Monday, October 12, 2009

An Amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The Flux Art Show

I found the video above on YouTube last night. But the image below my friends, is what you see when you first walk into the Flux Art Show inside St Joseph's Church in downtown Albany NY. The church has been abandoned now for may years, but at one time was a much loved, and well used part of the community. It has been lovingly taken over temporarily by the artists and musicians working with Ken Jacobie, Samson Contompasis and his Marketplace Gallery. What an amazing experience this was for me and the friends who were with me...
The altar was ruined long ago and many of the pews were destroyed or removed over time. Parts of the ornate tile floor were dug up and missing, and some parts of the walls were bare right down to the laths. But this did nothing to diminish the beauty and sacred vibration that was resonating thru this building. The troupe of artists had gone in and cleaned and straightened the refuse that littered the floors, and actually used some of the refuse to create new art. The show opened on Friday evening, complete with local musicians performing and food brought in by local eateries. And the art exhibit was outstanding and eclectic as always.

We waited until Sunday afternoon...the first day the show was open during the daylight hours. I waited till then so that i could see the stained glass windows of this 150 plus year old church... Now, this is becoming a bad habit, but i was halfway between home and my friend's house before i realized that once again i had forgotten my camera. (I am going to have to start pinning that darn contraption to my bra strap every day) But thanks to my friend Kate and her trusty and truly amazing cell phone camera(i do covet that little machine Kate) we have these pictures to share with you so that you too can have a glimpse of a truly one of a kind art show experience...The fabric pyramid was an installation piece done by Sam Contompasis.

Many of the smaller pieces of art were held up by old doors and pews found scattered in the church. Other art pieces were free standing or leaning against walls

This large painting of one of the faces of the Archangels hanging from the ceiling was placed on a side altar with candles lit beneath it, and was painted by Alex Contompasis

This is the mirror image placed on the left side of the room under an ancient painting of Mary, surrounded by cherubs

Here is a picture of the carved angels and the ornate paint and woodwork on the ceilings

Another ancient painting above the altar of Jesus and the angels

Stained glass panel ceiling above the altar

This room was called the "Gnome" Room. Many designs were stencilled and painted right on the old flaking wall surfaces. I found it enchanting! (That's me in the picture hugging myself to conserve heat. It was like an icebox in the old stone church that i was told was never fully heated.

More of the Gnome Room

This was a very lovely installation piece done by Samson Contompasis, of his impression of "Heaven". The mound of sand under the hanging gauze, and the handful of sand trapped by the material is sand collected from many different beaches around the world that he has visited...

And next to it, was his brother Alex interpretation of "Hell". It was a wire armature covered with canvas pieces that the female form was sewing together, and the hand written sign below that asked "Do you love me now?"

We actually climbed a very narrow staircase to a room above the church hall, leading to the bell tower, and Kate took this picture from the overlook window.

Here is some of the ornate tile work on the altar floor

more tile work

The doorway leading up to the bell tower room... Originally this show was to end last night, BUT Sam told us as we were leaving that he had gotten permission to keep the show there and open thru this next week. So, if anyone out there is interested, the show will go on and you still have a chance to experience it for yourself. Believe me, it is time well spent. I definitely plan to return at least one more time...


Lola Nova said...

Ooh, I wish I could see it, it looks amazing! I haven't been to a show on that scale in years. And how can you not love an ancient abandoned church? Such a mixture of awe and melancholy. Admiring the beauty of a long gone time - made even more poignant by it's decay; and a sadness over it's ruin - mixed with hope that it be revived and survives.

Thanks to Kate and you for sharing the images.

Mare said...

Hi Lola Nova! Yes...this was amazing for sure! I was raised in the Catholic church and tho i have been away from actually going to church, i still have a strong pull for sacred places, and this is definitely one of them. Also, the light in that dimly lit church was very ghostly....filled with spirit. I think i have lived many lifetimes as a servant of the church one way or another and i love the rituals, the sacred paintings, rosary beads, Mary, Jesus...and the art work was smashing! It really gets your brain working, just looking at all those ideas and messages spoken thru paint and cloth. I wish you lived closer. We would have fun going there together.

Melissa and Emmitt said...

oh my gosh mare!
what a magical place and show. thank you so much for sharing it!


Mare said...

It's my pleasure Melissa! I wish you could see it in person. Tonight is the last night for the show and i am going to try to get back there just this one more time...It IS magical....