Featured in this episode of AHA! George Dirolf and his many mediums, independent curator Pedro Alonzo on “New Horizons”, and finally a performance by Saratoga’s own American Irish music group Drank the Gold.
George Dirolf cannot choose just one medium. Working out of his Loudonville, NY studio Dirolf spends his time oil painting, charcoal drawing, printmaking, and engraving wood. Starting with small scale creations his work gradually blossoms into large scale works of art. Dirolf taught high school art at Bethlehem Central, giving him a reason to be proficient in every type of art medium. Dirolf was inspired to work with as many mediums as possible, not being able to focus and refine a single one no matter how hard he tried. Pastels, charcoal on mylar, a circa 1889 printing press, and wood engravings are just a few things you will find in his studio. Dirolf describes himself as falling in and out of love with his artwork, this helps him to push the boundaries and discover new ways to create and appreciate art.
This Boston-based independent curator has traveled all over the world, with art always taking him to new heights. Pedro Alonzo is a curator that has decided to break from tradition. He has never managed a collection or worked a full-time job at a museum. Yet he has had made an impact on the realm of public art. Alonzo believes in bringing art to public spaces, placing it in unexpected areas for all to see. Alonzo worked as a curator in Mexico and recalls being a child who got to experience the rich history of the public art there. Public art was and still is an influential art form in Mexican culture.
Bringing art outdoors allows the public to experience art even when they don’t plan for it, increasing exposure and provoking new audiences. Alonzo collaborated with the Trustees and Doug Aitken on the project “New Horizons”. Taking inspiration from his love of breaking art out of museums and introducing it to the outdoors, New Horizons consisted of a giant reflective balloon that traveled across Massachusetts in the summer of 2019. The infamous balloon was a giant mobile sculpture that engaged with the public in special ways. Starting its flight in Martha’s Vineyard, the balloon traveled north to west across the state of Massachusetts. The balloon had no limitations when flying from property to property, with speakers and musicians following. This created an atmosphere at every site that was so unique, letting the public experience art in an entire new way.
Drank the Gold
Based in Saratoga Springs, NY American Irish music group Drank the Gold, perform North Atlantic dance tunes and Folk songs. The pair perform at the studio, singing their song “What Will We Do” from their album Sipped the Silver. Listening to this duo will transport you into the world of Folk music, or even into a different time period.