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Area native returns to FM as guest curator

‘Powers of Ten’ exhibit on display through Dec. 11

October 17, 2009
By KAYLEIGH KARUTIS, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - A Gloversville native and Fulton-Montgomery Community College alumnus has returned to his alma mater, this time as guest curator of an art exhibition.

Torrence Fish, a 36-year-old Saratoga Springs resident, was born in Gloversville and attended Gloversville schools. His path to becoming the senior art exhibition preparator for the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga began at FMCC, where he discovered his love of art.

"I had always doodled and played around with art," Fish said. "But at FM, I took a drawing class and I liked it, then I took a design class and I liked that too, and it just kind of snowballed from there."

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Zach Subar

Exhibit curator Torrance Fish, center, and Troy artist Warren MacMillan stand at a reception Friday for “The Powers of Ten,” which will be featured at Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Perrella Gallery through Dec. 11.

Fish, who also is an artist, went on to receive a degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam and a master's of art in sculpture from the University at Albany. He has been at the Tang for nearly five years, he said.

Fish credited FM art instructor Joel Chapin and former FM professor Al Gessinger with helping him discover his love of art.

"They were both just wonderful," he said. "[Chapin] and I kept in touch over the years and I pop in to say hi occasionally."

It was during one of those visits several years ago that Fish proposed the idea of basing an exhibit at the Perrella Gallery at FMCC on a film he saw while at the college called "The Powers of Ten." The film is about nine minutes long and begins by focusing on a couple in a park. It zooms out by a power of 10 every 10 seconds until a view of the solar system is visible, then reverses and zooms in until the viewer is taken into a single human cell.

The show opened Friday and will run until Dec. 11. As curator of the event, Fish selected the 10 artists whose work appears in the exhibit and the way in which their art is being displayed. He said the fact that it's the 10th anniversary of the Perrella Gallery's opening makes the exhibition particularly apt.

"It was an intriguing film for me," he said. "I like the idea of looking at the things we see every day in a different way, and how that turns them into completely new things."

Chapin said he's proud of the progress Fish has made since leaving FMCC. He pointed to the Tang's reputation across the country as a premier museum and teaching facility as evidence of Fish's success.

"It's very rewarding to see that spark start," he said. "It makes me very proud."

Chapin said Fish's concept and design for the exhibit surpassed his expectations.

"It's very thorough and professional, and the theme couldn't be better," he said.

The Perrella Gallery at FMCC is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with extended hours to 9 p.m. on Thursday. It is closed weekends and holidays. For more information, call the gallery at 762-4651, Ext. 4112.

Kayleigh Karutis covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at



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