Saturday February 23, 2013

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- The Hoosick Falls Armory Youth Center and Community Coalition, HAYC3, invites anyone interested to come to their Community Volunteer Day today beginning at 9 a.m., and once you've helped lay on a coat of paint come back next week for the opening of two galleries and the kickoff of the Music in Hoosick campaign.

HAYC3 outreach coordinator Jason Jensen welcomes people regardless of how much time they can commit today to working. Whether you have 20 minutes or all day, stop on by and help out.

"We've been doing a lot of work, we've transformed a lot of the downstairs space," Jensen said. "Not just us at HAYC3, but the entire community coming together for these community days (we're) not just saving this brick building but adding to and expanding our community."

All age groups are welcome at the event. Jensen recalled a moment at the earlier community day when he saw a third grader working to break down boxes while a person in their 70s painted a wall.

"It's really inspiring," Jensen said.

120 GALLERY 90

Saturday, March 2, is the opening of two shows in the newly christened 120 Gallery and Gallery 90 at HAYC3. The two galleries, named for the Hoosick Falls ZIP code, are fluid. Created out of the old shooting range, the galleries combined are approximately 96 feet by 12 feet, with a wheeled wall separating them. Depending on the relative sizes of shows in the galleries, whose complete names read "120 GALLERY 90" to signify how they are two parts of the same whole, the rooms' sizes can be adjusted to accommodate.


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The show in 120 Gallery, "Out of the Box," takes its name from the unofficial mantra of the last few weeks of HAYC3's development.

"The ideas for how the spaces in the armory are being used came from a community brainstorming session we had in the fall," Jensen said. "We got them together and pooled the most popular ideas and we were saying how some of the ideas were a little out of the box."

The show itself is a collection of vintage cigar boxes bought at auction and transformed by members of the Hoosick Artists Guild.

The artists transformed the boxes much in the way that the armory itself has been repurposed and given new life.

Gallery 90

The other exhibit is a collection of photographs by Shaftsbury, Vt., resident Kevin Bubriski. Bubriski began working with HACY3 through Jensen, who was a student of his at Green Mountain College in 2010.

Bubriski's collection is made up of older black and white photos from earlier in his 40-year career, and digital color photos collected over the last six years in Nepal, India and the Middle East. Some of the photos of India were taken earlier this year, and will be making their premiere with this new show.

"The most important photographs may be the earliest black and white work, but I am excited to see some of the India 2013 images displayed for the first time," Bubriski said.

Becoming part of the arts community

Jensen described living in Hoosick Falls as a strange experience for an artist. He felt like he was in the center of a region known for the arts, in a town full of artists, who had to travel outside of Hoosick Falls to show off their talent. HAYC3 is part of a concerted effort by the community to make Hoosick Falls the artistic hotspot Jensen and his colleagues know it can be.

He and his fiancée would look through the arts calendars to find shows to go to, but would rarely find anything in Hoosick Falls. Music in Hoosick is part of Jensen and HAYC3's work to provide a venue for local musicians to show off their talent. And to bring outside talent into Hoosick Falls to increase the town's music profile. Saturday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Owl's Nest (the HAYC3 music venue located in the armory) the band 3's Harmony will perform.

All musicians who perform at the Owl's Nest will be compensated, save those who agree to play for the Music in Hoosick festival in April. The proceeds raised during the festival will be funneled back into the program to help pay musicians during the rest of the year.

Contact Andrew Roiter at aroiter@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @Banner_Arts