Patrick Robideau’s “Hidden Room” Slated at Jamestown Community College

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Jamestown Community College

“Hidden Room,” a large-scale installation by Niagara Falls-based artist Patrick Robideau, opens in October at Jamestown Community College’s Weeks Gallery.

The opening reception, from 6–8 p.m. on October 12, will feature remarks by Robideau in the Weeks Reception Hall, located adjacent to the gallery in Sheldon Center. Refreshments will be served.

The exhibition is on display until December 6. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call 338–1301.

The gallery is located in Sheldon Center, 161 James Avenue, on JCC’s Jamestown Campus.

Robideau has been building “Hidden Room” for the past six months.

The elaborate architectural structure is being reassembled in the 1600-square foot gallery.

According to Weeks Gallery director and curator Patricia Briggs, “Hidden Room” presents an immersive environment. As viewers enter the gallery, they will walk directly into Robideau’s construction.

The surreal world Robideau conjures in this work is inspired by memories of his childhood bedroom, a hidden crawl space, and an attic room where he played as a child.

“In Robideau’s evocation of hidden places and the secret world of play, he presents a convincing representation of the natural world, so much like our own, yet somehow very different,” notes Dr. Briggs.

“Here, the rules of reality are displaced by rules of dreams. Walking or crawling through the passages of the two-story house-like structure, viewers peer into sepia-toned rooms where meticulously reconstructed objects appear to shift in space and move from one story of the structure to the next.”

Like successful 20th century surrealists René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico, Robideau presents such a convincing view of an alternative dream world in “Hidden Space” that one’s sense of grounding in the real world is shaken by it, suggests Dr. Briggs.

“Hidden Space” celebrates three decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships and is part of a collaborative program linking State University of New York campus galleries and museums with the New York Foundation for the Arts.

“NYFA created a traveling exhibition, ‘Artists as Innovators: Celebrating Three Decades of New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships’ featuring artists such as Barbara Kruger, Ida Applebroog, Sanford Biggers, Ross Bleckner, and Tara Donovan, who have benefited from the foundation’s support,” Dr. Briggs notes.

The NYFA exhibition traveled to several galleries, promoting the work of FYFA and NYSCA while sharing the art of major artists.

“We wanted to invite one of the region’s top artists to create something marvelous, something that might have been produced for a New York City gallery or museum, something that would really shine,” says Dr. Briggs. “I am pleased that Robideau came to my attention through NYFA. The organization is doing exactly what it should be doing: promoting great art across the state.”

Robideau earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at SUNY Purchase. He has exhibited his work at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, the University of Buffalo Art Gallery, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, SPACES in Cleveland, OH, the Carnegie Art Center in Tonawanda, and the Castellani Art Museum at Niagara University.

Robideau will conduct an artist’s tour of the exhibition from noon to 1 p.m. on October 17. Dr. Briggs will present a program about installation art from 6–7:30 p.m. on November 1.

All Weeks Gallery programs are free and open to the public.