George Bellows, 'Winter Afternoon', 1909

 

As a California native, living in Westchester, NY, whenever I come back home, my friends and family want to hear all about New York City. In fact, even folks that are in upstate New York want to talk to me about the Big Apple. There is so much energy and attraction that people are enamored at the thought of visiting and treat those who live in around it like we are exotic. It may be for this very reason that the Katonah Museum currently has on view photos and paintings of the city that Americans hold as their pride and joy. They know that nowhere else on earth is like life in New York City and they are proud of it, even if they have never been there.

In the exhibition New York, New York! The 20th Century, one can gaze on a Childe Hassam beside an Edward Hopper beside a Stuart Davis. For those who are living in and around New York City, when looking at each piece, one can reminisce on one’s own memories even though the work of art is a different moment in time. We can relate to the snowy days in Hassam’s painting or the vibrance of the city in Davis’. For those visiting from elsewhere, one will instantly realize the otherly nature of one of the greatest cities in the world.

The Katonah Museum is free to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10am until noon. Please don’t wait to visit this fabulous exhibit! Enjoy!

In a time when the youth of the nation are “Occupying Wall Street,” it should come as no surprise to see a great piece of street art, but this one is found in a place where one might least expect it.

Recently I’ve been spending quite of bit of time on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, CT and I route usually takes me past a gallery that features contemporary art and every time I walk by I can’t help but stop in front of the window to gaze at this original piece by Blek Le Rat:

"Riot Police", Blek Le Rat

 

Standing seven feet tall, this piece is hard to miss, although it may be a bit unassuming. One might marvel to think that it’s value is in the five-digit range, but when you look closer, you find a bit of history. Blek Le Rat is the godfather of street art, and has influenced the likes of Banksy, who has grown to be one of the most well-known street artists in the world. When asked about Le Rat, Banksy said that, “every time I think I’ve painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek Le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier.”

It is pretty amazing to walk past such an politically-charged piece of artwork on such a quiet street: Greenwich, CT is a town where a lot of the wealthy Manhattan-ites come to raise their families and allow their dogs to roam free in a bigger backyard. One would think that they would be in pursuit of filling their walls with quaint floral impressionist landscapes, but even if you take the New Yorker out of the City, you can’t take the City out of a New Yorker and the owner of this gallery had the brilliant idea of bringing the urban art to this rural setting. The Samuel Owen Gallery is open Monday through saturday from 10:30am to 5:30pm and Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm. It is open to the public for free and I encourage you to come in and explore these rare and influential modern-day art pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Friday for nearly 40 years, the Friends of Greenwich Library in Greenwich, Connecticut has been showing classic, eclectic and new release films. This Friday, October 28th, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke and Albert Finney, will be on view starting at 8:00pm in the Cole Auditorium.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is about two brothers who stage the robbery of their parents’ jewelry store in New York City. Andy, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, has embezzled from his employer to pay for his drug addiction and his younger brother, Hank, is indebted to his ex-wife for child support and must pay her back before she cuts him off and keeps him from seeing his daughter. But when their “victimless crime” spins out of control, both brothers must make choices out of fear and desperation.

Come see this amazing film, packed with star-studded performances. And as always, it’s free!

From the very first time I saw Calder’s mobiles filling the lobby of the SFMoMA, I was enraptured by sculpture: it takes up space and makes you move around it; it has a presence that is often undeniable. The ceramic sculptures featured in ArtsWestchester’s eARTh Event are no exception. This exhibit, curated by Clay Art Center’s Leigh Taylor Mickelson, Ceramicists use their medium to explore sustainability and the relationship between humans and the environment. I’m especially excited to see the Westchester County Cups Coming Together exhibit, which uses dozens of cups from an open and inclusive call for entries, as a visual metaphor for a community coming together under a single idea.

 

This is a kid-friendly exhibit, as well, so bring the whole family along for this amazing and completely free art event!

 

 

 

 

Starting Wednesday, October 18th through Saturday, October 22th the annual CMJ Festival is breaking out new music all over Brooklyn, NY. Up and coming bands from all over the country get the chance to show there stuff and a part of this incredible event. One of my personal favorites, These Animals, will be opening for The Black Shades Saturday at midnight. These Animals have a sound that is both familiar and innovative: underlying beats and bass lines that make you move make way for ethereal guitar tones and catchy lyrics.

And did I mention there is free beer? That’s right. I said: FREE. BEER. So now there’s absolutely NO EXCUSE! Come see the show, come party with a couple of amazing bands that are trying to make it. Show your support and come out to the CMJ 2011 Music Festival!

This Thursday offers a unique and completely free event that offers a music lover the chance to meet New York City Opera baritone Raymond Diaz, violinist Nicole Sharlow Diaz, and pianist Mory Ortman after what is sure to be a stunning performance supported by Downtown Music at Grace program Music from Quisisana, which celebrates a summer residency at the Quisisana Resort on Lake Kezar in Maine.

  

Raymond Diaz is a Long Island native and graduate of the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music, whose performances have earned him many accolades, including winner of the Heinz Rehfuss Competition, the Mario Lanza Competition, and the Anna Maria Saritelli Di-Panni Belcanto Competition, among others.

Nicole Sharlow Diaz is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with honors and earned her masters degree at the Manhattan School of Music in violin performance. Mrs. Diaz is a celebrated concert violinist who has been spending her summers at the Quisisana Resort in Maine since 2001, performing chamber music. She is currently principal second violin of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Harrisburg, PA and she has been concertmaster of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany and principal second violin of the Jerusalem International Symphony Orchestra.

Mory Ortman received his masters from the Eastman School of Music and his Doctorate in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from Arizona State University. Ortman directs the classical and musical theater summer programs at the Quisiana resort in Main and is also involved in Career Bridges, a non-profit which helps to promote young opera singers in the greater New York City Area.

This performance is sure to be a delight! The event starts at 6:00pm this Thursday, and as always, it’s free!

 

This post is dedicated to all of the people out there who have ever had an Etsy account or thought about an Etsy account or just plain love to do crafts. A lot of folks wouldn’t consider crafting to be an art form, but the number of hours that go into some of these pieces and the amount of skill that is needed to execute them leads me to believe otherwise. I’ve even seen exhibits that include extensive quilting, embroidery and crochet in museums and galleries across the country.

So for this post, we have two great crafting events for you to curb your urge to craft:

On Sunday, October 15th, the New York Public Library will host a crafting event hosted by librarian Jessica Pigza of the Rare Book Division and Crafternoon author Maura Madden, with special guest Lisa Daehlin, who will share her knowledge of knitted and crocheted lace. The NYPL has a limited amount of supplies and tools to share so please check out the website to see what you can bring to help complete your crafting project. Doors open at 1:30pm and the event is from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. There is only room for 96 crafters, so be sure to come early and make a reservation by emailing handmade@nypl.org with your name and the date of the event.

Every Monday the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn, NY teaches a craft lesson that ranges from physical computing to sewing. This week will be a lesson in papier-mâché: a type of sculpting with layers of paper usually dipped in a flour-water paste. The guest artist is Maria Berrio, a Brooklyn based artist who earned her BFA at Parsons School of Design, and MFA at the School of Visual Arts. She currently has her studio in the same building as the Etsy Labs and you can visit her website or Etsy shop to see some of her work. Etsy provides all the supplies needed for this project but suggests that you bring a any special paints or collage materials that you may want to have on hand. The event is from 4:00pm to 8:00pm and if you plan to attend, please RSVP, but if you can’t make it in person, they will be hosting an online lab that afternoon at 3:30pm.

Both of these are a great way to spend time with fellow crafters, family or a great idea for an easy and free date with that special someone! Just remember to reserve a spot and arrive early for a good seat!

 

Jess HartleyEvery now and then, when I’m thinking about my own artwork and recalling certain lessons I learned in painting class, I think about the other students and wonder if they’re still at it. I got an answer from one of them through a Facebook invitation to a solo exhibition by Jess Hartley, a fellow student at Houghton College, my alma mater. While she didn’t finish her studies there (she graduated from Gordon College in Boston) her work is enough to make me proud to have studied with her. Her current show, titled “Confluence”, features abstract paintings that capture a movement reminiscent of oil in water. The layers of vibrant color seem to float on top of one another, gliding across the canvas and inciting the imagination.

This Friday starting at 8pm, the Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn, New York will feature works from “Confluence” as well as live performances and DJ. This is a great way to get to know the talented young artists in the New York City area and best of all, it’s completely free.

Next Wednesday, October 12, is the fourth installment in a five-part mini series featuring various contemporary artists from the Love: In The Eye Of The Beholder exhibit, prompted by Westport Country Playhouse’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will. Artists will share their artwork and insights, followed by a Q&A session, during the lunch hour at the Westchester Arts Center. This is an amazing opportunity to talk to the likes of Donald Leeds, Guido Garaycochea, Jane Swergold, Bronislava Slagle and Anne Lester.

Bronislava Slagle, Shattered Ideas

Guido Garaycochea

 

On October 26th, you can spend your lunch hour with Carmela Kaufman, Virginia Zimmermann, Betty Ball, Michele Gage and Chris Craymer.

Chris Craymer

Michele Gage, Untitled (Road Not Taken 2), 2009

 

Please do not miss this completely free event!

I recently stumbled upon a great local gallery in Tarrytown, NY: the Tappan Z Gallery on Main Street. Open for free Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm to 8pm, this gallery has wonderful contemporary artwork and currently on view are photographs by Vincent Serbin, an artist that has been perfecting his photo collages for the past thirty years. What’s really great about this gallery is that it’s open late, giving you plenty of time to come in after your normal business hours and not feel rushed.

If you’re in the Westchester County area, don’t hesitate to visit! There are so many pieces to enjoy at this wonderful gallery and it’s always free!

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