A renowned exhibitor of contemporary art, The Arts Center cultivates creative potential in adults and children through art classes and events that emphasize hands-on learning. Members receive discounts on arts classes—up to $25 off kids classes—an opportunity to exhibit their art at the annual members’ Fence Show, discounts at local businesses, and the right to sing in the gallery when nobody’s around. Patrons with a taste for food can enroll in courses on the culinary arts, and aspiring artists can transform stuttering line work into fluid brushstrokes via drawing and painting courses.
A small staff of local artists lead two-hour painting workshops, where they give participants of all skill levels step-by-step instruction in blending backgrounds and building up foregrounds for a range of subjects. They teach attendees how to paint in the style of Van Gogh and Monet, emulating the artists' iconic masterpieces and high-school notebook doodles. The expression experts also impart the know-how to depict whimsical subjects such as an Adirondack sunset, swaying spring tulips, and a lady's cocked hat. Participants paint at communal tables in front of tall windows, which let in ample natural light. Though the studio hosts regular workshops, staffers also hold open-studio time daily and organize painting parties for a range of events, such as birthday celebrations, small-business gatherings, and discoveries of new colors. Studio staff keeps artists fueled with shared appetizer plates, as well as beer, wine, and non-alcoholic pours from an in-studio bar.
For years, Jacqui Hauser and Brian Kaiser had been making jewelry to sell at farmers’ markets and trade shows. Then in 2009, after finding some success on the crafting circuit, the pair opened The Studio for Art and Craft as a space where novices could create their own art. In fewer than three years, the studio has broadened its creative horizons by adding several crafting experiences for burgeoning and established artists to explore. At the pottery wheel, guests shape smooth, cool clay into a custom ceramic design, and drawing and painting stations offer up their paints and inks for colorful self-portraits. With chain mail and silver and bronze clay crafts, patrons can cobble together their own accessories rather than pilfering them from statues in the park. Classes and parties delve into the nuances of assembling baubles and lagniappes, while giving friends and family a chance to bond over their creative endeavors.
Established in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art has been chronicling artistic expression longer than the Louvre, the Smithsonian, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Visitors acquaint themselves with an eternally revolving set of exhibits, including Hajo: An Artist’s Journey, which documents Hans-Joachim Richard Christoph's work in package design incorporating the bold, stylized graphics of the Berlin school of graphic design. Visitors can sidle up to one of the permanent exhibitions, such as the panoramic landscape art of The Landscape that Defined America: The Hudson River School or the ornamentally preserved remains of Ancient Egypt, an exhibit that spotlights the Nile, the Egyptian concept of afterlife, and ways to reposition a mummy into a hip-hop mummy.
Arriving in Paris after leading a scientific expedition through northern China, Sterling Clark was just another Boxer Rebellion veteran and Yale-educated engineer looking for something to do with the inheritance of his magnate grandfather, Robert Clark, who was an heir to the Singer sewing-machine fortune. Like the countless men who found themselves in the same position, Sterling did the only thing left to do at that point of his adventurous life: invest in art.
Sterling and his wife Francine both displayed a discriminating eye for art in their first year of collecting, almost immediately acquiring a piece by the sought-after painter Hyacinthe Rigaud, who was famous for his portraiture of 17th-century European nobility and drawing the most realistic-looking stick people. The Clarks' tastes evolved over time, and their collection ballooned to include more than 30 paintings by Renoir and dozens of works by other impressionist artists.
In 1955, a year before Sterling passed away, he and Francine founded their art institute, where the museum's curators presently stay true to the couple's artistic interests. French impressionism still forms the crux of the collection, but the museum's scope is ever expanding and nowadays includes works of early photographers and American painters and a rotating schedule of well-curated special exhibitions.