ALBANY, N.Y.—Albany Center Gallery (“ACG”), a nonprofit gallery that has showcased local and regional visual arts for forty years, has announced it will relocate to the historic Arcade Building at 488 Broadway in Albany, after two years of searching for a new location.
The 75,000 sq. ft. building, despite its desirable downtown location, was empty for years until owner Fairbank Properties recently completed a $10 million renovation that includes 60 new apartments. In addition to the gallery, which will occupy approximately 2,050 sq. ft. of space, the Arcade is also home to the second location for Stacks Espresso Bar.
“The Arcade, across from Jim Dinapoli Park, symbolizes a new era in Downtown where traditional buildings can be put to new contemporary and modern uses,” said ACG’s Executive Director Tony Iadiccio. “This will create a home in which artists will be proud to showcase their art, while bringing a new energy to an underutilized landmark.”
Iadicicco noted that the new location will open opportunities to better connect with Downtown Albany’s newest residents and help bridge the arts corridor to other development projects, including: the proposed Palace Theatre expansion; the soon-to-be-completed Albany Capital Center; and the Times Union Center upgrades.
Knowing their 10-year lease with the United Group would end in November of this year, ACG began to search for the new location in 2014. “We toured over two dozen properties and had offers to move to places such as Troy and Schenectady. We thought it was important to stay in Downtown Albany,” said Brian Tromans, board member and chair of the ACG’s relocation committee. “The United Group has been very supportive throughout our lease. It was not an easy decision to leave 39 Columbia Street, but the Arcade will bring a new chapter for the Gallery’s creative history.”
“We are thrilled that Albany Center Gallery is remaining in the District,” said Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. “The importance of the arts in our community cannot be overstated, and the Gallery remaining here means the growing number of people who live, work, and play in Downtown will continue to have access to this world-class amenity.”
“We are proud to welcome Albany Center Gallery as an anchor destination to the building and the emerging Maiden Lane corridor. There should be more collaboration to draw residents and businesses back to downtown,” said David Sarraf, manager of Fairbank Properties.
As well as exhibiting more than 1,000 visual artists over the last four decade, ACG has a long history of collaboration and developing partnerships within the community. It has been able to sustain its programs because of private community support and from arts-focused development activities such as the Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts, the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region’s Capital City Fund, Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and NYSCA. Even so, this move is financially motivated and will allow the gallery to save on rent each month.
“We are launching a special ’40 for 40 Club’ campaign in October to honor our 40th anniversary and raise funds for the move,”said Kevin Dubner, vice president of the ACG Board of Directors, which has pledged to match up to $8,000 in donations from the community. The 40th Anniversary campaign is in conjunction with the Gallery’s Annual Gala, its largest fundraiser of the year, to be held at the Renaissance Albany Hotel on Saturday, Nov. 19. “We hope the community will come out and help us celebrate these important milestones,” added Dubner.
“The Board of Directors, Relocation Committee and community really came together to present many generous options for the gallery. ACG took its time to identify a space that would offer the qualities our artists and art patrons have requested time and again, as well as work with our budget,” said Jessica Mansmith, president of the ACG Board of Directors. “It was not a hasty decision.”
“It’s an exciting time for the Gallery and we can’t wait to invite the community into ACG’s new home in Downtown Albany,” said Iadicicco, looking forward to the gallery’s next iteration. “As we celebrate 40 years of showcasing and promoting local and regional artists, our vision is to continue to bring more art to the community and support the creatives in our region.”
ACG, founded by Les Urbach in 1977, was first housed in the Capital District Psychiatric Center. The move to the Arcade marks an important chapter in ACG’s 40-year history. Those who wish to support the gallery by making a donation, becoming a member, purchasing Gala tickets, or even offer moving assistance, should contact Tony Iadicicco at (518) 462-4775 or by visiting albanycentergallery.org.