GLENS FALLS — The eightieth annual exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region (MHR-80) was referred to in The Daily Gazette (Schenectady) as “the Michael Oatman show.” Come discover why, and meet the man whose vision redefined one of the nation’s longest-running juried shows on Thursday, December 8 at 6:30 pm at a gallery talk at The Hyde Collection.
Oatman, an artist and professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, curated the expansive show, which is on view throughout the Charles R. Wood, Rotunda, and Whitney-Renz galleries, on the grounds of the Museum, and in historic Hyde House. From 274 submissions, Oatman selected 126 works by 106 area artists. The show is a sprawling exhibition that features video, collage, mixed media, photography, oil, watercolor, sculpture, and interventions in Hyde House. The works are organized into conceptual categories inspired by the history and conventions of display, designed to create a dialogue between works and artists.
Oatman is known for large-scale collages and installations integrating found, modified, and handmade components, including artifacts of material culture, painting, drawing, and video. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Fine Art from the University at Albany. He has taught at RISD, Harvard University, and the University at Albany, among others, and has served as artist-in-residence at RISD and other institutions. He has served as juror and curator for exhibitions throughout the Northeast, and has 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.”
Coe and Oatman developed a theme for the exhibition centered on the idea of an M-80, a symbol of an explosion, to burst the show in new directions. “I knew Michael could take a show that is already well-known and respected, and redefine it,” Coe said.
In its eight-decade run, MHR has shined a light on the brightest talents living within 100 miles of the Capital Region and Glens Falls. It is hosted alternately by The Hyde, Albany Institute of History and Art, and the University Art Museum at the University at Albany. This year’s exhibition is an appropriate lead-in to The Hyde’s transformation, as it expands its focus to include Modern and Contemporary art.
Admission to Hyde Night Out is $8 for members | $10 for non-members. RSVP by contacting Colette at 518-792-1761 ext. 310 or [email protected]
The commemorative-edition MHR-80 catalogue, a 186-page book featuring essays by Oatman and Coe, a complete exhibition checklist, images of MHR artwork, and an ephemeral timeline documenting the show’s eight-decade history, will be available for purchase for $30.