Gallery Night, hosted by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, is opening next Friday, Nov. 6, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Ithaca Commons. During the event, there will be several separate exhibits open for viewers to experience. The showings offer an opportunity to see a collection of different artworks across mediums by creators from many different walks of life. The artists’ works not only convey visual beauty, but also communicate the numerous identities which define the artists.
At the Hilton Garden Inn, 103 E. Seneca St., you will find The Koi Series, by Robin Tilling, who was recently inspired to explore block printing on fabric and paper. Tilling describes herself as a mother, friend and textile artist “who finds labels daunting.” While koi fish traditionally symbolize strength and perseverance, I also find in her prints a sense of unconditional love and magnetism that fill the space between the colorful koi.
Just up the street, at Your CBD Store, Amber Robson’s photography is put on display. An avid traveler and a mother of three, Robson has worked to capture nature’s wonders across the country. Her photography inspires the very love of nature that fuels her dedication to the lens.
From there, you can walk a few paces south to see the window display at 330 E. M.L.K. Jr. St., Ithaca’s Community School of Music and Arts. The CSMA, in conjunction with the Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County, presents the collage and found objects art of Daniela Rivero and Sebastian Chavez.
The two Ithaca College students use their art to bring out their “roots, memories and identities” that stem from their latin heritage, as well as explore the “Latinx experience as young people” in America. The exhibit also displays works by Paloma Barhaugh-Bordas, the assistant professor of art at Ithaca College, a living example of “the contribution of Latinx people to higher education” in our country.
But these are just three of the several exhibits that will be open to visitors Friday night. The coming event includes several fully in-person shows, one window display and one exclusively virtual exhibit. Although one exhibit can only be seen online, the Hilton Garden Inn gallery is available both in person and in a virtual capacity for those who might miss the event.
At the onset of COVID-19, Ithaca galleries were forced to shut down. However, by June, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance was able to transition to virtual 3-D galleries with the help of an art space software called Kunstmatrix. When I asked Olivia Pastella, the Assistant Special Events Director at DIA, about the transition to online, she said: “We found Kunstmatrix to be a fantastic tool to build virtual exhibits and digitally present art that could not be hung or shown physically.”
Since then, the majority of galleries have returned and are open for visitors. Each gallery operates independently of each other and of the DIA, so waiting lines and procedures might be slightly different from one to the next during the event. Pastella has also seen the exhibits in person and assured me that each gallery is responsible for following New York State COVID-19 guidelines and “has done a great job at showing a safe space.”
For those wishing to attend in person, the DIA provides a walking guide on their website, numbering the exhibits. While the order of exhibits is not crucial, the guide establishes an efficient route from one exhibit to the next through the Commons.
For those who cannot make it to Gallery Night but are still interested in the exhibits, many of them will remain open independently throughout the month; their individual showing times can be found on each exhibit’s web page on the site.
Matthew Kassorla is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]