5.21 / OMI International Arts Center: Celebrates 25th Anniversary, May 28


Omi Celebrates 25th  Anniversary


Summer Fields Opening Exhibition

May 28 with Artist Talks and Family Fun

Folkert de Jong, Freya Powell, Rob Fischer, Andreas Saava and Charlie Friedman

May 28, 12-4 PM 

A gang of bronze squirrels, a working zeotrope and a floating glass house are among the new works being inaugurated in The Fields Sculpture Park as Omi International Arts Center celebrates the opening of its 25th Anniversary Summer Exhibition. The opening will be held Saturday, May 28 from 12-4 PM in The Fields and in Omi’s Charles B. Benenson Gallery.

This year’s annual summer exhibition includes new works in The Fields by Charley Friedman, Folkert de Jong, Freya Powell, Rob Fischer and Andreas Savva. Visitors will also get a special in-progress preview of Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder’s performative architecture piece, ReACTOR, which will open in the Omi Architecture Field later this summer. Read more about the artists and their work below.

The 25th Anniversary opening celebration offers creative exploration for all, including a circuit of artist talks in The Fields with the exhibiting artists, tractor rides through the park, arts activities for children and light refreshments. Admission to Omi and the opening celebration is free and and open to the public.





In the gallery, Omi presents Looking at the Sun, an extensive exhibition of works by multi-media artist Charley Friedman, featuring prints, drawings, and Science Project, a mechanical sculpture of whirling beach balls. The gallery exhibition playfully extends out into the fields, where Friedman has crafted a gang of more than 75 mischievous bronze squirrels for The Fields Sculpture Park.

Friedman’s indoor work will be on display through July 24, with an opening reception and artist talk Saturday June 18 at 4 PM in the Benenson Visitors Center. Squirrel Gang is a permanent acquisition by Omi, and the bronze rodents will explore the fields for years to come.





Dutch sculptor Folkert de Jong‘s body of work consists of themes dealing with war, greed, power and tragedy. In the four large-scale bronze works on exhibition at Omi, recognizable objects begin to emerge through the colorful patinas and unrefined surface treatments.

Armor, machine guns, a severed head and a pointed camera-with-telescope all seem to coexist in an almost story-tale metaphor for aggressive absurdity. These statuesque, raw, and malevolently evocative sculptures react in conversation with one another and within the landscape.





Freya Powell‘s Active Turn: Home is a fully functioning steel zoetrope, operating to create the illusion of motion by spinning a successive set of still images. For the zoetrope’s exhibition at Omi, Powell created a site-specific reel that includes imagery of a galloping horse in different stages of motion among our rolling landscape of The Fields Sculpture Park. This subject matter reflects back to the history of photographic animation, reminiscent of photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s classic work The Horse in Motion.

In a more localized and personal context, this image reel assists in disclosing the rich equestrian and farming history of Omi, as well as offering a reflection from a period Powell’s childhood she spent living in Ghent.

Throughout the duration of the installation a series of collaborations with artists selected by Freya Powell and Omi’s curator will be invited to create new works for use in zoetrope.





Inspired by the artist’s visits to Omi, Rob Fischer‘s Omi Pond House is a site-specific sculptural installation created in response to the distinct environment of Omi’s pond that activates the aquatic space at Omi for the first time.

The surrounding landscape is paramount to Fischer’s work. This unique location (quite literally on Omi’s pond) requires the viewer to enter the structure by stepping onto a ramp that extends over the pond, and then into the work. The aesthetic principles in Fischer’s modular structure are brilliantly transposed using screen-printed window panels, creating a complex spectrum of colors and arrangements.





Andreas Savva‘s rope interventions jump and grab at tree branches, leaves and rocks. Each connecting point of synthetic rope is carefully selected, defining the pace in which these works exist through Savva’s language of rope as a linear medium. The artist will spend several weeks on-site, constructing an installation in The Fields Sculpture Park.

Savva’s work in the Fields explores the oval as an abstract shape, while inviting a playful perspective on the political context of the “oval.” Knots and ties of bright orange rope traverse a 30-foot wooded area at the edge of the Fields, creating a massive bowl-like net structure punctuated by rhythmic wooden patterns that subtly reference train tracks and the region’s transportation history.


Omi International Arts Center and the Fields Sculpture Park


Omi International Arts Center is a not-for-profit arts organization offering world-class public exhibitions, arts events, education programming, and international residency programs for visual artists, writers, translators, musicians, and dancers.

Situated in the beautiful Hudson Valley in Ghent, New York, Omi’s grounds are comprised of 120 acres of rolling farmland, wetlands and woodlands, The Fields Sculpture Park presents the works of internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists, offering the unique possibility to experience a wide range of large-scale works in a singular outdoor environment. The Fields offers nearly eighty works of art on view – with several pieces added or exchanged every year.

Omi International Arts Center, 1405 County Route 22, Ghent, NY 12075



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