HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- As part of their mission to build community and promote the arts around their town, the Hoosick Armory Youth Center and Community Coalition (better known as HAYC3) has invited Hoosick and Hoosick Falls residents of all ages to join in a community exhibition of photographs taken around town, hoping to fill the walls of their 120gallery90 exhibit space with images that show all the details and facets of life in Hoosick.
Opening this Friday, June 20, at 7 p.m. with a reception that will include music from Bennington cover band Funk in the Trunk, the Hidden Hoosick exhibition will give amateur and professional Hoosick photographers the chance to display and possibly sell their framed images of the town, whether or not they have any experience with professional photography.
"This show is really of the people, by the people and for the people," said Deborah Alter, HAYC3's creative director. "Now, with digital technology, photography is something that everyone can do. Even a fairly young child can take a camera out and shoot some stuff."
As long as the photo was taken in Hoosick by a resident of the town, it qualifies for the show. Alter says the gallery space in the HAYC3 Armory, which used to be the armory's rifle range, can hold hundreds of photographs.
"I would love to see them stacked like the Louvre, just filling the walls," she said.
As of the deadline on Monday, Alter says they have received a solid range of photographs, more than 50 so far, and she expects a few more late entries to trickle in.
The idea for the Hidden Hoosick show started after the gallery hosted a successful show of local artist Aaron Buzzinski's paintings, which showed subjects around the town. Alter said they realized that the gallery visitors really wanted to see art they could relate to, and then they realized they could also invite everyone to contribute.
"I know a lot of people, my mom included, have been looking around town recently and taking their cameras out," said Hoosick native Ayla Graney, home for the summer from Endicott College, where she studies visual communications and graphic design.
Graney said photography is one of her hobbies, and she is considering several photographs from her archive to submit for the show, including a dramatic head-on shot of Hoosick horses in pasture.
"I think it is definitely getting people involved. They're seeing things that they didn't even know were around here," Graney said. "I know people had no clue that these horses are up there. You can't see them from the road. This project is showing people all these cool little things that we have around here that aren't always visible."
Alter says she named the show "Hidden Hoosick" in hopes of encouraging people to discover these unnoticed parts of the town.
"There's so much that's different about Hoosick," Alter said.
For Graney and many of the show's other photographers, the Hidden Hoosick exhibition will mark their first time displaying their art in a gallery, and possibly their first time selling artwork that they created. This opportunity has also turned into a learning process for many, as the photographers are required to frame and price their works on their own. A former high school art teacher, Alter said that she always found it very difficult to grade her student's artwork, and pricing art can be just as daunting.
Graney said the question of pricing has been intimidating for her and other exhibit artists she knows.
"I'll have to talk to some of the people that have been doing this for longer," she said. "I have no clue what to expect.'
Each photographer will get to keep 75 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their work, and the other 25 percent will go towards HAYC3's growing community arts program.
"We hope that a lot of people buy stuff," said Alter, "not because of the money so much, but so that people realize that you can buy art locally to put it on your wall at home -- you don't have to go buy something made in China at Walmart."
If you go ...
What: Hidden Hoosick Community Photo Exhibition
When: Opening reception at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 20
Where: 120gallery90 at the HAYC3 Armory, 80 Church St., Hoosick Falls, N.Y.