On Exhibit: Collar Works reopens with ‘SpaceLAB’

Susan Meyer's “Plinth.” (credit: Indiana Nash)

Susan Meyer's “Plinth.” (credit: Indiana Nash)

Categories: Art, Life & Arts

TROY – Collar Works has reopened with a sprawling showcase of timely 3D works.

“SpaceLAB” was curated by Julie Torres and Ellen Letcher of LABSpace in Hillsdale and features sculptures and installations from regional artists working in a mix of mediums.

Some, like Dina Bursztyn and Julie Chase, use found objects, while others, like Dan Devine, used stitched and molded leather.

The exhibit opens with pieces from several different artists that work so well together they create a scene of sorts. There’s a sizeable tent-like dome made from cardboard resting on a patch of artificial grass. The piece, by Thomas Lail, is placed next to a bright, fluffy lawn chair created by Becca Van K and a circle of carefully piled gilded stones by Kara Smith.

In the backdrop, there’s a site-specific installation that stretches from floor to ceiling and gathers what looks like dried corn stalks together around a glowing light. Created by Henry Klimowicz, the work, juxtaposed with the others next to it, makes the viewer feel as though they’re camping indoors. It’s a playful notion, yet one that points to how drastically our plans and lives have changed amidst the pandemic.


Not too far away is Bursztyn and Chase’s “Recluse Muse Museum,” a meditation on cultural and historical institutions, many of which closed their doors all across New York state earlier this year.

Using a range of found objects, from driftwood to feathers and vintage photographs, the artists have made a strange, yet intimate, exhibit of sorts with numerous individual works. There’s “Time Compost” which combines driftwood, a timepiece, and a few other small objects in a wood and glass display case. Then there’s “Love Astrolabe,” which brings together wood and wire with pieces of old jewelry and trinkets.

It’s difficult to walk away from the “Recluse Muse Museum” because there are so many pieces within it to explore and perhaps for that reason, it’s one of the most compelling works in the showcase.

Yet, there are many others to see, like Susan Meyer’s “Plinth,” a geometric work that stands out with its neon coloring. True to its name, its wood and acrylic foundation holds several smaller sculptural works made from foam and plaster.

Next to it is Ruby Palmer’s equally bright “No Beginning, No End,” which features strips of basswood in alternating shades of yellows and greys. Similar in their tone, the two pieces work well together.

While many of the artists in the showcase used their chosen mediums in intriguing ways, Chris Victor pushed the envelope with “Singing, Dancing, Crying.” It combines broken household objects, like pencils, jump ropes, paper, dowels, straws, etc. and strings them together so that they stretch across one of the exhibition walls. The piece is possibly a reflection of the wasteful nature of our culture, though there are plenty of ways to read the strange and sprawling installation.

“LABSpace” will be open through October 17th. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Thursday-Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Attendees must wear masks and maintain social distancing. For more information visit collarworks.org.

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