Artists & Inspiration in the Wild to Be Unveiled at Adirondack Experience
Largest Permanent Exhibition Devoted to Adirondack Art in the World
Blue Mountain Lake, N.Y. – Adirondack Experience (ADKX) is excited to announce “Artists & Inspiration in the Wild,” the most comprehensive showing of the museum’s art and decorative collections in its history. The permanent exhibit showcases an inclusive and wide-reaching interpretation of Adirondack art across centuries – from the renowned artists such as Thomas Cole, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, Seneca Ray Stoddard and Rockwell Kent to the groundbreaking, such as Edna West Teall, Glenn Hill, Takeyce Walter and Niio Perkins. The exhibition will open to the public on July 1, 2023.
Over five years in the making, Artists & Inspiration in the Wild will feature more than 250 works acrossfour main galleries that illustrate how the natural features of the Adirondacks – light, forests, water, and mountains – have sparked the creative visions of diverse painters, sculptors and expert artisans. To further enhance the visitor experience, Artists & Inspiration in the Wild features innovative social interactives throughout the exhibit to offer visitors the opportunity to engage with the collection in new ways such as:
- A large ceiling projection based on works from the collection that introduce the four galley themes.
- Inspirational Meet the Artists videos, which show artists at work in their studios and out in the wild.
- Carefully composed Ambient Audioscapes of the natural sounds that relate to each gallery’s principal theme – from pattering rain drops to birds chirping or rustling leaves.
- Using physical sliders to change the season or time of day, visitors can use the Lighting a Landscape Painting to see how an artist creates mood.
- Welcome to My Studio provides a window into Adirondack artist Barney Bellinger’s studio space and invites visitors to enter the ADKX Art Lab, where visitors can make their own artwork inspired by the Adirondacks.
Each of the four natural elements is the driving force behind the creative works on display in each gallery. Pieces have been thoughtfully arranged to include intriguing context such as a Mohawk basket and a landscape painting that speak to the healing and peace of nature; an Adirondack chair and a cradleboard warning about climate change; and an 1880 painting and photograph that demonstrate technology’s impact on art. Works will range from an 12th century potsherd from an unknown Indigenous artist to an 1870s oil painting that served as an early visual recording of the Adirondack landscape to lavish dinner plates from the Great Camps, manuscripts from the ADKX Library, baskets that signified friendship and pottery and portraits that connect to contemporary issues of today.
“The art really speaks to how nature in the Adirondacks is such a powerful force in human creativity,” said Chief Curator, Laura Rice. “So many artists making work with different materials, in different time periods, from different perspectives, yet they all share this deep sense of connection to the Adirondack landscape. The results are stunning, especially when we bring these pieces together in one space.”
A few of the artists who will have work on display include:
- Barney Bellinger – A painter and sculptor, Bellinger’s work has evolved from customized motorcycles and cars to carved gold leaf signs to organic furniture built with natural materials from the forest. This self-taught artist gained his knowledge from books, inherited wisdom and immersing himself in the beauty of the Adirondacks. His work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Wildlife Art and appears in the permanent collections of the Orvis Company and the Smithsonian Institution; it is also widely sought after and collected privately.
- Carrie Hill – A Mohawk Basket Maker, Hill is Haudenosaunee from Akwesasne Mohawk Territory and owner of Chill Baskets. In 2014, she left her position at the Mohawk School in Hogansburg, NY to pursue her family tradition of weaving black ash splints and sweetgrass basket making full time. Her work has been sent all over the world including an entire collection representing the Haudenosaunee People for the U.S. Embassy in Swaziland, Africa.
- Takeyce Walter – A Jamaican native, award-winning contemporary American painter and art instructor, Walter currently resides in upstate New York. Working with oil paint and pastels, Walter creates paintings that present the landscape in all its glory—flowing rivers, majestic skies, and picturesque lakes. Her work has found homes in many private collections across the country and internationally, including local museum and hospital collections.
“The range and depth of regional art in this exhibition is something you would find in metropolitan galleries and we’re fortunate to share this comprehensive collection in the heart of the Adirondacks,” said Executive Director, David Kahn. “By viewing and interacting with the artists’ personal creative process, we hope visitors feel inspired and more connected to the Adirondacks in their own way.”
This exhibition was made possible in part by The Institute of Museum and Library Service, The National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York State Council on the Arts.
The Adirondack Experience is extremely grateful to the generous donors, foundations, and corporations who supported Artists & Inspiration in the Wild.
About Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake
Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region through interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and culturally rich collections in more than 24 historic and contemporary buildings on a 121-acre campus in the heart of the Adirondacks. The ADKX offers a broad range of programs and activities including special and permanent exhibitions, the 19,000-square-foot Life in the Adirondacks interactive exhibition, and an outdoor hiking and boating experience on Minnow Pond. ADKX offers daily activities with artisans-in-residence, workshops, lectures, nature walks, family and educational programs, and signature events like the Rustic Furniture Fair, FallFest, and the Adirondack Artisan Festival. The museum is supported in part with donations from the general public, with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. For additional information, call 518-352-7311 or visit www.theADKX.org.