ALBANY CENTER GALLERY ANNOUNCES NEW LOCATION
Gallery’s new home as part of $10 million Arcade Building renovation, keeps ACG in Downtown Albany for years to come
ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 4, 2016) — Albany Center Gallery (“ACG”), the Capital Region gallery at the forefront of showcasing local and regional visual arts for 40 years, has announced it will relocate to the historic Arcade Building (the Arcade, 488 Broadway, Albany), concluding a nearly two-year-long process to find a new location.
The 75,000 sq. ft. building, owned by Fairbank Properties, recently completed a $10 million renovation that includes 60 new apartments. In addition to ACG, the Arcade is also home to the second location for Stacks Espresso Bar. The Arcade had previously been vacant for years, despite its prime location in Downtown Albany. ACG, founded by Les Urbach in 1977, was first housed in the Capital District Psychiatric Center. The move to the Arcade marks an important chapter in ACG’s 40-year history. ACG will occupy approximately 2,050 sq. ft. of space.
“The Arcade, across from Jim Dinapoli Park, symbolizes a new era in Downtown where traditional buildings can be put to new contemporary and modern uses. This will create a home in which artists will be proud to showcase their art, while bringing a new energy to an underutilized landmark,” said Tony Iadicicco, executive director of Albany Center Gallery.
Iadicicco noted that the new location will open opportunities to better connect with Downtown Albany’s newest residents and help bridge the arts corridor to other development projects including, the recent Corning Riverfront Park upgrades, proposed Palace Theatre expansion, soon-to-be-completed Albany Capital Center, and Times Union Center.
“We are proud to welcome Albany Center Gallery as an anchor destination to the building and the emerging Maiden Lane corridor. There should be more collaboration to draw residents and businesses back to downtown,” said David Sarraf, manager of Fairbank Properties.
ACG began to explore a new location starting in 2014 due to a 10-year lease with the United Group ending in November 2016. “We toured over two dozen properties and had offers to move to places such as Troy and Schenectady. We thought it was important to stay in Downtown Albany,” said Brian Tromans, board member and chair of the ACG’s Relocation Committee. “The United Group has been very supportive throughout our lease. It was not an easy decision to leave 39 Columbia Street, but the Arcade will bring a new chapter for the Gallery’s creative history.”
“We are thrilled that Albany Center Gallery is remaining in the District,” said Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. “The importance of the arts in our community cannot be overstated, and the Gallery remaining here means the growing number of people who live, work, and play in Downtown will continue to have access to this world-class amenity.”
“The Board of Directors, Relocation Committee and community really came together to present many generous options for the Gallery. ACG took its time to identify a space that would offer the qualities our artists and art patrons have requested time and again, as well as work with our budget,” said Jessica Mansmith, president of the ACG Board of Directors. “It was not a hasty decision.”
ACG has sustained its mission and presented high-quality exhibits throughout years of weathering economic uncertainties. The move comes with a savings on rent in the developing area, in which ACG is a cultural anchor. ACG continues to look to different partnerships opportunities within the City of Albany.
“Working with the leaders of the Albany Center Gallery to find a suitable new home in Albany was a priority of my administration because we understand that the Gallery has long been one of the anchors of Albany’s arts community,” said Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “That they have found a home in the heart of the Downtown arts district, the City’s newest walkable neighborhood, is good news for all who care about the arts, the Downtown, and the future economic well-being of our City.”
Not only does Albany Center Gallery exhibit visual art, but it also creates job opportunities and partnerships.
“Albany Center Gallery is incontestably a critical component of Albany’s culture, amenities, vibrancy and downtown- retail environment,” said Sarah Reginelli, president of Capitalize Albany Corporation, which assisted ACG in its property search. “We are very pleased they are staying in the City of Albany and were able to find the right fit for their new home at a location that is poised for success in downtown’s growing retail market.”
ACG is able to sustain its programs because of private community support and from arts-focused development activities such the Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts, the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region’s Capital City Fund, Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and NYSCA.
In anticipation of the move, ACG is increasing fundraising efforts to help offset the cost of the move.
“We are launching a special ’40 for 40 Club’ campaign in October to honor our 40th anniversary and raise funds for the move. Our Board of Directors has pledged to match up to $8,000 in donations from the community,” said Kevin Dubner, vice president of the ACG Board of Directors. The 40th Anniversary campaign is in conjunction with the Gallery’s Annual Gala, its largest fundraiser of the year, to be held at the Renaissance Albany Hotel on Saturday, Nov. 19. “We hope the community will come out and help us celebrate these important milestones,” added Dubner.
“It’s an exciting time for the Gallery and we can’t wait to invite the community into ACG’s new home in Downtown Albany,” said Iadicicco.