My next stop was the most perplexing: Where the heck did they hide Amy Podmore's Untitled #1? After several turns around Tricentennial Park (a really nice spot, and the permanent home of two major bronze sculptures that represent Albany's history both distant and recent), I finally looked up - and then I saw Podmore's oversized teacups, dozens of them, hanging all over the trees. An Alice in Wonderland moment, to be sure.
And so on the tour went. The process of seek-and-find continued to bear the fruits of frustration and surprise. I won't bore you by telling about each and every piece of art along the way - but here are a few more highlights, and maybe a lowlight or two as well.
Same Shapes and Mosaic Tires and Muffler - These two very different pieces by Jason Middlebrook are among my favorites in the show. The latter consists of the titular car parts lovingly embellished in the traditional Middle Eastern manner, with delectable results; the former is a large installation in a garden area of shapes inspired by termite mounds that blend beautifully with the surrounding plant and rock forms. It will be fun to see how they look poking up out of the winter's snows.
Public art is for everyone. It creates a vibrant community and forms a unique identity for Albany’s metropolitan area. Produced by artists with distinctive visions who enjoy working in a public context, these works express a diverse range of themes including environmental, architectural, functional, commemorative and humorous.
The arts are integral to downtown Albany. The impressive 92-piece Empire State Plaza Art Collection, assembled by then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller has been called "the most important state collection of modern art in the country." Don’t miss the special exhibitions focusing on The Quadricentennial Celebration at the Albany Institute of History & Art; view the works of national and regional artists at the New York State Museum; browse the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, the Albany Center Gallery, the 1st Friday city-wide gallery openings and the E-Comm square’s abstract sculpture courtyard on South Broadway.
With numerous historical statues and monuments in Albany’s parks and public spaces, our rich environment invites you to discover 400 years of creativity.