Opalka Gallery is pleased to announce an exciting slate of events for the Fall of 2015. Beginning with the opening of “From Concept to Console: Art and Aesthetics in Video Game Design” on September 4, the community is invited to attend artist lectures, film screenings and dance performances, among other programming.


Dave Phillips Skylanders 1From Concept to Console: Art and Aesthetics in Video Game Design
September 4 – December 13

Opening Reception: Friday, September 4, 6-8 p.m.

Curator’s Tours: 5:30 p.m.
Friday, October 2
Friday, November 6
Thursday, December 3

Panel Discussion 

Women in Game Design
Sunday, October 25, 3-5 p.m.

Women make up almost half of all video game players yet sexism thrives in the gamer world, as evidenced by last year’s "Gamergate," in which female game developers were subjected to online sexual harassment.

Moving beyond the headlines, how do women in game design envision the future of gaming? A panel of women from across the gaming industry, from art and design to engineering, will discuss their careers and the issues facing women in gaming.

Co-moderated by Opalka Director Elizabeth Greenberg and Jennifer J. Goodall, Director of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Women in Technology Program at UAlbany and Co-Lead, New York Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math (NY STEAM) Girls Collaborative.

Panelists include:

  • Arzu Fallahi, Concept Artist at Vicarious Visions
  • Danielle Godbout, User Interface Artist at Vicarious Visions
  • Kathleen Ruiz, Associate Professor of Integrated Arts, RPI
  • Tobi Saulnier, Founder and CEO, 1st Playable Productions

Film Series 

IndieGame: The Movie (2012)
Thursday, September 24, 6:30 p.m.

This Sundance award-winning documentary follows the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realize their lifelong dreams of sharing their visions with the world.

GTFO: The Movie (2015)
Thursday, October 8, 6:30 p.m.

Sparked by a public display of sexual harassment in 2012, the film pries open the video game world to explore a $20 billion industry riddled with gender discrimination and misogyny.

Us and the Game Industry Poster

Tron (1982)
Thursday, October 22, 6:30 p.m.

The original cult classic, starring Jeff Bridges as a computer programmer who is abducted and transported into the digital world of a video game.

Tilt: The Battle to Save Pinball (2006)
Thursday, November 19, 6:30 p.m.

"Tilt" tells the story of "Pinball 2000," a clever attempt at resuscitating pinball as video games were on the rise. It’s a story about personality and passion, of bold success dizzyingly followed by stunning failure.

Us and the Game Industry (2014)
Thursday, December 3, 6:30 p.m.

This documentary film explores the motivations and processes of computer game designers at the frontier of experimental game development. According to the Los Angeles Times, "It should absorb gamers and non-gamers alike." 

Artist Lecture Series 

Co-sponsored by the Opalka Gallery and the Department of Art + Design.

All lectures are free and open to the public. 

Dave Phillips, concept artist on Skylanders: Swap Force
Tuesday, September 8, 6:30 p.m.

Focusing on concept art and art direction at game studio Vicarious Visions (Activision/Blizzard), Dave Phillips was a lead artist on Skylanders: Swap Force. He also illustrates for editorial, young adult, and children's literature. Website: 

McElligott Mad ScientistVirginia Durruty, exhibition designer and architect
Tuesday, October 6, 6:30 p.m.

Virginia Durruty, an architect and art exhibition designer based in Boston, designed the Opalka Gallery’s exhibition "From Concept to Console: Art and Aesthetics in Video Game Design." Before starting as an independent consultant, she spent six years at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she was responsible for the overall design concept and installation of temporary exhibitions.

Matt McElligott, author and illustrator
Tuesday, November 10, 6:30 p.m.

Matt McElligott is the award-winning author and illustrator of fourteen books for children of all ages, including the new Mad Scientist Academy series, Even Aliens Need Snacks, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, and the Benjamin Franklinstein series. Website:

Fernando Orellana, new media artist
Tuesday, December 8, 6:30 p.m.

New media artist Fernando Orellana has collaborated with robots for over twenty years to make artwork. As a machine designer, a technologist, and a user, Orellana has blurred the line between himself and machine in the creative process. Website:

Afterschool Program

Machinarium Joseph

Wednesdays, October 7-November 4, 3:45-5:30 p.m.

Opalka Gallery is excited to announce a new afterschool program for kids ages 7 and up. In this 5-week class, students will learn about some of the interesting ways artists create characters, backgrounds, and special effects for video games. After studying original examples of video game art, they will get to make their own using different styles such as computer graphics, collage, hand drawing and painting, and claymation. All materials will be supplied. Contact Amy Griffin at or 518-292-8607 for more information or download the Registration Form.

PechaKucha Night

Friday, October 16, 6:30 p.m.

Short talks by interesting people. PechaKucha is a format in which speakers present 20 slides for 20 seconds each. Contact the gallery if you're interested in presenting. 


Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company
Friday, November 6, 6:30 p.m. and Friday, November 20, 6:30 p.m.

In response to the current exhibit, Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company uses a unique mixture of technology, video game design and music with live dance to generate a performance experience for both dancer and audience that is filled with vitality, intrigue, unpredictability, interaction and expectancy.