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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.

— “My father is a carpenter for Proctors Theater. When Broadway shows came to town I use to paint tables and have the cast sign them,” he said. “But this is the first time painting on a curved surface.”

Biernacki’s piece is a large map of Albany from 1857 that looks to be wrapped around the giant clog. He used a spray paint technique to make the shoe look like weathered paper and then painted the map by hand with brown paint. He said if people look close enough, they can see the Dutch influence of years past.

“It’s really fun to look at it. Madison Avenue wasn’t there at the time and it was called Lydius Street. Most of the streets and roads weren’t there,” he said. “Albany does have a really deep and rich history and you can learn more about it by looking at the map.”

All of the shoes will stay in place for about the next 11 months. They will then be auctioned to help raise money for the Downtown Albany BID. Some artists are marketing their pieces to try and draw more interest for when the auction occurs.

Black and Iadicicco have created a Facebook page for their clog. Spectators are encouraged to take pictures of themselves in or next to the shoe and post it on the page. The two artists then do a drawing so “fans” have the chance to win an originally designed poster or keychain of their clog. They are calling the fans “cloggers.”

Black has also taken to stopping by the piece and talking to spectators about the clog, though he never identifies himself as the artist. He often asks if they would like him to take a picture of the person with the shoe. Black said it’s fun to watch.

“A lot of kids jump into the shoe and start paddling like it’s a boat. They make it their own,” he said, which is exactly what he set our to do with the design. “Adults are more intimidated.”

Walking tours of the exhibit are taking place through May 2013 and are free to the public. Tour maps are also available online or by visiting www.downtownalbany.org.

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