is a magical time, and Art Omi is celebrating those enchanted
moments ’tween the day and night with a new sculpture exhibit
titled In the Gloaming. We surely have many things to explain.
Gloaming is another word for twilight or dusk.
Art Omi is an artists’ retreat/exhibition space/performance
venue in the teeny town of Omi near Ghent (like that
helps; Ghent is near Chatham)—a happening that has taken
place under our very noses since 1992. It’s situated in
a lush country setting with 200 acres of rolling farmland
and wooded hideaways. Most of the indoor work takes place
in a converted 1830 farmhouse.
Art Omi provides a residency program for artists in various
media from all over the globe—the retreat has hosted more
than 400 residents from 50 countries—and offers three specific
programs: the Art Omi International Artists’ Colony, which
invites 30 artists for a three-week span in July; the Ledig
House International Writers’ Colony, which backs 40 to 50
writers and translators for as long as two months a year
(there’s a spring session and one in the late summer); and
the Music Omi International Residency, which brings together
12 to 15 musician-composers for collaboration and performance.
All artists are provided room, board and a space to create,
and Art Omi is similar to many traditional artist retreats
in that it is located in an idyllic country setting for
the inspiration, peace and quiet that many artists seek.
And each discipline offers public interaction, via readings
from the visiting writers (this year’s readings took place
a couple of weeks back), the Open Day studio for the visual-arts
section (July 20), and a concert performed by Music Omi
participants (Aug. 16). But due to the proximity to New
York City, Art Omi also offers its participants the chance
to network, as publishers, gallery owners, curators, critics,
publishers agents, collectors and the like are frequent
Back to the gloaming. Art Omi is also the home to a 300-acre
sculpture park, the Fields, curated by Kathleen Heike Triem
and Peter Franck. The Fields, open year-round, has been
in operation since ’98, and works by such artists as Donald
Lipski, Charles Ginnever, Beverly Pepper, Dewitt Godfrey
and Mathew McCaslin (pictured is Ginnever’s Sculpture)
are featured. There are paths for wandering amid the sculptures,
and various site-specific works are included as well.
In the Gloaming—guest-curated by Koan Jeff Baysa—is part
of 30 new installations at the Fields, and it’s the third
part in the Ignoring Boundaries series. “In the gloaming,
the air stills,” states the press literature, “birds sound
their final calls of the day, and the light often turns
golden; we find ourselves introspective as our visual perceptions,
attitudes and pace of life shifts.” The show will run for
a year, enough time for viewers to return to observe the
work at different times of day, in different seasons and
during varying weather—as the works have been chosen for
their ability to “frame light as a tool that shapes ideas
and philosophy in contemporary culture by studying the phenomenon
of light in the landscape, and the physiological aspects
of light and perception in twilight.”
In the Gloaming will open Saturday (May 31) with a reception
and a preview of many of the installations from 5 to 8 PM.
Art Omi International Arts Center is located on Letter S
Road (off County Route 22, off Route 9H) in Omi (very near
Ghent). It’s tricky to find, but you can do it. Go to www.artomi.org
for detailed directions, or call 392-7656 for information.
be interesting to see what it’s like, because it’ll be the
first time that I’ve gone on tour kinda riding this wave
of mainstream interest.”
When Ted Leo made this comment to a Seattle journalist two
months ago, he was modestly referring to the recent, intense
attention paid to him, his band (the Pharmacists), his highly
regarded new album (Hearts of Oak) and his rousing
live shows, by such rags as Spin and Rolling Stone.
After years in the trenches with a succession of bands (Citizens
Arrest, Animal Crackers, Chisel), Leo is finally earning
the notice of a wide array of music fans—as well as the
mainstream rock media. His politically charged lyrics are
often compared to the work of Billy Bragg and Joe Strummer,
while his music earns hushed references to golden-era Elvis
Costello and the Attractions. It’s all been (please forgive
us) a prescription for success.
Joining Mr. Leo/company at Valentine’s will be three swell
combos. Dischord Records artists El Guapo perform a brand
of “brash art-punk” that has elicited comparisons with such
iconoclasts as Gang of Four and Afrika Bambaataa (connect
those dots). Jai Lai Savant are a band shrouded in mystery—in
other words, Google didn’t turn up any info. The Amazing
Plaid are from Albany and sound an awful lot like the Amazing
Ted Leo/Pharmacists, El Guapo, Jai Lai Savant and the Amazing
Plaid will perform an all-ages show tomorrow (Friday, May
30) at 8 PM at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany).
Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. For more information,
Joyce—who will discuss and read from his latest novel, Liam’s
Going, at the Bethlehem Public Library on Sunday—is
best known as the author who engineered the demise of books
as we know them.
As one of the designers of Storyspace, a program for writing
hypertext fiction—that is, inherently nonlinear, computer-based
fiction—Joyce and his collaborators facilitated the eradication
of the traditional dramatic arc and, with it, everything
you know about the mechanics of storytelling. Or so skittish
cultural conservatives would have it.
As it happens, traditional narratives still hold sway years
after the release of afternoon, a story (Joyce’s
famed hypertext debut, and the genre’s central canonical
work). And Joyce himself still is content to dabble in the
ancient printed, right-to-left, flyleaf to “finis” format
from time to time. Liam’s Going is a traditional
novel relating the story of the interaction of Liam and
his mother as they drive south through the Hudson Valley
to bring Liam to college, and of Liam’s father, who has
remained home only to have an extraordinary encounter with
an elderly widow. Critic Claudia Ricci calls the book “visceral,
demanding, detailed and very compelling.”
Michael Joyce will read from Liam’s Going at the
Bethlehem Public Library (451 Delaware Ave., Delmar) on
Sunday (June 1). The free reading begins at 2 PM. For more
information, call 439-9314.