Friday, May 09, 2008

Saratoga's painted horses on display in NYC Museum 5/17/08

Painted horses make debut at Museum of Natural History

If you visit Manhattan this summer, you just might see a sight familiar from your jaunts in downtown Saratoga Springs last summer.
Seven of the “Horses Saratoga Style” fiberglass art pieces are being showcased outdoors at the American Museum of Natural History as part of the museum’s exhibit on “The Horse,” which opens May 17.
Four of the painted ponies stand on the plaza at the museum’s front entrance, which faces Central Park; one graces the gateway leading to Roosevelt Park at 81st Street and Columbus Avenue; and two are at the Weston Pavilion at Columbus Avenue and 78th Street, said Joel Reed, executive director of the Saratoga County Arts Council. They are: “Horse Power II” — painted by George Frayne for the Saratoga Automobile Museum; “Polo” — Frankie Flores’ creation for the Saratoga Polo Association; “Pony X Press” — The Times Union’s horse painted by Michael Lewandowski; “Horse of a Different Color” — another Flores work owned by Adirondack Trust Co.; “Starry Night” — created by artist Gerri Bowden for Courtyard Marriott;
“Paleo” — which Ida Pagano painted for Saratoga Sotheby’s International Realty; and
“Nocturnal Landscape” — owned by Alcove Marina in Schuylerville and painted by Heather Martin.
While thoroughbreds that race at Saratoga are well-traveled, the fiberglass ones are a little tougher to coax onto a truck. The horses themselves weigh only about 80 pounds but with their attached concrete bases weigh about 300 or 400 pounds, Reed said.
And the horses are all privately owned now, so they were located throughout Saratoga Springs, in Schuylerville and Albany.
Luckily for the museum’s movers, Bob Guay, owner of the Alcove Marina, offered to herd the horses to the marina so the movers only had to make one stop.
“I don’t know how Bob put them in his truck,” Reed said.
On Tuesday, the horses were loaded and shipped downstate.
“To load them into the movers’ van to go to New York, we used a bulldozer that Bob has,” he said. “Once they got to New York, they had five moving guys who were able to use straps and dollies to move them around.”
The horses were chosen for the exhibit after Reed sent the museum a calendar that pictured the horses. “They gave me a list of 10,” Reed said.
Of those, the owners of seven horses agreed to the necessary loan.
While they’re displayed, each horse is mounted to its concrete base with a marble plaque listing the horse’s name, the artist and owner.
Reed doesn’t know whether the museum operators plan to display an explanation of the horses and the project, but he hopes they’ll set out new maps that will describe the project and list the horses that are displayed both in the New York City and Saratoga areas.
The maps will be available here by the end of this month at the Arts Center and the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center downtown and are updated with the 31 horses from the 2007 and 2002 shows that will be on public view in Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville this summer.
The 34 horses from the 2007 show were displayed last summer on the sidewalks of Saratoga Springs and Schuylerville.
They were stored for the winter, and some are already back out, Reed said, including one in front of the Inn at Saratoga on Broadway. The rest will be back in the sun by the end of May, he said.
The exhibit in New York runs through Jan. 4, 2009, but the horses will be there only until the end of October and will leave earlier if an ice storm threatens, Reed said.
To see photos of the horses being loaded and set up in New York and for more information about the exhibit, visit

Painted fiberglass horses stand in front of the American Museum of Natural History on Wednesday.

Photo Gallery: Saratoga Horses Outside the AMNH

Seven life-size fiberglass horses, each over 6½ feet tall, were delivered to the American Museum of Natural History from the Saratoga County Arts Council in upstate New York on Wednesday, May 7, for display in conjunction with the Museum's upcoming exhibition The Horse, which opens to the public on Saturday, May 17.

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