and eight intriguing gardens, including a carnivorous plant house, a five-story tropical conservatory, and a Victorian garden. There’s also a five-acre Children’s Garden, where kids can climb into a beaver lodge, sit in a tree house, and go on a sensory treasure hunt. For a midday meal break, the café offers a kids’ menu (picnicking is not allowed in the park). $12 adults, $6 kids ages 5-13, $4 kids ages 3-4, free for kids under age 3. meijergardens.org

Laumeier Sculpture Park

St. Louis, MO

Among the large-scale sculptures at this 105-acre park is a realistic, 12-foot eyeball — a kid favorite. Some installations, such as a concrete face set into the ground, earthen mounds with inset stairs, and a triangular bridge crossing a creek, invite children to wander over, under, and through them. Adults can try Site/Sound, an iPod tour with musical tracks created in response to specific sculptures. Free. laumeiersculpturepark.org

Franconia Sculpture Park

Schafer, MN

Funky, homegrown, and wildly imaginative, Franconia packs 95 works into its 20 acres, just an hour north of the Twin Cities. Kids will love that it feels more like a playground than a museum, as several pieces double as fanciful climbers; one is even called “Playstation.” Franconia is an active arts center with open studios, so the sculptors are right there, working, answering questions, giving tours (on summer Sundays), and helping kids make their own sculptures (on monthly summer Saturdays). Free. franconia.org

April 21, 2016 6:52 am

Art In The Open

Editor’s Note: This originally appeared in Explore the Hudson Valley on April 16th, 2016. What can we say? We can’t wait to take our artistic pursuits outdoors.

Even art-enthusiasts need their vitamin D. This summer, visit our top picks in outdoor art venues and events! Whether you’re into music, visual art, or pop culture, you’ll find somewhere to pursue your aesthetic interests under sun and stars.

Sculpture: OMI Art Center in Ghent brings you The Fields sculpture park, and annually rotating set of outdoor exhibitions by internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists. And if you happen to be on the Hudson’s west bank, Storm King Art Center in New Windsor has over 100 carefully sited outdoor installations across its 500-acre park. Also be sure to catch the summer-long pop-up outdoor sculpture exhibition In:Site in Rosendale’s Widow Jane Mine, featuring the work of fifteen northeast artists. Omiartcenter.org. Stormking.org. Insiterosendale.org

Theater: This year, the esteemed Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with productions of “Measure for Measure,” “As You Like It,” “Macbeth,” and Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Its picnic-friendly outdoor theater at Boscobel in Garrison looks out onto a breathtaking vista of the Hudson River. Powerhouse Theater’s summer apprentices also perform thespian classics on the grounds of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie. These renditions are free and open to the public. Hvshakespeare.org. Powerhouse.vassar.edu

Music: West Point Band’s annual “Music Under the Stars” concert series takes place at Trophy Point, an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Hudson Highlands. Rest assured, they pull out all the stops on July 4th.

Movies: What if you’re more into the cinematic arts? The Greenville Drive-In is pampering its patrons with a new beer garden, which serves local brews to pair with their snack shack’s offerings. The theater screens popular classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the work of local emerging filmmakers. Drivein32.com

Tours: See more than thirty murals, sculptures, and other examples of urban art in downtown Poughkeepsie on their guided walking tour, or check out local artists’ open studios in Phoenicia (July) and Saugerties (August).

Poughkeepsie: Call 845-486-1378 to book the tour.

Phoenicia: Shandakenart.com

Saugerties: Saugertiesarttour.com

Art Spotlight:

Equis Art Gallery: The EQUIS ART GALLERY, is a purveyor of sophisticated, non traditional Equine artwork for the discerning collector. Offering painting, sculpture, fine art photography and more.

153 W. Market St, Red Hook/ (845) 758-9432

Francis Lehman Loeb Art Center: With Egyptian artifacts, Hudson River landscapes and works by Picasso, O’Keeffe, and more, great art is closer than you think!

124 Raymond Ave, Poughkeepsie/ (845) 437-5632

Woodstock Artists Association & Museum: Exhibiting and collecting outstanding regional art since 1819. For upcoming monthly exhibitions, lecture, films, and performances check their website.

February 8, 2016 7:26 am

Omi International Arts Center in Ghent hosts candlelight concert on Feb. 13

A candlelight concert featuring the ethereal and energetic jazz of Nadje Noorduis and James Shipp will be presented by the Omi International Arts Center, 1405 county Route 22, Ghent, on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m.

Noordhuis is a trumpeter and composer who is an alumna of the Music Omi international residency program. She brings a classical music background to her lyrical jazz, which is flavored by diverse influences — from Irish folk melodies to rhythmic tangos.

Shipp is a vibraphonist, percussionist and compose. He plays an array of instruments and styles, often blending genres though the fluidity of jazz, which he calls the “big tent” in the international music world — from funk and improv to Caribbean and third stream chamber music.

Noordhuis and Shipp regularly play intimate venues throughout New York City and are currently in production for their debut album as a duo.

January 18, 2016 7:45 am

Developer of Towering 50 West Street Provides Inspiring Site for Artists

Bahar Behbahani, an artist in Time Equities 50 West residency program, works on a piece that will combine elements of the tower’s construction and surrounding area with an image of a Persian fountain. The studio, at 40 Rector Street, is next to the sales office for 50 West. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

By
CARL GLASSMAN
Posted
Jan. 18, 2016
Something besides money is being churned out of Lower Manhattan’s real estate boom.

It’s art.

At 40 Rector Street, a block from the 64-story, 780-foot-high residential tower under construction at 50 West Street, are two roomy studios. There, next to the new building’s high-tech sales office, artists are creating works inspired by the plans, people and structural innards of the nearby soaring tower.

“I always work all the time but this particular place gave me fire,” said Bahar Behbahani, surrounded by her many drawings, photos and studies on the walls of the sprawling studio. “It’s the space.”

A native of Iran, Behbahani experiments with images inspired by the construction, by local history, or by the building’s architecture, which she layers over the picture of a Persian garden. It could be the electrical grid of the penthouse, parts of the building’s skeletal form, even the Half Moon, the boat that Henry Hudson sailed up the river.

The space where she and three other artists have worked is provided free, along with a stipend, by Time Equities, Inc., the developer of 50 West. In exchange, the artists’ work will be hung in the new building. All the artists are alumni of OMI International Arts Center, the multi-discplinary residency program in the Hudson Valley founded by Francis Greenburger, a collector of contemporary art and the founder and chairman of Time Equities. The 50 West residency grows out of the company’s Art-in-Buildings program, in which art is rotated in the lobbies, atriums and other public spaces of Time Equities-owned properties.

(The residencies have a Downtown precedent. Silverstein Properties has provided studio space for artists in 7 World Trade Center, and later in 4 World Trade Center, primarily to document the development of the World Trade Center site.)

“The mission is to extend the audience for contemporary art, to give a platform to these artists that we’re working with,” said Jennie Lamensdorf, who curates the Time Equities programs. “But also to make the properties more enjoyable places to live, work or do business.”

Greenburger deemed the results “terrific.”

“The artists found the proximity to the site and the activity and the workmen to be very inspiring,” he said.

For artist Hugo Bastidas, the inspiration came from both the men and the complexity of the site where they work.

“Here’s one where the carpenters are working,” said Bastidas, pointing to one of many large monochrome paintings resting on the studio floor. It is a view looking down at the tiny figures of men nearly lost among the massive backdrop of rebar and concrete. Next to it lay the portraits of workers, also in black and white, their facial features fully rendered, their bodies reduced to sketch-like simplicity.

“This guy’s from Jamaica,” he said of one worker who stares wearily at the viewer, his beard a tangle of dreadlocks. Then he shows others. “This guy’s from Ireland, that guy’s from Bosnia, and this guy,” he noted with a smile, “is from Jersey.”

Bastidas said he was motivated by watching the beehive of labor. “I didn’t think I would do so much work but there’s something about just the project and the immediacy of these people having a purpose, and I had the same. I said, I’m really going to crank these out.”

Unlike Bastidas’s richly detailed, monochromatic works, Noa Charuvi’s paintings are colorful and semi-abstract, featuring the mundane stuff of construction sites—electrical risers, orange cones, saw horses, two-by-fours—that would escape most people’s notice, artists or otherwise. Going into her residency with the thought that it would be a brief “side project,” Charuvi became so enamored of the the site that she now continues to paint from photographs she took there, months after her residency ended.

“It was so fun because for me the image of the construction site is very painterly,” said the artist, a native of Israel whose previous work includes images of destruction in the Middle East, painted in much the same style. “It’s basically already abstract, there’s nothing complete there. It’s just piles of shapes. Lots of lines and lots of squares and triangles.”

”The combination of colors,” she added, “the greys and blues, the glass and the concrete and the rebars in contrast to the oranges and yellows that mark where you aren’t supposed to step, I found that really beautiful.”

Paul Anthony Smith said his large output of work during a nine-month residency, including enough pieces to fill a solo show in Chelsea, was partly aided by the space.

“It was quiet,” he said. “It was a different atmosphere, which made me focus on what I was trying to accomplish.”

With so much room to work, he said, he could move from one project to the other. “I would go back and forth, look at one thing, come across the room and look at another.”

He hopes that his paintings of workers, which originated from photo collages, will one day remind the well-heeled residents that it was men like these who built their homes. (One-bedroom apartments start at $2 million.)

“I hope they have some sort of gratitude toward the working class,” Smith said. “Because no matter how technologically sophisticated we’ve become we still need individuals who work on infrastructure for our daily lives.”

“Residents will always confront the men,” he added, “as long as the paintings are there.”

Omi International Arts Center exhibits the work of Iran do Espírito Santo

March 19, 2018

GHENT, NY.- Brazilian artist Iran do Espírito Santo's monumental cast concrete sculpture, Playground, originally commissioned by the Public Art Fund...

Art In The Open

April 21, 2016

Editor’s Note: This originally appeared in Explore the Hudson Valley on April...

Omi International Arts Center in Ghent hosts candlelight concert on Feb. 13

February 8, 2016

A candlelight concert featuring the ethereal and energetic jazz of Nadje Noorduis...