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“Rest Area” A Solo Exhibition of work by Rob O’Neil
May 5, 2018 - June 8, 2018
May 5 – June 8, 2018
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 5th, 4 – 6 pm.
This event is FREE and open to the public.
Gallery Hours: Tues – Fri 12 – 5 pm, Sat 12 – 4 pm
Review online: Albany Times Union
Rob O’Neil finds beauty in unexpected places, particularly Rest Stops, found along highways all through the country. He is fascinated by their variety in size and amenities: some highlight past history; some are peaceful settings with gardens, and are family friendly; others are mall-like, selling goods; some are simple with only a picnic table and a trashcan. They are necessary places, all sharing a common goal: “…off-road spaces with provisions for emergency stopping and resting by motorists for short periods” (A Policy on Safety Rest Areas for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, 1958). After earning his undergraduate degree, O’Neil took a job that had him driving a box truck across the Eastern United States several times a year. Rest areas became a vital part of his driving experience. He says: “Like a draftsman’s line across a white sheet of paper, highways and interstates paint sweeping arcs and pin-straight lines across the landscape. Multiple midpoints exist on these lines; they’re called rest areas, travel plazas, picnic areas, pit stops, or welcome centers. Even with the constant drone of traffic, these are areas of comfort and serenity. There is a structure and plan that makes sense; we breathe, and our weary bodies relax a little bit. These places are interesting and useful physically, sociologically, and emotionally.”
Rob O’Neil earned his BFA with a concentration in photography from the University of Akron, Ohio and his MFA in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His work has been exhibited at many regional galleries and museums, including Esther Massry Gallery; Albany Center Galleries; Albany Institute of History and Art; Opalka Gallery; University at Albany Museum; and Albany International Airport Gallery, all located in Albany, NY; The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY; Saratoga Arts, Saratoga Springs, NY; and the Schenectady Museum, Schenectady, NY. His work has also traveled to many universities throughout the country, including Siena College, University of Akron, Florida International University, University of Nevada, and the University Museum Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. His awards include a NYFA Special Opportunity Stipend Grant; numerous College Professional Development Grants, as well as an Artists and Scholars Grant, both through the College of St. Rose. He is a three-time recipient of a Mohawk Hudson Regional Purchase Award, one for the University at Albany University Museum, and two for the Schenectady Museum. He currently lives in Albany, NY and is an Assistant Professor of Photography at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.
This exhibition is funded in part by The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, Adirondack Studios, The Community Exchange Foundation, a Professional Development Grant through the College of St Rose, and theNew York State Council on The Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Courthouse Gallery hours during exhibitions are Tuesday through Friday 12 – 5 pm, Saturday 12 – 4 pm, and all other times by appointment. The Courthouse Gallery is located at the side entrance of the Old County Courthouse, corner of Canada and Lower Amherst Streets, Lake George, NY.