Within the last weekend of October, Gallery 5 had the power to transform Downtown Schenectady into Lower Manhattan with their second art exhibit and sale: Showcase No. 2 – Fall for Art – A Collection of Local Art.”  Drawing in art enthusiasts and connoisseurs from across the Capital Region area and beyond. Downtown Schenectady became the epicenter of a cultural convergence. Against the backdrop of the city’s lively urban landscape, local artisans’ creations resonated like a compelling narrative, blurring conventional boundaries and igniting a dynamic exchange between creator and observer. 

Ottavia Huang with her artwork on display

Upon relocating from Taiwan in 2019 to support her family, Ottavia Huang turned to art as a means of acclimating herself to the scene and culture of her new life in the upstate New York area. Huang’s chosen medium is watercolor, and she draws inspiration from the landscapes that surround her.

“I’m always attracted to people and places,” said Huang. “Something about the place, and the character, and the vibe really draws me [in to] paint,” said Huang.

The pieces she submitted for the gallery showcase depict local settings, including North Pearl Street in Albany, Uncommon Grounds in Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, and the Vischer Ferry General Store in Vischer Ferry. Upon looking at her featured pieces together, one will note a consistent yellow theme that unifies these works together.

“Funny that you mention yellow, my last name is ‘Huang’, and in Chinese, it means ‘yellow’,” said Hwang about her artwork. 

Betsy Sandberg (middle), with VEBO FEBO

Anyone who is well versed in the Schenectady art acne might be closer to FEBO VEBO than they think. The chicken and crow duo, who prefer to keep their real identities anonymous, were among the few artists showcasing postmodern photography as their chosen medium. The concept of bringing this art project came to “VEBO” in a dream. 

“I’m in the dream with these weird things happening,” said “VEBO“. “I woke up and it was so vivid.”

The most expensive piece in this showcase was crafted by Christopher Pierce, whose “Sunflowers in Crimson Vase” oil painting carried a price tag of $16,000. Pierce estimated that he devoted approximately two months to completing this painting. One of the elements that elevated its value was the meticulously crafted frame, which not only encased the artwork but also featured hand-carved details and a lining of 24 karat gold.

Christopher Pierce with his “Sunflowers in Crimson Vase” (top middle)

“Price is based on size, and the complexity of the subject matter. I paint from life, I don’t work from photographs,” said Pierce.

Ron Suriano, owner of the local establishment Moisture Salon, has long been a fervent supporter of local artists. In addition to acquiring a piece titled “Power and Poise” from Kerry Dayton for his personal archives, Suriano also maintains an ongoing collaboration with artist Robilee Mcintyre, who was featured in the showcase. Mcintyre frequently customizes art specifically for the salon, which Suriano then offers to his clientele, endearingly dubbing the collection as the “Ronettes.”

Throughout the weekend, out of the 250 art pieces on display, 30 were sold, amounting to a total value of $17,600. Craig Petreikis, one of the founders of Gallery 5, confirmed there will be another pop up show in the spring but dates and locations have yet to be determined.

For some photos from the opening night of the art gallery, check out our photo gallery below