SUNY-New Paltz’s Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art has a lovely habit of opening three or four shows at once each February, making it a most rewarding cabin-fever-relief outing. Two of the shows spotlight the works of individual artists; the other two are themed collections. And the four are about as different as they could be, so you’re bound to enjoy some if not all of what’s on view.
“The Floating World: Holograms by Rudie Berkhout,” curated by Daniel Belasco and opening on Saturday, February 6 from 5 to 7 p.m., brings the seeming magic of holography, as manipulated by one of its early innovators, to the Sara Bedrick Gallery. The exhibition features interactive projected works from the 1970s/‘80s “Transmission” series by the Dutch-born, New York-based Berkhout, who died in 2008.
Earlier manifestations of the ever-fluxing photographic medium – some as rare and precious as 19th-century prints by Eugène Atget and Julia Margaret Cameron – can be found in the voluminous collections of Howard Greenberg, co-founder of the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Greenberg has donated 1,140 photographs by 101 artists to the Dorsky, shown on a rotating basis in the Museum’s Howard Greenberg Family Gallery. This new selection, curated by Belasco and titled “On the Street and in the Studio,” is divided into two sections: one of spontaneously shot urban streetscapes and the other of photographic portraiture.
The Morgan Anderson and Corridor Galleries will house “Made for You: New Directions in Contemporary Design,” in which design curator Jennifer Scanlan surveys the contemporary activities of regional designers and craftspeople. “Made for You” includes customized furniture, textiles, jewelry, installations, videos and tableware by 20 Hudson Valley-based designers/makers. A MakerBot 3D printer will be demonstrated during the exhibition, courtesy of the SUNY-New Paltz’s Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center. Once someone closes the circle by making great art after being outfitted with one of the prosthetic hands that recently got the HVAMC into headlines around the world, the Dorsky’s going to have to build itself a whole new wing.
Already open to the public and running through April 10, “Andrew Light: Full Circle” is the Guyana-born artist’s first museum exhibition since he moved to Kingston in 2006. Best-known for his flexible and volumetric forms, vibrant paintings and abstract drawings that sometimes evoke the mysterious Nazca Lines of the Peruvian desert, Lyght creates a wide range of works that analyze the structural properties of painting and reanimate pictorial space as an open system. Often it focuses on the tools and media of construction, with mundane, heavy objects like oil drums seeming to escape the bonds of gravity. Curated by Tumelo Mosaka, the exhibit is mounted in the Alice and Horace Chandler and North Galleries.
A series events associated with these four exhibitions will be hosted by the Dorsky and other sites on-campus during their runs, beginning with a gallery talk with Howard Greenberg on Sunday, February 28 at 2 p.m. Andrew Lyght will give a gallery talk on Saturday, April 2 at 2 p.m. Jennifer Scanlan will moderate a panel discussion with artists participating in the “Made for You” show on Saturday, April 9 at 2 p.m. in the Student Union Building, Room 62/63. Some of the artists who knew Rudie Berkhout best, including Hudson Talbott, Hart Perry and Sam Moree, will share personal stories and provide insights into his creative process in a panel titled “Remembering Rudie” on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m. And on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m., Martina Mongrovius will present a hologram-making workshop and demonstration.
The opening reception for “Andrew Light: Full Circle,” “The Floating World: Holograms by Rudie Berkhout,” “On the Street and in the Studio: Photographs Donated by Howard Greenberg” and “Made for You: New Directions in Contemporary Design” takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art on Saturday, February 6. All exhibitions can be viewed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays whenever the college is in session. For more info, call (845) 257-3844 or visit www.newpaltz.edu/museum. Getting into the Dorsky is absolutely free, if the “suggested donation” of $5 presents a financial hardship.
Opening reception: “Andrew Light: Full Circle,” “The Floating World: Holograms by Rudie Berkhout,” “On the Street and in the Studio: Photographs Donated by Howard Greenberg,” “Made for You: New Directions in Contemporary Design,” Saturday, February 6, 5-7 p.m., free/donation, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY-New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz; (845) 257-3844, www.newpaltz.edu/museum.