Lower Adirondack Regional Art Council displays College students’ original artworks

Isabelle Sanderson

The Lower Adirondack Regional Art Council (LARAC) gallery in Glens Falls, N.Y typically fills its two rooms with the artwork of established local artists. This past month, the gallery was instead filled with the work of student artists, including Lilia Robinowitz ’22 and Ella Napack ’23, who both study art at the College. 

They were exhibited as a part of the rotating, annual 120 Intercollegiate Regional Show. Each year, one of three nearby galleries hosts the exhibition: LARAC, Saratoga Arts, or The Arts Center of the Capital Region. Students enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students at schools located within 120 miles from that year’s gallery are invited to submit up to six art pieces to be considered for inclusion in the exhibition. The exhibition ran from Feb. 25 to March 20.

Lilia Robinowitz took a picture of one of the four prints that she exhibited at LARAC gallery. (Photo courtesy of Lilia Robinowitz.)

Former LARAC Gallery Curator Jenny Hutchinson started the 120 Intercollegiate Show in cooperation with the two other participating galleries.  In an interview with the Record, Executive Director and Curator of LARAC Gallery Philip Casabona said that before the pandemic, this show attracted 130 to 150 attendees every year. While that number has dipped slightly in recent years, attendance is now increasing again. Considering that many students will use the art they submit to the gallery as part of their final theses in school, only 25 percent of the exhibited artwork is for sale.

Casabona said the community created around this exhibition is crucial. He hopes to inspire young artists to pursue the arts professionally by giving them opportunities to engage with the professional art world. Casabona said the gallerys mission is “to welcome young people, show them [that] there is a way to pursue art as a career.”  

In an interview with the Record, Napack spoke to the uniqueness of this opportunity. “It’s rare for student artwork to be put on display at a public gallery,” she said. She was eager to apply due to the prestige of the LARAC exhibition and the unique opportunity it presented.

One of the artworks by Napack displayed in LARAC: Collage on dollhouse titled The Strange Case. (Photo courtesy of Ella Napack.) 

Even though opportunities like this are unusual, Robinowitz discussed the role the Williams Art Department plays in circulating these opportunities and making them known to students. “I have loved art and the act of making my whole life, and I am so grateful to have been able to integrate this part of myself into my life here at Williams,” she said. 

Casabona said he had hoped to select a pair of jurors who were both reliably professional in their assessments of the art and could relate to students. In order to achieve this, Casabona made an effort to select jurors who studied art in college and displayed their artwork on the front wall of the gallery so students could relate to the jurors own artistic practices. The 198 pieces submitted by students in 2022 were narrowed down to 68 by jurors Jon Segna and Anthony Richichi. Segna is a local artist working in Glens Falls, N.Y., who studied art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. Richichi is a current illustrator, author, and painter living in upstate New York. 

Casabona said he wants exhibitions such as the 120 Intercollegiate Regional Show and the continued display of student work to allow students to learn from each other. “That’s what’s really exciting for me,” he said. “[To] see all our students come and [see] how excited they get to be in the gallery, see their work up, and see what the other students are doing.”