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“Dallies” Exhibit Featured at the University Art Museum

By Daniel Meyers | October 24, 2022

“Brief space between breaths to finish one thing and anticipate another” Wall Art

Artist: Sara Magenheimer, Photo Credit: Daniel Meyers

At the University at Albany Art Museum, one is surrounded by a combination of mural-sized pieces, sculptures, film, video, and written works. A wall-to-wall art piece at the entrance of the museum reads “Brief space between breaths to finish one thing and anticipate another,” starting to the left of the observer’s point of view from the entrance and finishing to the right.

Another written piece, on the second floor, reads “LOL SOS,” across a sky-blue wall, from top to bottom.

These are just a few of the works on display in the museum’s semester-length exhibit, titled “Dailies,” highlighting the work of New York-based artist, filmmaker, poet and assistant professor of new media at SUNY Purchase Sara Magenheimer.

“LOL SOS” is a large-scale piece that is meant to exemplify the huge role that technology plays in our society. It is part of her “Sentences” (2022) series, along with “Brief space between breaths to finish one thing and anticipate another.” When looking up to the wall at these acronyms, it is a reminder of how technology, in a way, has become literally bigger than us.

Artist: Sara Magenheimer, Photo Credit: Daniel Meyers

The juxtaposition of “lol” and “SOS” together is intended to be ironic. It is Magenheimer’s commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic, meant to mask the fear and anxiety that so many are feeling due to the pandemic.

According to the Associate Curator for the Museum, Robert Shane, the staff chose Magenheimer’s work for an exhibition because they hope her work will reach a wide audience.

“Our student audience, audiences from New York City, and the larger art world,” Shane said.

UAlbany didn’t just choose Magenheimer, she chose them.

“The high ceilings and the cathedral-esque architecture presented opportunities for these mural-sized vinyl text pieces that she may not have been able to in a smaller gallery,” Shane said.

Aside from Magenheimer’s talent, the art exhibit is also important for students at UAlbany.

“I teach one course in art history and always bring my students at least twice for an exhibition. I think the long run gives people time, particularly here on campus to come back many times and really study the work,” Shane said. “We try to have a very diverse and inclusive program semester after semester in the hopes that students will find themselves reflected in the work, and if they don’t, to learn something new from the work. To learn about someone else's experience.”

During the spring 2023 semester, after Magenheimer’s exhibition is over, the museum plans to host a “student speak” event, led by Sydney Pennington, a class of 2023 Social Media and Student Outreach. According to Berly Brown, the Education and Public Engagement Coordinator for the museum, student speak isn’t being held this semester due to short staff and the fear that they won’t be able to support the event as a result.

According to Brown, the student-speak event “pulls themes and points from the exhibition for dialogue.”

“Dallies” opened on Aug. 22 and will run until Dec. 5. The University Art Museum is open weekdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and is located in the uptown campus near State Quad. Visit the University Art Museum website for more information.


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