Several years ago, Chip Fasciana and Mark Gregory saw a niche in their home town of Albany, New York. They noticed that there was limited gallery space to accommodate the incredible number of talented artists in the area. In an attempt to remedy this, Chip and Mark started hosting one-night art shows in vacant spaces around town.
Among other things, they converted a soon-to-be cheesecake shop into a temporary gallery to display the work of 10 artists. Entitled "The Cheesecake Show", many people attended despite the sub-zero degree temperature. Many in attendance seemed to be thirsting for more. Soon thereafter, Chip and Mark were invited by Tommy Watkins to display their artwork in a local clothing shop that was converted into a temporary gallery space for a one-night only art show. The turnout was tremendous.
With the success of these shows, Mark, Tommy, and Chip decided to team up and form what is now the Albany Underground Artists (AUA).
Their first project as the AUA was "The Bakery Show". By painting and cleaning a vacant bakery on Lark Street in Albany, they were able to transform a dormant vacant space into an outstanding venue for a one-night art exhibition. The space was filled with new and compelling art from over 15 local artists. With the help of some media attention, a crowd of over 1500 people attended the event. Many loved it, some claiming it was "the best thing they had ever done in Albany." Artwork was viewed and sold, and there was a general sense that we lived in a much more hip place than what people may have previously thought. The crowd consisted of people of all ages and backgrounds. Overall, it was a great success for Albany, and the AUA.
Compounding upon that success, the AUA soon went on to host the even larger and more successful "Bank Show," held in the vacant Home Savings Bank on North Pearl Street in downtown Albany. This show continued the upward momentum for the AUA and the city was now supporting their efforts. Once again a dormant vacant space was cleaned up and transformed into a temporary gallery for a one-night only art show. Over 20 artists had multiple works on display and with the larger space came an even larger crowd and more media attention.
The Bank Show success led the AUA straight to West Chelsea in New York City where yet another one-night only art show was held called "One-Night Stand".
Next is "The Institute Show" to be held at The Albany Institute of History and Art this September. This represents a culmination of great time, energy, and effort by not only Chip Fasciana, Mark Gregory and Tommy Watkins, but the many artists and patrons who have helped Albany Underground Artists with our cause throughout the past two years. We sincerely hope we can continue providing opportunities for artists and art-lovers alike. We continue to look for new and interesting projects to work on, and are greatly indebted to the community as a whole for all of its enthusiasm and creativity that helps fuel our success.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in our shows. Your interest in the visual arts and culture contributes to a healthier community at large.