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Change of venue: J. Eric Smith at the C+CC. Photo by Leif Zurmuhlen.

New Direction

The Chapel and Cultural Center on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, better known as the C+CC, is under new management. As of Oct. 26, J. Eric Smith—Metroland scribe and host of Time Warner Cable’s Sounding Board—is the new director of this multipurpose performing arts and spiritual center. Owned and operated by the Rensselaer Newman Foundation, the C+CC provides space for worship, meditation and cultural exhibitions for both RPI and the community at large. Built in 1968, it’s the home of the Roman Catholic community at RPI, with a tradition of hosting ambitiously varied presentations—performances, art exhibits, films, readings and lectures.

Smith is excited by the challenges of the job, and has ambitious plans: “I want to significantly expand the programs presented, both in terms of being a resource for regional schools, as well as an outlet for artists and performers.”

“I’m committed to multidimensional programming,” explains Smith. By this he means coordinated exhibitions tied to a common theme, which utilize the various spaces within the C+CC. For example, a visual arts presentation in the gallery and a performance in the main hall which, in tandem, explore the same subject in different ways. “We have the flexibility allowed by our charter,” Smith notes, “to touch on varied elements of the cultural package.”

Smith wants to enhance the visibility of the C+CC as well. In addition to local and regional artists, he wants to “attract corporate underwriting to bring in nationally known artists and performers.”

Right now, however, Smith wants to get the word out about the C+CC: “I encourage artists, musicians and performers to contact me and come see the space. The space is here, we want to make as much use of it as we can, and we want to present challenging material.”

—Shawn Stone


Time to say goodbye: Nadia Trinkala. Photo by Martin Benjamin.

Closing Time

Most of the art at 122 Remsen St. in Cohoes has been taken down. That’s because after only a few short months in operation, the Trink Gallery, along with the trendy Trink Furniture shop that operated below it, has shut its doors.

Nadia Trinkala, owner of the retro furniture shop, opened the gallery in June with the help of Tom D’Ambrose and Robert Gullie. The gallery was hugely successful during its short life, D’Ambrose says. It ran two exhibits that he claims brought close to 1,500 people through the Trink doors. But the run of the most recent exhibit, called Visions and Vibrations, which featured the paintings of musicians, was cut short when Trinkala decided to close the store.

Trinkala’s lease was to expire in December, and her efforts to buy the building her store occupied had fallen through, so when some Japanese clients of hers offered to buy out her entire inventory, she took them up on it. Every item in the Trink Furniture shop will be shipped to Japan in December.

Two Sundays ago, the artists featured in the Visions and Vibrations exhibit, which was originally scheduled to run through Nov. 13, were invited back to the Trink Gallery. They, along with their family and friends, were given the opportunity to have one last look at their work on display. At the end of the evening they packed up their paintings and went home.

Trinkala is still buying furniture and operating on the Web, and it’s likely that she’ll reopen a store, and maybe even a gallery, sometime in the future. D’Ambrose, too, will continue to support art in Cohoes. He says he wants to keep Visions and Vibrations alive as an annual event; he’ll just have to find a different gallery in which to do it.

—Paul Hamill


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