(still) life

Jamie Hankin’s photographs will be on display in the gallery from June 28th - July 22nd.

When I first saw Mr. Hankin’s photographs from his Vanitas Series, they took my breath away. My first thought on seeing them, was Dutch Masters meets scientific photography of a research specimen. They are lush and detailed. The body of work showed all the stages of a flower, or fruit or vegetable, from the unopened bud, to the dying flower whose petals were falling away.

In fact, these photographs are intended to evoke the Dutch genre of Vanitas painting, in which movement and entropy are frozen in time to preserve beauty or youth and illustrate the concept of Vanitas, or the transience of life and beauty and the certainty of death . These images also capture the sense of Memento Mori, the practice of reflecting on mortality and the transient nature of life. This inevitability of death is exemplified in the wilting and dying flowers in one image next to those in full bloom in another.

Taken together the photographs are beautiful and thought provoking, and leave a lasting image in your mind’s eye and your imagination.

We hope you can stop by and enjoy the show.


Featured Artist: Two Tree Studios Allison Samuels

Allison Samuels, founder of Two Tree Studios, uses minimalist design and fine craftsmanship to create attractive and functional objects for the home. Each piece is made with longevity and durability in mind, and is hand-carved, sanded, and finished for a lifetime of good use.

Working in her Brooklyn studio, she uses wood from sustainable sources and employs all natural finishes. She brings her sawdust to local gardens for composting and uses reclaimed wood for her utensils.

Why we love Allison’s work

We admire her appreciation of nature and her respect for the unique properties of the raw material, keeping the wood true to its natural state. Her attention to detail is apparent in the inclusion of small maple inlays in her black walnut boards. We agree with Allison that beauty enhances the meaning of everyday life and that functional objects can also be beautiful.

Gail’s tips for cutting boards

  1. Use one side of the board for cutting and turn it over when you use it for display.

  2. Use butcher block oil or food-grade mineral oil monthly to keep the wood conditioned and prevent it from drying out. Some people prefer a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil, which can be purchased or made at home.

The Industrial (R)Evolution

In the mid-1700s a series of events transformed Europe and, subsequently, the New World from a primarily agrarian economy to one in which tools and machinery gave rise to the factory system of mass production and automation.

Initially, production of textiles was the dominant industry and the first to use the modern production methods of the time. In the decades that followed, new manufacturing methods were used to produce steel, chemicals, cement, plate glass, paper, vehicles, and most of the commodities used in daily life.

The Industrial Revolution was a major turning point in Western history and it affected almost every aspect of society. Historians and economists say that it paved the way for a sustained increase in population growth and standard of living that extended into the 19th and 20th centuries.

Over the ensuing years, as business waxed and waned, many of these large factories—and the items they produced—were abandoned and left to be reclaimed by nature. Some were renovated and evolved to be repurposed for various uses. We’ve chosen this theme for our first major show at Pause Gallery in homage to our home in the historic building that housed the Troy Record newspaper for more than a century.

Industrial (R)Evolution features photography and sculpture by ten visual artists, featuring urban exploration, antique and abandoned vehicles, and objects using reclaimed materials. These diverse works exemplify the beauty that can be found in reclamation, and even in decay.

Featured artists

Photography: Ray Felix, Julie Herman, Karen Johnson, Karen Osborne, Brittany Quackenbush, Josh Snitkoff, Lou Snitkoff, Ralph Stark

Sculpture: Richard Haining, Diane Segal

October, 2018

Community vs. Economy

Starting a new business has been an education unto itself.

Last month we learned that Pause Gallery is part of the "creative economy." Although the term was coined in 2001 we've only recently become aware of it, and its use to describe a system in which value derives from new, imaginative qualities rather than more traditional financial and human resources.

As collectors of art and fine crafts, we had long considered ourselves part of a "creative community," the viability of which depends upon those who admire and collect as well as those who imagine and create.

One of the over-arching objectives for Pause is to grow this community in the Capital Region by offering the work of talented individuals in a setting that is accessible and welcoming to a broad range of individuals and their respective budgets and tastes.

Along our journey to launch the Gallery, we've also learned that our artists and craftspeople have been incredibly supportive of our efforts. We've come to know them personally and we are grateful to them for their encouragement, and for trusting us with the images and objects they create. 

We find that the human connotation of "community" is more satisfying and resonates with us more than the concept of "economy." However, if its role in the creative community of the Capital Region makes Pause part of the creative economy, we're fine with that too.   



And So it Continues, v2.0


So close and yet...

Things continue to move along at Pause Gallery, though we're at the point where we've encountered some inevitable delays. Major items to complete before we move in are: 1)counter tops, and 2)bathroom flooring so we're able to have a functioning lavatory. (Details, details.)

We continue to receive deliveries of artwork. Most of what we'll have on hand for our opening has already arrived, though we're expecting ceramics tomorrow, watercolors on Saturday, and cast glass next Wednesday. More photography will arrive later this month.

Track heads and pendants are installed, along with recessed lights in the soffits over the shelving and over our work area toward the rear. A jewelry case will go next to the short wall and that should be delivered in a few days. Pedestals are due to arrive from Colorado tomorrow. Audio system is installed (thanks, Josh!) and internet service is not far behind. Lots of logistics required to pull this all together.

Shelving will be infinitely adjustable so we can accommodate 3D work of different sizes and create visual interest beyond the straight lines.

We're still gunning for July 18th as "Opening Day," which will make the next two weeks VERY busy! Our ribbon cutting is scheduled for July 26 at 4pm and our Grand Opening weekend will be July 27-29, beginning with Troy Night Out on Friday.

Encouraging Signs

Pause window signage (by AJ Signs)

Pause window signage (by AJ Signs)

After about 18 months of planning, we are on the threshold of "Opening Day."

Construction is scheduled to wrap up 7/6 or 7/9 and we're planning to open for business on 7/18.

Electrical work is essentially done, audio system is installed, Concrete floor has been sealed. Plywood panels are in place behind where our display shelving will sit. Pendants, track heads and soffit lighting are also in and operational. Jewelry case and some furniture will be arriving in the next 7-10 days. As always, a some details remain to be ironed out.

Meanwhile, our artists have been shipping orders at a fast and furious pace and we are totally overrun with boxes. It's been great to see all of this beautiful work come in and we're VERY eager to get it out on our shelves and walls.

Stay tuned for more images once the final cleaning of the space is completed on 7/5.

And So It Continues, v1.0

It's been a little while (too long) between blog posts, and what a difference a month (or so) makes!

Collar City Collective, electrician Joe, and framer Dave have been hard at work on our space and we now have sheetrock panels for our 2-D art as well as framing for our display shelving.

Window signage (AJ signs) is scheduled for installation next week and we're waiting on city permit for our hanging sign. We'll soon be ordering lighting fixtures, pedestals for our sculptural pieces, furniture for a cozy sitting area, flat files, a jewelry case, and cabinets and shelving for storage.

We'll soon be choosing interior paint colors and our concrete floor will be acid-washed and sealed. Still shooting for a late June/early July opening. Updated photos to follow this week.   

And So We Begin...

This an exciting time of beginnings for Pause Gallery and The News Apartments in Troy. 

Tenants began moving into apartments in the historic section of the project the weekend of April 28, and our work on the build-out of the gallery is scheduled to begin next week.

We've been busy re-connecting with our artists and placing our orders for ceramics, glass, wood, jewelry, photographs, and more. Many of them tell us they're as excited to be part of this journey as we are.

We're still on target for opening in late June/early July and we're eager for you to see what we will have in store for the Capital Region.

The First Look

Pause Gallery circa 4/7/2018.


On 4/10 we met with Dylan Turek, of Collar City Collective, who will be overseeing the build-out and fit-up of our space. He and Neil Pelone (NPArchitecture) have been great to work with. They totally understand our concept for the gallery and our modern, somewhat minimalist esthetic.

We reviewed Dylan's initial proposal and had a collaborative discussion about some modifications. Neil has submitted permit drawings and we're waiting for the green light to begin our phase of construction.

The photograph above shows substantial completion of the landlord's work on our "vanilla box." The rest is now up to us and we have some neat ideas and some surprise details in mind. Watch this space! 


As we approach T-minus three months to our scheduled opening in late June, we introduce Molly and Sofie to the “Friends of Pause” who haven’t already met them.

Although looks can be deceiving, they're quite excited about transitioning to their new roles as gallery dogs. For the past several years, they have been unofficial therapy dogs at a certain local academic institution, and they have mixed feelings about that gig coming to an end in early May.


Molly, on the left, is almost 12 years old. Her favorite activities are eating and sleeping. She is a really sweet girl. Sofie is 4, with a good deal of residual “puppy.” She loves to fetch, bark at the UPS truck, and terrorize Molly. Her nickname is “what the heck were we thinking?”

We’ve had standard poodles since 1979, which is—coincidentally—about when we began to collect contemporary crafts. Standards are smart, affectionate, loyal, and even-tempered. These girls are poodles number 5 and 6. For a variety of reasons, we expect that Sofie will be our last. (Then again, we also thought that about Molly.)

When we told them about their new jobs at the gallery, they suggested that we name the gallery “Paws.” We were compelled to disagree, though we do love the play on words.

Once we're open, please stop in to visit. Though only some of us will be wagging our tails, we’ll all be happy to greet you.

What's In a Name?

Everything needs a name, so why "Pause?"

After we decided last year that we would open an art and fine craft gallery in Troy, the next decision was what to name it. From the outset, we had a specific vision for the gallery's purpose as well as its look and feel. And, we wanted a name that would embody these concepts.

We've been attracted to objects of art, whether functional or purely decorative, since we were in graduate school. Many years later, we continue to find joy and satisfaction in looking at something that is hand-made and/or appreciating its tactile qualities. Our personal connection to a particular piece is further enhanced if we've had an opportunity to meet the artist or craftsperson who created it.

Ours is a fast-paced, digital age with a plethora of mass-produced products available to us overnight with a click of the mouse. We often don't take time to enjoy a purchase before moving on to the next one.

But it takes time to create a piece of art, and some time to appreciate it. Stop in during an otherwise busy day and surround yourself with beautiful two- and three-dimensional objects, made by individuals who have engaged in a lifetime pursuit of artistic self-expression. 

The gallery will provide a warm and welcoming space in which to “pause” and do just that. As the gallery comes closer to reality, we find that it essentially named itself.

Some Things Just Take Time

Almost 42 years ago, we purchased our first piece of hand-made pottery, a stoneware planter, from an Israeli ceramist named Rina Peleg. Little did we know, that modest pot would be our gateway to a lifetime of acquiring contemporary crafts.

Since that time we have curated a cohesive, yet diverse, personal collection of functional and sculptural objects representing a variety of media, including stoneware, porcelain, wood, and--our primary focus--studio art glass. Along the way, we have also fallen in love with some photographs, prints and paintings.

Our guiding principle for collecting has always been to find things that resonate with us in visual, emotional, spiritual, and/or tactile ways. This has been a passion, not an investment.

In recent years we've thought about how wonderful it would be to work in an environment in which we're surrounded by beautiful objects of art, and to help connect the community of artists and craftspeople with those who appreciate and wish to purchase their work.

It didn't happen overnight, but we now know that it's time for us to embark upon a journey to share our passion with the Capital Region. Pause Gallery --scheduled to open in June--will enable us to do this, and we're thrilled to become part of Troy's vibrant and growing creative community.