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An art project with sole

Bethlehem artists hoof it to Albany for BID’s new installation

A 7-foot clog depicting the Albany skyline with some of its key landmarks was designed and painted by Tony Iadicicco and Gutman Black for the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District’s annual Sculpture in the Streets exhibition.

A 7-foot clog depicting the Albany skyline with some of its key landmarks was designed and painted by Tony Iadicicco and Gutman Black for the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District’s annual Sculpture in the Streets exhibition.

— The goal for the duo was to make a piece people would be drawn to and form a connection with.

“I wanted it to exude the colors with what I do conceptually as an artist,” said Black. “’Clog’ is a boring word and looks boring, so we had to fit it in to something modern and contemporary. We designed it like a sneaker so a child would look at it and be (enticed.)”

There were 13 artists in total working on clog pieces to be placed around Albany’s downtown. Six 7-foot clogs were distributed, along with four sets of 3-foot pairs of the wooden shoes. Most artists submitted an application to be involved in the project, while some chose partners later on in the process.

Marquita Rhodes, the marketing manager for the Downtown Albany BID, said this is the first year the group has provided the medium and then asked local artists to participate in the Sculpture in the Streets exhibition. Usually, national and international artists are asked to submit or loan pieces they have already created.

“While fun and whimsical, the installation pulls on Albany’s rich Dutch influence, blending historical and artistic impressions and offering a multitude of cultural opportunities for the public to enjoy,” said Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany BID in a statement. “We want to encourage visitors to engage with the sculptures and experience Downtown by ‘standing in the soles’ and developing an affection for the soul and history of Albany. We invite the public to be creative and become part of the sculpture itself – whether through photography or other medium.”

Susan Rivers of Ravena also participated in the project, as did Mitchell Biernacki, a 24-year-old graphic designer from Glenmont.

Biernacki said he found the experience thrilling and although he has been painting from a young age, the medium posed a challenge.

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