Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region Featured at The Hyde
In the 80th annual ‘Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region’ exhibition, now showing at The Hyde Collection, curator Michael Oatman created an art experience that includes 126 works from 106 artists throughout The Hyde’s campus – on the lawn, in the Charles R. Wood, Rotunda and Whitney-Renz galleries, and in the historic Hyde House. “I thought we could do something different by trying to take the emphasis off regionalism and think more about situating our artists in a broader historical framework,” said Oatman, who is an artist and a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The result is a sprawling exhibition that features video, collage, mixed media, photography, oil, gauche, sculpture, watercolor, and intervention works, each organized into a conceptual category, themes Oatman saw develop as he juried over 520 submissions.
“I wanted to create dialogue between works, between artists. The objective, of course, was to pick great work because there are a surplus of great artists in the region, but I also made a claim for work I think is in deep dialogue with history,” Oatman said. By pairing drawings in a cluster, Oatman hopes to start discussions about the artwork, and about the political implications and historical value of their display.
Oatman is known for his large-scale collages and installations and has exhibited extensively throughout the US. He has spoken at numerous prestigious universities and served on boards for numerous arts organizations; was named Best Artist of the past 30 years in the capital region and has been honored several times as Best Artist of the Capital Region by Metroland Newspapers; he was named one of the Top Three Artists in the Capital Region by The Times Union. He has received numerous awards and been published in several publications.
“Referring to Michael as the juror seems like a misnomer,” said Erin Coe, director of The Hyde Collection. “I invited him because I wanted to re-imagine this long-running regional exhibition. I knew (he) could take a show that is already well-known and respected, and redefine it.” The annual show is hosted alternately by The Hyde, Albany Institute of History and Art and the Art Museum at the University at Albany. This year’s is an appropriate lead-in to The Hyde’s transformation, as it expands its focus to include modern and contemporary art.
The Hyde Collection is located at 161 Warren Street in Glens Falls, N.Y. For more information, visit hydecollection.org or call 518-792-1761.