The opening of The School, a new arts space in Kinderhook, New York, by Jack Shainman Gallery
This past Saturday, the teeny-tiny town of Kinderhook, New York, located three hours north of New York City by car, was invaded by hundreds of New Yorkers dressed in their blackest finery for the opening of Jack Shainman Gallery's The School. What they found upon arrival was a three-story, 30,000-square-foot Federal Revival building dating from 1929, the former Martin van Buren High School, that in the past few years had been radically transformed to accommodate the presentation of contemporary art works. The transformation, under the direction of noted Spanish architect Antonio Jimenez Torrecillas, is a subtle triumph. The school was redesigned to include a large exhibition space with soaring 24-foot ceilings -- formerly the gymnasium--accompanied by traditional gallery spaces on the second floor -- transformed classrooms.
On view at The School, works by Nick Cave
The School opened with an exhibition and performance by Nick Cave, the noted Chicago-based and globally renowned sculptor, dancer, and performance artist, best known for his Soundsuits -- wearable fabric sculptures that are bright and whimsical, and sometimes take on otherworldly and Afro-Futurist sensibilities. The costumed dance performance staged in front of The School left us all wanting more, and so we followed the dancers as they made their way to huge tented areas in the back of the building, for photo ops and dancing, dining, and libations. A superb day in the country, for sure, but moreover an inspiring example of how artists and their presenters can take on places and spaces discarded by society and repurpose them wonderfully for new cultural practice.
Kinderhook alone is well worth the visit. It's a gorgeous little town that was settled in the 17th century -- and now it has a stunning exhibition space. Make a date to visit.
The School - Jack Shainman Gallery
25 Broad Street, Kinderhook, NY 12106
Gallery hours: Saturdays from 11am-5pm (through mid-August) and by appointment.
From a performance work by artist Nick Cave, at The School