In 2022, Art Omi commemorates 30 years with a slate of special events and conversations highlighting its legacy as a haven for the arts.
Recognized as one of the preeminent venues for contemporary arts in the region, Art Omi was founded in 1992, when 21 visual artists from 11 countries were invited to a month-long residency in a refurbished dairy farm. Since its founding, Art Omi’s residencies have expanded to include five distinct programs, serving architects, dancers, musicians, and writers, in addition to visual artists. Over 2000 artists from more than 100 countries have enjoyed residencies at Art Omi to date.
“While artist’s residencies are an established concept these days, it’s hard to overstate how visionary Art Omi’s approach was in 1992, when we welcomed our first cohort,” said Ruth Adams, Co-Executive Director. “From the outset, it was important to us to bring together not only artists, but a group that was intentionally diverse in every way we could think of, including career stage, geography, race and gender, style and medium. As is still the case today, this approach creates a wholly unique environment for creation and exploration. As a result, we’ve connected artists from all corners of the world, often resulting in the formation of lifelong collaborations and friendships with profound effects on the artists’ work and careers.”
Opened to the public in 1998, the Sculpture & Architecture Park at Art Omi now welcomes over 45,000 visitors per year to engage with the work of contemporary arts and architects over 120 acres of field and forest. Art Omi has exhibited artists and architects such as Jeffrey Gibson, Steven Holl, Dan Colen, Alicja Kwade, Olaf Breuning, LevenBetts, Howardena Pindell, and others.
“The Sculpture & Architecture Park has truly become one of the must-see attractions in the area, as well as the favorite park of so many of our local neighbors,” said Gavin Berger, Co-Executive Director. “It’s an honor to be considered a pillar among so many top-notch local arts organizations, and to feel so beloved by the greater Columbia County community.”
In the year ahead, Art Omi will commemorate the milestone through programs and events that highlight the organization’s work over the past three decades. These will include an Ecology Series, which will offer visitors guided opportunities to engage with the natural landscape of the Sculpture & Architecture Park.
This month is the debut of Art Omi Presents, a new conversation series exploring contemporary arts and architecture. Alumni from Art Omi’s accomplished residency and exhibitions program highlight their work, ideas, and collaborations. The series launches on January 20, 2021 with Art Omi Presents: Borders, Identity and Constructs in Architecture. Future participants will be announced at a later date.
Also in 2022, Art Omi will break ground at a new site in Chatham, New York. Art Omi Pavilions at Chatham will present the work of distinguished artists and collectors in a series of 18 standalone pavilions distributed over a scenic 190-acre site.
“The Art Omi: Pavilions project furthers Art Omi’s commitment to artists in all stages of their career,” noted Francis Greenburger, Founder and Chairman of Art Omi. “We see this as a means of safeguarding the legacy of an artist’s or collector’s vision, by providing a long-term presentation opportunity, designed and directed by the artists and collectors themselves.”
Art Omi: Pavilions at Chatham is planned to break ground this year and is expected to open to the public in 2024 / 2025.
Image: Terrence Musekiwa (Zimbabwe) welcoming visitors into his studio at Art Omi: Artists Open Studios in 2018.