Judie GilmoreJudie Gilmore would like to reshape your thoughts.

Because it’s likely that when you think of an art gallery, you think of stationary objects in quiet contemplation. And while a gallery can be this, it can also be a great deal more.

Under Judie’s direction, the Opalka Gallery on Sage’s Albany Campus is a place where people come together, perspectives shift, and a window is opened to a bigger and better world.

Judie watches this happen. To students and professors, visiting artists and members of the community at large. As they gather for lectures and films, exhibitions and performances.

Actually, she’s made it her job to have this happen. In fact, it’s why she took the job in the first place.

Judie’s interest in art goes back to her youth, when the idea first occurred that this might be where she’d find a career. Then, during her college years, she was introduced to politics and public policy, which inspired her to get a master’s in Public Administration.

“But I kept coming back to how art is so vital in the life of the community.”

This awareness led Judie to develop an expertise in public policy and the arts, and a position with one of the country’s largest public arts programs. It also led to her form the point of view that an art gallery can be an important community resource.

“Art connects people,” she says. “It consoles people. It provides a way for us to feel connected. When we see what someone has created, we see another person’s point of view. We’re expanded by this.”

Judie sees the Opalka as dedicated to celebrating and promoting these connections, as its events and programs shine a light on a wide diversity of issues, such as women’s issues, African American issues, and the issues of working men and women.

“I want everyone to feel comfortable in this space,” she says. “I want to reach an audience that wants to understand on a human level, as well as an arts level. I want you to be able to find here what interests you.”

In the not too distant future, it’s Judie’s goal that the Opalka will make the case, loud and clear, that art matters. “That it adds value to people’s lives, and helps us to be better citizens. I want our students to be proud that Sage has this bold vision. And that they can be part of it. And connected to it.”