“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” ― Émile Zola
Gallery 18 at the Riverdale Y is pleased to present the fourth exhibit in as many years of artworks by Dennis Shelton—and a whole new side of this talented artist using the medium of wood in the form of assemblages. The art will be on view from November 13 to December 13, 2020, with an actual, not virtual Opening on Sunday, November 15 from 12-2pm. All are welcome, but masks are required and visitors will be allowed into the gallery about 5-7 at a time. However, there will be an attraction on view in the lobby and enough room for social distancing.
Two things triggered the wood assemblages in this exhibit: the artist’s childhood memory of taking unrelated wood pieces and creating an artistic whole from them, and his response to the pandemic. “I remember the joy and satisfaction, but more importantly the feeling of peace and safety wood provided. In the midst of Covid-19, with feelings surrounding me of isolation and separation, disorder and confusion, fear and danger, loneliness and despair, I wanted and needed a safe place to land.”
Although Shelton is well-known for his paper collages, he turned specifically to wood’s strength and character, namely, its hardihood and sense of permanence, which paper with its fragility cannot impart. Using small and unrelated wood pieces to make both abstract and face compositions allowed the artist to make a statement about unity in dark times and the strength of togetherness despite the realities of the coronavirus.
As the artist explains: “The colors black, white, and gray represent people and the mood of these times. The red, blue, yellow, and green represent the four elements needed for the sustainability of life.” On the other hand: “The faces were left in their raw and true state, beautiful in spite of any imperfections.”
The result is a show that has movement, balance, and unity, mirroring the parts of our lives that help us maintain sanity in a dark world. It is a show that exudes resilience and hope.
A long-time Bronx resident, Shelton completed both undergraduate and graduate studies in art, art education, and printmaking at Lehman College, where he became Adjunct Professor of Education, teaching early childhood and elementary school teachers. For 35+ years, he was an art teacher at John F. Kennedy High School, inspiring through his own artwork and love of art a multitude of future artists.
Officially retired from teaching in 2016, he has continued to produce artwork on a full-time basis.
He has had solo art shows at Gallery 18, KRVC’s Gallery 505, Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Culture Center, and Riverdale Senior Services Center, where he won first and second place ribbons in Mixed Media and Drawing at the Vintage Art Show. He has also exhibited in group shows at Blue Door Art Center and Riverfront Gallery in Yonkers, Beth El Temple in New Rochelle, and the Poe Art Center in the Bronx. His inspirations for this show are Stuart Davis, Pablo Picasso, Romare Bearden, and African Tribal Masks/Art.
Chiaroscuro in a Seasoned Lens
By Jeff Johnson
Gallery 18 at the Riverdale Y is pleased to announce Jeff Johnson’s much-anticipated second exhibit of photographs, on display from October 18 to November 13.
The bulk of images in Jeff Johnson’s new show are a continuing excursion into the urban landscape, but this time in marvelous black-and-white, hearkening back to the artist’s first forays into the art and technique of photography. As Johnson puts it: “My beginnings … were in the mid-twentieth century. To me, then, photographic art was in black and white: Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Edward Steichen, Ed Ruscha. Forms were delineated more like Dürer’s engravings than like Rembrandt’s still lifes. Color photography existed, but to me it was less abstracted from reality, and thus, less ‘art’.
“In those days, I loaded my 35mm rangefinder camera with Kodak Tri-X Pan film. Now, in the twenty-first century, I work digitally in both color and black and white—but I still prize the black-and-white rendering of light and shadow.”
Indeed, the black-and-white images in the show, taken over the past five years, were made in just such a pursuit of those combinations of texture, form, and composition that create the interplay of light and shadow, its complexities arresting and captivating the eye, inviting it to linger more than momentarily.
Re. the tinted photographs in the show, Johnson adds: “Most recently, I have realized that I can use color photography not to show actuality but an abstracted vision”— in this case, details of the magnificent early twentieth century iron work crossing Manhattan Valley north from 125th Street.
A Riverdale resident for the past 15 years, Johnson was born in New York City, lived in the Bronx (Parkchester) and was raised in East Texas. With degrees from Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, he worked in both academics and finance.
He studied photography at Harvard’s Visual Arts Center, where his major influences were Walker Evans, Ansel Adams, and the iconic Family of Man Collection at MOMA. Most recently he has worked closely under the informal tutelage of two established photographic artists, one in particular inviting close viewing of and comments on his work and, in return, viewing Johnson’s work critically.
Johnson works with a Fujifilmx100, SonyRX-100, Lumix fz1000, Nexus 6P and Pixel 2xl. He develops his images using Adobe Lightroom to crop and to adjust color and intensity. None of the images have been assembled or altered with Photoshop nor are they displayed anywhere online. Each print is framed and matted with archival materials and available in a signed edition from his studio.
Echoes of Israel
By Bracha Rosenbaum
The Opening Reception, scheduled for September 13 from 12PM to 2PM, will be held at an outdoor venue familiar to many: the Riverdale Y’s Sunday Market situated in the parking lot of the Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue. From there, it will go directly to the walls of Gallery 18 and will be on view until October 9 on days/hours to be announced.
In creating her paintings, Rosenbaum eschews making an exact copy of what she sees, instead drawing on wellsprings of faith, learning, and experience, as well as an inner eye, to find and reproduce the spirit, the feeling and flavor of the subject, rather than a faithful reproduction. As she puts it: “Capturing the essence is everything for me. It opens my exploration into texture and color. Sometimes I spend more time mixing my paints than actually painting.”
Within “Echoes of Israel” is a subseries entitled “Travels through the Holy Land.” The inspiration for this set comes from photographs Rosenbaum took while touring the Holy Land in 2018. There are images of breathtaking landscapes, bustling cities, sidewalk cafes, outdoor markets, and historic preservations, each painting telling the story of a place that touched her heart. She takes you through the crowded, curved roads of the old city to the wide plazas of the kotel (Western Wall); or on the turquoise-lined streets of Tzfat and to the fishermen of the Mediterranean coast. “Travels through the Holy Land” will later be published in book form.
While Rosenbaum is trained as a pharmacist, she has a rich artistic heritage. She credits her mother, a talented oil painter, with introducing her to the world of art and art making. She also draws inspiration from her great-uncle, Solomon Menco, a talented Dutch artist who was murdered by the Nazis. Solomon’s paintings were posthumously exhibited in Yad Vashem. She has studied with Lauren Anderson and Will Kemp. Her creative influences include Claude Monet, Jean Even, and Theodor Geisel (more popularly known as Dr. Seuss). When she is not busy with her loving family and friends, you can find her happily working in solitude in her studio. To see her latest creations, go to @artbybracha.
As Long As We Both Shall Live: Long-Married Couples in America
By Robert Fass
Gallery 18 is pleased to present a beautiful and provocative photographic exhibit by artist Robert Fass called “As Long As We Both Shall Live: Long-Married Couples in America.” It will be on display from March 1 to April 30, 2020, with an Opening Reception on Sunday, March 8 from 12-2PM.
“As Long As We Both Shall Live” grew out of a portrait session with Fass’s parents, married for 47 years, in the summer of 1997, shortly before the sudden death of his father. In the decade that followed, Fass traveled the country, documenting long-term American marriages and the infinite variety thereof: from an Auschwitz death march escapee and his wife in Ohio to fundamentalist Christians in Texas to a homosexual ex-priest and his wife of 49 years; rich or poor, healthy or infirm, in love or not.
In addition to making the portraits, Fass recorded his conversations with his subjects, discussing their history and their outlook on the institution of marriage, in an attempt to capture something of the glue that binds them. The comments on display in the exhibit are drawn from these in-depth conversations, which are available on the official website www.longmarriedcouples.com.
The rapid change in social values in the second half of the 20th Century left these couples as the last generation to look on marriage as an essentially indissoluble bond. In the artist’s words: “In the faces and the histories of people who have weathered the ups and downs of marriage and endured together for most of their lives … there are riches.”
Even so, as pre-marital sex and divorce have become acceptable bookends to marriage, and as domestic partnerships, same-sex and transgender marriages, and other “non-traditional” unions make their way into the mainstream, the institutional concept of marriage as the fundamental basis of family stands ripe for re-examination. Gallery 18 is planning a special event to do just that.
“As Long As We Both Shall Live” was previously exhibited in the United States at the 92nd Street Y, where it received a major exhibition in 2006. It subsequently traveled in Europe. Robert Fass has received numerous grants and fellowships: from the Puffin, Ruth Chenven, and Mancini Family Foundations, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Fundación Valparaiso in Spain, the Saltonstall Foundation in Ithaca, New York, the Caldera Colony in Sisters, Oregon, and the Julia and David White Colony in Costa Rica. His background includes studies in environmental portraiture with Shelby Lee Adams, in printing with Nancy Sirkis at the International Center of Photography, and in fine printing with Adam Eidelberg at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. He lives in the Bronx.
Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Want To Be
By: Various Artists
Gallery 18 proudly announces our February exhibit “Celebrating Black History Month: Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Want To Be.” It will be on display from January 31 to February 28, with an Opening Reception on Sunday, February 9 from 12-2pm.
A little history: The origins of Black History Month go back to about 1915, when Carter G. Woodson, a prominent African-American scholar and educator, with a Masters degree in history from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in the same subject from Harvard University, sought to change the prevailing dialogue surrounding American history and its instruction, in which African-Americans were consistently underrepresented. To further this endeavor, he and the association he founded with others (now known as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History) chose to designate the second week in February—because it contained both Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th and Frederick Douglass’s birthday on the 14th—as one devoted to the study of African-American history. In the mid-1960s, the week became a month, and in 1976, it became a national observance.
While each year a specific theme is given to Black History Month in a taking stock of important issues (this year’s is “African-Americans and the Vote”), Gallery 18 has chosen to go with the broader revisiting of “where we were, where we are, where we want to be.”
The response in the art received has been wide-ranging, deeply felt, provocative, beautiful, artistically accomplished. On display in this group show are a variety of subjects in a multiplicity of media—oil, acrylic, collage, photography, pencil, mixed media, fiber art—providing a rich array of past, present, and future doings and musings. Individually and as a group, it is stirring in its power and emotional content.
To ensure such high quality, the show was juried by two African-American artists, Judith Eloise Hooper, an artist working in different media but currently exploring 3D portraits in paper, and Tony Wells, a mixed media artist working primarily in collage.
What might surprise the visitor to the exhibit is the mix of artist backgrounds represented—African-American, to be sure, but also White, Asian, Latinx, nonAmerican—with takes on the theme to stimulate plenty of food for thought and discussion.
By Philip Feller
Gallery 18 is pleased to kick off the New Year with an eye-catching exhibit by artist Philip Feller called “Fault Lines.” It will be on display from January 2 to January 30, 2019, with an Opening Reception on Sunday, January 5 from 12-2PM.
With a BA and an MA in English Literature from City College, Philip Feller’s professional experience comprises 50 years of technical theatre, that is, working on Broadway as carpenter, automation operator and property person to produce the magic that directors, designers, and audience alike anticipate.
Early in his career, beginning in 1970, he began experimenting in printmaking, working initially with stencils and blocks to make pictures on surfaces, inspired by a host of shapes from the natural world and from his imagination, from artifacts, detritus, commercial art. All of these spurred the desire to examine, to transform, to re-color, to reposition, in short, to create a new form out of the old.
Since 2002, Feller has been focused primarily on leaves. Each piece—whether produced by rubbing, outline, embossing, printing black-on-white or on color fields—gets several visits by adding layers and colors.
In the artist’s words: “I am always looking for new shapes to represent and reimagine … draw[ing] inspiration from far-flung cultures and imagery, primarily historical, that I find on walls and floors of churches and synagogues, on gravestones, in museums.”
Why the title “Fault Lines?” A fault, in geology, is a fracture in rock that causes significant displacement in rock mass. A fault line indicates where the discontinuity lies. In this show, the fault lines are the outlines or tracings of leaves or other objects where the masses of material have been displaced. The discontinuities allow for new color and images to become part of the original design and for intriguing patterns to emerge that beg to be transposed onto ever new surfaces.
Feller has exhibited at Westbeth Gallery and Bank Street College Gallery in Manhattan and at Urban Studio Unbound, Riverfront Gallery, Blue Door Art Gallery and Phillipse Manor Hall in Yonkers.
The Clothesline Show: Going, Going, GONE
By: Various Artists
Gallery 18 takes pleasure in announcing its first-ever silent auction/benefit! Entitled “The Clothesline Show: Going, Going, GONE,” it will be on display from December 3 to December 31, 2019. The auction itself ends Thursday, December 19, 2019.
December’s show celebrates “Small Works on Paper” in the theme of “Holiday Spirit,” however the artists choose to interpret it. Unframed, inserted into job ticket sleeves, and hung on a clothesline throughout the gallery, the art works comprise a show that couldn’t be less pretentious.
And for a good reason, namely, as a way of using simple means to benefit artist, gallery, and community! The artist is spared the framing expense, as well as any entry or hanging fees; the gallery benefits by receiving 40% of sales, rather than its normal 20%; and the community, with bids starting at a very modest $25, gets to buy art at highly affordable prices. It’s a win-win-win in keeping with the Holiday Season!
The sub-theme of the show is: Art is for everyone! Vistors to the gallery are asked to consider giving one of the exhibited art pieces instead of a tie, a “fun” gift, a bottle of wine. Art is more lasting and has more impact than many a gift any of us will give or receive this season. And with bids that start so very low for very accomplished artwork, this is the chance to acquire for a friend or family member a real find!
I Like to Draw Stuff
By Hal Katz
Gallery 18 is delighted to present our much-anticipated November exhibit by artist Hal Katz, entitled “I Like to Draw Stuff.” It will be on display from November 3 to December 2, 2019, with an Opening Reception on Sunday, November 10 from 12-2PM.
Hal Katz never took an art class nor had a teacher; he taught himself to draw. Determined to become proficient and produce work that wasn’t derivative and was beautiful to look at, he started to learn the craft by doing realistic pen and ink drawings..This was followed by a period of drawing mandalas, each drawing containing two interconnected mandalas: one that could be seen in daylight and the other that could be seen only in the.dark.
As this proved a very niche endeavor, he decided to expand and draw abstract and nonrepresentational art, which evolved into adding high tech inks and acrylics to his work. His goal was to create pieces that interacted with the viewer, the paintings changing as the viewer changed the angle of viewing and as the light they reflected changed. He calls this work “Playing with Light.” The current show includes some of these pieces as well as the mandalas, along with other work reflecting strong compositional lines, a sure sense of color, strong and subtle at once, and an unexpected streak of whimsy. It is, in short, a show full of vigor and variety.
Katz has exhibited locally, including a number of solo shows at Gallery 18, and non-locally in such venues as the Kranter-Krazner Museum in New Rochelle, the Fridge Art Fair on the Lower East Side, the Affordable Art Fair in Manhattan, Blue Door Art Center in Yonkers, and as far away as the Case Museum in Colorado. His work has also found homes in hospitals and medical centers and in private collections. He is a member of the Riverdale Art Association.
The current show is called “I Like to Draw Stuff.” Here’s why, in the artist’s words: “My first idea was to call my work paintings but I don’t use paint, I use ink and all kinds of pens and nibs. So I thought I would call them “inkings,” but that’s what tattoos are called. The work in this show is mostly pen and ink drawings, but I also use aerosol sprays, paper towels, sponges, squeegees, etc., so calling them pen and ink drawings isn’t always correct. All the glowing works use acrylics, so ink alone isn’t always correct either. So I call my work ‘stuff.’ I hope you like my stuff.”
By Artists of the Riverdale Art Association
Gallery 18 takes pleasure in announcing its October exhibit “TREE TIME: Works by Artists of the Riverdale Art Association.” It will be on view from October 7 to November 3, 2019, with the Opening Reception scheduled for October 13 from 12-2pm. All are invited to attend!
The Riverdale Art Association (RAA) comprises a group of artists who work in all media: acrylic, ceramic, collage, computer graphics, digital art, fiber, graphics, ink, mixed media, oil, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor, wood. While not all of these are represented in this show, a wide variety are, and our view as visitors of the specific theme, “Trees,” changes according to the form, letting us see them as objects of beauty, habitat, mystery, serenity, splendor, whimsy. These are trees in their multiple manifestations: bark, leaves, full foliage, bare branches, trees throughout their recurring life cycle, so that we appreciate them as living creatures, just as we are.
RAA President Dennis Shelton puts the show in a historical context: “I believe that this is the perfect time to take a closer look at trees and their importance to our continued existence, especially with the drastic changes in climate. I was extemely moved by the power of the tree motif to inspire such differing visions and artistic approaches. It is definitely Tree Time.”
The membership must have felt the same, because roughly half took on the challenge of not only a themed show but a juried one. The artists were allowed to submit up to four pieces of art, which then went through a judging process by outside art professionals who winnowed the original 52 art works from 19 artists down to 37. This exhibit is the result.
The judges who agreed to view the artwork and make the final selection were Luis Perelman, co-Founder and co-Executive Director of Blue Door Art Center in Yonkers; Julie Cousens, co-Executive Director of BDAC, and Enrico Giordano, Chair and Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the College of Mount St. Vincent. Although one juror had to bow out at the last minute, gallery and association alike thank them all!
RAA’s purpose is to provide the supportive atmosphere and programs in which members can find inspiration, knowledge, and enjoyment for the art-making process in company with like-minded artists of all levels: beginner, semi-professional, and professional.
As a community-minded organization, it actively seeks out public spaces to display its artwork. It currently has regularly scheduled shows at Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture in Fieldston and Metro Urgicare Clinic in the Skyview Mall. It also has works currently on display in KRVC’s Gallery 505. Most recently, it was selected by New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi to be the first of community art organizations to grace with its artwork the reception area of her new office in Lower Riverdale. An art piece by RAA’s President Dennis Shelton had the honor of being chosen to hang between two flags on the wall behind the Senator’s chair. For more on RAA, see https://riverdaleartassociation.org/
Permeated by Paint: Art Works on Silk
By Irma Kramer
Gallery 18 takes pride in announcing our September exhibit “Permeated by Paint: Art Works on Silk” by Irma Kramer. A memorial exhibit, it consists of both paintings and scarves, which will be on view from September 4 to October 4, 2019, with an Opening Reception on September 8 from 12-2pm. All are welcome.
Irma Kramer was a long-time Bronx resident and member of the Riverdale Art Association, enjoying the creative community that it provided and treasuring the friendships she made there. She exhibited in group shows with them and in her own solo show at Gallery 18.
Animated by a love of creating art that began in early childhood and lasted the length of her days, she created works of sculpture, painting, drawing, jewelry, ceramics, crafts, and other modalities. She also taught art: multi-media, painting, and arts and crafts to students of all ages, including at the Riverdale Y, the United Federation of Teachers, and in summer programs.
As the Director of the Senior Citizen Program at the Bronx YM-YWHA for 25 years, Irma was an innovator. She created travel programs and socializing lunch programs that were ahead of their time and often copied. She introduced, developed, and supervised new art programs, such as cooperative mural painting, and classes in different media. Near the end of her career, she brought a teacher of silk painting to the Y to give a demonstration to her senior citizens.
She was enthralled by painting on silk from the moment she was exposed to it. It became the focal point of her art for the duration of her “retirement,” a period of over 25 years. She found it exhilarating to be challenged by the delicate fabric and how the colors moved so quickly through it. Her finished works included paintings on silk, scarves, clothing, pillows, and wall hangings.
In addition, Irma loved painting with more traditional media and on a variety of subject matters, those of women being among her favorites. Her Jewish-themed paintings seem to speak to what lay at the heart of Judaism to her: the joy, the togetherness, the soul, the love.
Irma lived her life with the joy and color and vibrancy that permeated her paintings. Beauty to Irma was in everything around her, not just captured in a work of art. On the setting sun, she would remark: “God really knows how to paint a masterpiece!”
By Danielle Lehtinen
Gallery 18 is pleased to announce our August exhibit SPLASH!, a show of abstract acrylic paintings on canvas by Danielle Lehtinen, on view from August 7 to September 3, 2019.
Exuberant, bold, lively in color and texture, playful and fun, this exhibit is like taking a leap into cooling waters in the heat of summer. According to Lehtinen, her work is decorative in nature (think the perfect living room focal point). “My paintings are a sort of jewelry for the walls. Color, movement, and spontaneity are key.” The work is abstract, although many find representational content.
Lehtinen is Polish-born, American-bred, having come with her family to the United States as a young girl. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Art/Art History and Philosophy at SUNY Stony Brook and her Masters of Art and Philosophy at Columbia University. Her early oil seascapes and ceramics were followed by conceptual installations. She was one of “The Nine” women artists exhibiting work at the Stony Brook Art Gallery and at Rabinowitz & Guerra Gallery in SoHo.
She subsequently taught Aesthetics, Existentialism, and the History of Humanities at Adult Education Departments of Columbia, CUNY, and NYU, and for four years at the Parsons School of Design, where she was provided with the opportunity to study color theory and interior design. Lehtinen next took on the challenge of New York City’s Public School system, where she taught art and humanities for 25 years.
Back in Warsaw after retiring in order to settle her parents’ estate, she finally found the freedom and resources to paint full-time and took fullest advantage, having six exhibits in nine months with repeat offers from the Borowski Gallery, where her work all but sold out.
She continues to advance her professional development in art by visiting museums and galleries in New York and Florida and by attending major exhibitions, such as Basel/Art in Switzerland. Her latest inspiration is Manhattan’s SoHo street art, where local artists recently invited her to showcase her work alongside theirs.
She has lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn and has now found a new home and base in Riverdale. Her advice for appreciating her—or any—art is simple: “Trust your eye and your heart. If you buy what you love, you can enjoy it daily.” www.danielle-art.com
By Dennis Shelton
The Opening Reception is Sunday, July 7 from 12PM – 2PM.
The collages in Dennis Shelton’s new show are all portraits made up of at least three other portraits, recycled from discarded magazines and books and each combined into one new, oddly recognizable whole. Some of the faces will look distinctly familiar. “Oh, that’s Shimon Peres” or “That’s Eleanor Roosevelt.” But no! As the artist points out, “the faces look familiar because we all are more similar than different.” Something to ponder in an alienated world!
The series is made up of five sets, two of women and three of men, each set with a different background, also woven from different sources to create a new entirety. The color palates and textures are distinctive in each, and each will trigger from its separate elements memories and connections we as viewers will make to the portraits and to ourselves, as we reflect on the tapestry of our own lives.
Indeed, it is Shelton’s intent “…to open the eyes of viewers, especially as we age, to our complexity as beings made up of many individuals who have influenced us, who reside within, and who make of us a whole.”
A long-time Bronx resident, Shelton completed both undergraduate and graduate studies in art, art education, and printmaking at Lehman College, before and during his tenure as art teacher at John F. Kennedy High School, devoting 35+ years to modeling the art-making process, both through his own artwork and his love of art, to inspire and motivate a multitude of future artists.
Officially retired from teaching in 2016, he has continued to produce artwork on a full-time basis. He has had a solo art show at Gallery 18 three years running and solo exhibits at the Riverdale Senior Services Center as well, winning first and second place in show at its Vintage Art Show. He has exhibited in group shows at the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Culture Center and at Blue Door Art Center and Riverfront Gallery in Yonkers. He is now in his second year as President of the Riverdale Art Association. His inspirations, evident in his art displayed in the past, have been Romare Bearden, Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, and Jacob Lawrence.
Artist Gallery Talks for visiting groups such as schools and senior centers can be arranged and inquiries are most welcome. During the month of July, Dennis Shelton will be available for such a talk July 16-17 and July 22-24.
City From a Seasoned Eye
By Jeff Johnson
A resident of Riverdale for the past 14 years, I was born in New York City, lived in the Bronx (Parkchester) and was raised in East Texas. With degrees from Harvard and Berkeley, I have worked in both academics and finance. For many years I was a banker financing major office buildings in New York, London, Chicago, Toronto. I spent a lot of time out and about studying the structures and the life around them. Once I retired from that work, I was able to devote my energies to art.
In recent years, I have concentrated on the art of photography, working with images captured in New York, London, Philadelphia, California, Southeast Asia, and the deserts of southeast New Mexico. I had pursued photography as an art in the early 1960s at Harvard’s Visual Arts Center. My influences were Walker Evans, Ansel Adams, MOMA’s Family of Man collection. With my camera, I set out in the City like a hunter, looking for the shape, texture, or composition that startles and delights me. In order for this to happen, I have to be blessed by both my mojo and my muse. The mojo is the drive, the hunter’s hunger, while the muse is the sensitivity to see aesthetic treasure. Although they can both be awakened from a sluggish start, if they are not both there, the work is not possible.
Back in my studio, at my workstation, I select promising images from my harvest, and nurse them to their best selves with my digital tools. Then I curate, choosing among the developed images those which speak most strongly to my sensibility and which work together a collection. This work gives me deep pleasure, and also happens only when I have both muse and mojo with me.
The 28 images, from years 2015 through 2018, present shapes, textures, and compositions which caught my eye in New York City, mostly along the MTA Number One Line in the Bronx and Manhattan.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: NATURE AT ITS ESSENCE
Photographs by Herb Kaplan
A US Navy Veteran with an engineering degree from Cornell University, MBA from Harvard, and a career in business both in the corporate world and as an independent consultant, Herb Kaplan has been taking very up close and personal photographs of flowers and plants for more than ten years. Many of these images were shot at Wave Hill and the New York Botanical Garden. He has been influenced by the work of the artist Georgia O’Keeffe who explored the inherent beauty and shape of certain flowers. In many of his photographs he has focused on the flower as he imagined she would have.
A member of the Riverdale Art Association, Kaplan has had his work shown at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism in New York City. “I want the viewer to be drawn into the essence of nature and be mesmerized by nature’s extraordinary beauty…..the closer I get to a flower or plant the more it seems to reveal.”
Herb Kaplan’s photographs capture nature’s essence from up close. They zoom in to flora and fauna allowing us to ponder the extraordinary colors, patterns and geometry all around us, A petal here, a stamen there, an unsuspecting lizard, seen through the extreme close up lens of Kaplan all take us to a timeless place where a rose is not just a rose, but a world of luscious shapes and colors. A cluster of orange colored petals might be a mum or not. The gray and deeply scored “Pancake Rocks” of New Zealand rise mysteriously in their frame as we wonder what they are. A close up of a neon green lizard draped over a mossy branch seems to capture the animal in private thought. Some of the pictures are intentionally cropped in such a way so that the viewer might not immediately recognize what the subject is. And so these colorful visual effects draw us in to the mystery of nature’s awe inspiring beauty.
ART IN BLOOM: Oil Paintings by David Humphrey
David Humphrey’s oil paintings, in the style of contemporary realism, are straightforward interpretations and portrayals of a colorful range of subjects. His canvas is bold, clear, and bright. Alive with movement and color each work shares a point of view and tells a story.
David Humphrey was born on the island of Barbados. In 1968 he migrated with his family to New York. David studied illustration at the Parsons New School for Social Research, Studio Arts at CUNY-Lehman College and at the Art Students League of NY. He exhibited his artworks as a member of New Rochelle Art Association, New Rochelle Arts Council, Bell Harbor Art Association, Cornell University, Lehman College Art Gallery and the Bronx Council on the Arts Blue Bedroom Project. In addition to having his works widely exhibited, Mr. Humphrey has done several pieces on commission that reside in private collections. Dedicated to fostering arts in the community he has taught a young children’s workshop in “Painting Butterflies” and he has designed and painted a series of street murals at several venues.
Mr. Humphrey found his inspiration in the works of Norman Rockwell, Dali, and Thomas Kinkade. “I did not set out to create art about any particular topic or subject. I carry a sketch book with me at all times in which I make pictorial journals of the things around me. Using my skills and passion for painting realism in my illustrations I set out to create beautiful images of things I encounter in my daily life.” https://www.davidhumphreyart.com/
Through the Lens of Age
Through words and images, this portrait series explores the impact of creativity and the arts on aging, specifically highlighting individuals over the age of 65 currently engaging in one or more forms of creative expression. Rather than focussing on the creative output of these artists and creators, The Lens of Age casts its gaze on the faces of the artists themselves, celebrating the supremacy and intimacy of the portrait, as well as its ability to reflect – and elevate – the human spirit.
The initial study participants consisted of 25 Social Work undergraduates enrolled at CUNY’s Lehman College located in the Bronx, NY. they were paired with 25 adults over 65. Data collection consisted of interviews, with key points documented in photographs. Students exhibited results in local venues, extending the reach of their work in an advocacy action. A mixed-methods pre- and post-test captured student reflections and reactions. Study findings indicate that arts-based participatory research can contribute to decreasing depression and isolation by promoting intergenerational relationships, reducing workforce shortages and fears about ones own future by improving perceptions of older adults, and supporting student success by deepening engagement with learning.
“Dennis Shelton is as interesting, colorful and inspirational as his art. He’s lived in the Bronx most of his adult life. And, he’s been an artist all of his life. “My career started in the third grade. In the cafeteria there was a girl I liked. This boy drew a picture of her. She loved him for drawing that picture! I associated that power with art.” In the fourth grade he went to a different school and was in an after school art program. From that, he won an award at Lever House. One thing led to another and he ended up in the High school of Art and Design, majoring in Package Design.
Rather than focusing on being a full-time artist, Dennis became an educator and bought his love of art to others. He taught all of his career at John F. Kennedy High School which is just several blocks away from RSS. He retired in 2014. And, now he can finally focus on being a full-time artist. It’s a new world for him – focusing all his attention on his art, exhibiting and learning how to sell his art.
Dennis works in a variety of different mediums – collage, mixed media, construction. He’s currently working on a whole series of collage paintings. “Collage is harder than painting and doesn’t get the respect it should. With collage you have to find the materials that match what you are creating. None of it exists, it all has to be created from materials and pictures you find around.” Bearden, Cezanne and Matisse have influenced his collage work.”
Laurie Miller Hornik
Laurie Miller Hornik is a mixed media artist who creates collage paintings by layering found and hand-painted papers over backgrounds of acrylic paint. Many of her recent pieces portray intricate rooms – from ski cabins to kindergarten classrooms to libraries – with each brick, book, and floor tile made from a different snip of paper. With a degree from Harvard in Medieval History and Literature, Laurie has worked at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School for the past 28 years, teaching almost every grade from K to 8. She creates art in every spare moment she can find.
Joanne H. Kim aims to bring awareness to the glory that surrounds us every moment that we are alive. Her nature inspired paintings jump off the canvas revealing the beauty that abounds in the sky, the forest, the ocean and of course all of us. Animals, flowers, cityscapes, sunsets and whimsical fish beckon to a colorful and peaceful world.
Mostly self taught, with a degree in economics and international affairs, Ms. Kim works in oil and acrylic on canvas with the occasional use of gold leaf. Her process begins with a specific feeling or emotion that she wants to capture. She then incorporates images with movement and color to create an experience for her viewers.
Harry Mandel is an international award winning and published photographer.
He is recognized in the field of live performance photography and has written articles on the subject for Magic Magazines.
ALIVE AND NOT ALIVE: A Retrospective Exhibition by Tamara Lund
Reception: Sunday, April 8, 12:30PM – 2:30PM
There are two parts to the exhibit:
- The Alive wall focuses on the perceived anthropomorphic tendencies of animals and uncommon observations of humans
- The Not Alive wall forces the viewer to stop and conjure a unique perspective of their own while viewing the photographs.
In Alive and Not Alive, the visuals are a clear narrative about the photographer and
the particular ways in which she views the world.
Born in New York City, New York, Tamara Lund became interested in photography at an early age, when she discovered her father’s old Minolta camera. Lund later attended The School of Communication at American University where she studied Film and Photography.
Throughout her life she has traveled to various countries with the intention of documenting the culture and environment from her perspective. Lund’s works are a mix of 35mm film and digital images that have been taken over the last 11 years.
This collection is a labor of love of both photography and the desire to share the beauty of the world with others.
Riverdale Art Association: March Madness
Artist Reception on Sunday, March 18, from 12:30 P.M. till 2:30 P.M.
“March Madness” art exhibit including acrylics, collage, ink, watercolors, and photos by various artists of The Riverdale Art Association. The RAA is a group of artists, many of whom are prize winners, that meets on the first Tuesday of each month, except August. The RAA welcomes new members. For more information, log on to RiverdaleArtAssociation.org.
Painted Planet by Deborah Hillman
LEARNING CURVE: Paintings by Amanda Lawford
The bold, vivid and graphic paintings of Amanda Lawford portray her vision of anonymous landscapes and cityscapes. Sharp buildings, rooftops and water towers are bathed in bright color; a distant stormy skyline across a river is almost blurred in blue pastel shades, a piece titled GW Views depicts a grey day in the city, and a long road in a wide field leads to a distant farmhouse that could be anywhere. Whether from her imagination or from photographs these evocative acrylics represent windows on her view of our common surroundings.
Amanda Lawford was born in Welwyn Garden City, England and raised on the west coast of Canada and California. As an entrepreneurial and artistic single mother, in 1977 she began her own handpainted needlepoint design company and has lived and worked as a designer in both England and the US. Through this work she learned about color, composition, rendering and the manipulation of paint. Her desire to accomplish painting in other forms was until now, confined by time. “I am struck by the loneliness of the busiest places and the contrast of the decrepit vs. the opulence of city life…secret respites that reveal themselves are what inspires my paintings…”
FOOD VALUE: The Still Life Paintings of Noelle Knight
Vividly painted sweets, retro packaging and delectable fruit coexist neatly on the small canvases. “My paintings are about food awareness. They are contemplation, not a judgment. They are about nutrition, the abundance of it and lack of it. I’m often thinking about food and which kinds will fuel my day. Logically, I know which ones are best for me; however, I’m frequently enticed by the ones that are not.”
In “Salmon and Macarons” a can of nutritious salmon is compared to brightly colored macarons. The textures and colors of the cookie beckon, while the salmon, a nutrient dense food, stands proudly behind the cookies.
“With these paintings my hope is that people continue enjoying healthy foods, in abundance, and unhealthy ones, hopefully in moderation, while developing an awareness of the nutritional value of all foods”.
Although Noelle Knight can be seen painting around the neighborhood of Riverdale, she is usually indoors creating small, yet lively paintings. The artist is a representational oil painter whose work ranges from life size portraits and human figures to small food-themed still life. Her recent focus is a comparison of healthy and unhealthy foods.
Originally from Indiana, Noelle has taught at The University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, The Indianapolis Art Center, and has been teaching with The New York City Public Schools for 16 years. She received a B.A. in Medical Illustration from Indiana University and an M. F.A. in painting at The New York Academy of Art. The artist’s work can be seen in private and public collections throughout the country, including the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and Manchester College.
THE emBODYment OF JEWISH FEMININITY
THE emBODYment OF JEWISH FEMININITY is a project that Aviva Braun started as a personal one, connecting two of her passions – therapy with women who have eating and body image disorders, and photography. Aviva says this exhibit took her to new levels and helped her to delve into her feelings about her own body and her connection/disconnection from it.
” We, as women, all have stories about our bodies. I was finding it rare to have conversations with women in my life where the body didn’t come up. We go through the majority of our lives feeling connected/disconnected from, loathing, loving, birthing from, hurting/healing, sculpting. We take little time to fully inhabit the body we are given.
” The 15 women I chose to photograph for this project are of varying ages ranging from one to 82, each with their own incredibly unique perspective on the body and connection to it. Many women approached me asking to be a part of the project and others were hand selected individuals with whom I had a strong connection.
” The focus of the emBODYment project was to see how women feel about their bodies at just about every decade. The majority of the photographs were taken in nature, where many women felt most connected to or within their bodies. Some were taken in other spheres such as the home, synagogue, and during a women’s Rosh Chodesh drum circle. All women who were interviewed had a vested interest in the purpose of the project and were eager to share their stories.
” The project continues! My hope is that this will one day in the near future be compiled into a book.
Aviva Braun, L.M.S.W., L.C.S.W. works with women who have eating and body image problems and practices from feminist-relational and psychodynamic approaches. ThThis exhibit is a fusion of Aviva’s psychotherapeutic training and her artistic photographic vision.
Nira Zippora Tissera
September – October, 2017
“As a little girl I fell in love with the magnificent beauty of this world. I started to draw and paint at a very early age. I always knew painting is the one of my greatest talents G-d has given me. From elementary through high school I won many awards for my painting and many people complemented me. Those made me wander more and more in to arts while I was young. Later in my life I studied fashion design and fine arts and I became a fashion designer. This gave me confidence to push for success as an artist.
“This is my dream work, I love what I do to accomplished this dream of love, making art is one of my uttermost joys, my passion and my freedom. Although it is an art, It is important to see to understand. Through art I like to see, and tell, and remind, what we had, or have, or will have. I like to put a few words to tell a story, show some beauty, give a little thought, show a little romance and show something that matters to the heart, what matters to have a life. Every day I see things, get things, need things from our nature, but how much do we know they are there for us for a reason, things I see hard to put in to words.
Read and see more at www.dewtree.com
The Whimsical World of Suzanne Axelbank
Mountains, valleys, bumps, squiggles, colors, sparkles…..FUN! Color and texture dominate the work of Suzanne Axelbank in this captivating show. With acrylics, markers, inks, collage elements and an occasional repurposed picture, Axelbank has created a series of imaginative, vibrant canvases. As a professional children’s hairdresser she has honed her sculptural skills as well as a deep understanding of texture, line and proportion all evident in her work. Influenced by Picasso, Bottaro, and Kahlo as well as Asian art, graffiti and cartoon artists, Suzanne Axelbank’s creations convey a sense of whimsy and wonder.
Suzanne Axelbank has lived in the Bronx for most of her life. Always driven to creativity, with art degrees from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Lehman Collage, Axelbank became a children’s hairdresser and is the former owner/operator of Someplace Special Haircuts and Toys for Kids on West 238th St. in Riverdale. Largely self-taught, for years Axelbank continued to sketch and doodle until a few years ago when she became inspired by the textures and colors of life and began working on a series of canvases. “The main thing is that I want everything I do to be full of color and texture.” Suzanne Axelbank has exhibited her work at An Beal Bocht Café, Tilila Restaurant and is a member of the Riverdale Art Association.
Artist Reception: Sunday, august 6, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Reflections in Color and Light: A Mixed Media Bonanza by Judith Buder Zucker
Inspired by flowers, trees, water and the changing of the seasons, Judith Buder Zucker’s work reveals a joyfulness in the beauty of nature and features a variety of media and subjects that range from still life and models done in the studio, to scenes from her travels around the world. Vivid color dominates this mixed media show which includes work in watercolor, oil, colored pencil and acrylic. Buder creates a serene mood using the lights and darks of a single color. Her palette knife gives rich texture and depth to her oils; a contrasting wash creates a melding of color and contrast to her watercolors. Buder brings vibrancy to her subjects from the human figure, flowers, and a series of doors, to a still life and an autumn scene on the Hudson River. She is an avid traveler and enjoys working from the photographs she takes during her journeys such as the scene, in acrylic, of St. Lucia.
Judith Buder Zucker has been a reading specialist, Assistant Principal and an Adjunct at Hunter College. After retiring from her career in education Buder resumed her artistic endeavors with a basic watercolor class at Ethical Culture in Riverdale and has been painting ever since. Her work has been selected several times for the juried Student Art Show at the 92nd Street Y. She has studied watercolor in Italy, participated in workshops in Hudson, Rhinebeck and West Virginia. She has exhibited at the Vintage Art Gallery in Riverdale, Ethical Culture, Temple Beth El and is a member of the Riverdale Art Association. “…Painting has become a passion in my life. It has changed the way I see the world.”
I spent my working years in the world of advertising and media. I owned or was a senior executive at ad agencies, media service companies, TV and Radio production houses, and marketing research companies. I also did both domestic and international media/marketing consulting. I retired from this pursuit in 1997 to become an artist, a goal that I always aspired to. As I never had any classes or teachers, I had to teach myself how to draw and paint. I was determined to become proficient at this task and produce work that was not derivative and was beautiful to look at. I started to learn the craft by doing realistic pen and ink drawings. That was followed by a period of drawing mandalas. I thought it would be interesting to have each drawing contain two interconnected mandalas; one that could be seen in daylight and the other that could only be seen in the dark. I spent five years on this project which honed my ability to draw and learn about material. As this proved to be a very niche endeavor, I decided to expand and draw abstract art. This evolved into adding high tech inks and acrylics to my work. This work, I call it “Playing With Light” also took several years to develop. My goal was to produce work that interacted with the viewer while also being beautiful. I believe my current work meets these objectives. This series of paintings changes as the viewer changes the angle of viewing. They also change as the light it reflects changes. Some are phosphorescent and become visible when the lights go out. This unfortunately is hard to capture in photographs (my web site: www.halkatzstudio.com uses animation to show the changes). When viewed in person, however, they seem to be something many admire. – Hal Katz
Mixed Media: Works by Maria Formoso, Myra Joyce and Joan O’Brien
Maria Formoso uses nature and botanical subjects for her art. She grew up in Cuba where she was surrounded by tropical foliage. Her work features vividly colored flowers, trees, birds, sea shells and abstract forms in a variety of mediums such as water color, colored pencil, graphite, pen and ink and pastel. Inspired by Georgia O’Keefe and Richard Karwoski, Formoso has a certificate in botanical art and illustration from the New York Botanical Garden. She has exhibited widely in the New York City area, Westchester County, Vermont and Connecticut. firstname.lastname@example.org
Myra P. Joyce is a digital artist who combines her love of computers and all things digital to create beautiful images. A neuroscientist by degree, Joyce has morphed into a graphic artist/web designer as well as an avid photographer. Most of the images in this show are “fractal art” which involves using mathematical equations to render abstract forms which are then manipulated to enhance their beauty and mystery. Photographs of Wave Hill are also featured in her exhibit. myrajoyce.com
Joan O’Brien, a retired teacher and school psychologist has long been a believer in the power of nature and its beauty to contribute to our human capacity to seek and find peace in our lives. It is through photography that she tries to reveal her deep appreciation of the beauty of creation and its gifts to us. O’Brien is a member of the Riverdale Art Association and has exhibited widely and received numerous awards both in the New York City area, Westchester and Vermont. http:// riverdaleartassociation.org/ members/joan-obrien/
Impressionist painter, Orhan Alpaslan, studied at Academy of Fine Art in Istanbul, obtaining a Master”s Degree in stage and visual art. He has studied and researched painting and theatrical arts in America, Canada, and England.
He began painting as a child, entering competitions starting in high school. In his first year he won two national awards that inspired to keep on painting.
Between 1979 and 2001, Orhan designed more than one hundred theater sets and costumes for the State Theaters.
“I have always been an impressionist painter, primarily using oils. Artistic scenes have always been fascinating to me, while vivid color and powerful light are indispensable components of my work.”
Ceramics in our Lobby
Jane has studied and practiced art throughout her life. At a very young age, she was exposed to the art and culture of Central America, West Africa, and Eastern and Western Europe. At Stanford University’s campus in Tours, France, she studied drawing at the local art conservatory and began a sketchbook of the students’ travels in France. While working as a professional actress, she continued to draw and paint while waiting to go onstage. Her artwork has been exhibited at the Prezant Gallery, Bronx, in 1995; at the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Vintage Artists Gallery annual art show, Riverdale, Bronx, winning an Honorable Mention in 2015 and a First Prize in 2016; and at a special Riverdale Senior Center “Creative Imagination” exhibition in January 2016. She continues to create drawings and sculpt at her home studio in Riverdale, often pulling on her childhood experiences, and is currently studying with Bronx artists Donna Diamond and Rochelle Aruti.
Riverdale Arts Association Group Exhibit
The Riverdale Art Association consists of artists who share their work and their love of art with each other and the community. Open to a range of skill levels, the Association provides an opportunity for aspiring and professional artists to exhibit their work together, creating a sense of community where new avenues of creativity can be explored and expressed. A number of group exhibits are sponsored each year; members have opportunities to mount solo exhibits. The Association’s website provides online galleries for members, helps them connect with other artistic resources & exhibit opportunities, and publicizes their current activities. Learn more at www.riverdaleartassociation.org
Michael Mendel was born in Berlin Germany in 1934. He and his parents escaped the Nazi Regime of Adolf Hitler in the Fall of 1938. Circumstances forced them to reside in Havana Cuba for almost two years, before being allowed to LEGALLY enter the United States.
Mendel graduated from the City College of New York in 1956 with a BA in Art, then was commissioned as an officer in the US Infantry.
With several entry level art jobs behind him he began a career as a graphic designer in the world of recorded music, a career that spanned almost forty years. Opening his own art studio, he designed record album covers for many of America’s great musical personalities. Tony Bennett; Gladys Knight; Johnny Mathis; Donovan; NY Philharmonic; Eydie Gorme; Beach boys and hundreds more.
Having dabbled in primitive oils through the years, he began to take painting seriously about 2009. With three small sets of watercolors and four brushes, he taught himself to paint in this new medium. EVERY DAY, NIGHT AND DAY, TO THIS DAY……333 paintings completed!!
He has had a love affair with the Catskills since 1948. From his 100 year-old farmhouse located in the quaint village of Fleischmanns NY, he meanders over hills and dales to capture the essence of the area in brilliant “representational” watercolors.
“A Bronx native and a resident of Riverdale for 38 years. My childhood years reflect time spent in Puerto Rico and the Bronx. A journey between two languages and two cultures. I’m an Art and Design High School graduate with a degree in Studio Art and Elementary Education from Fordham University. I have Master’s Degrees from Fordham University and Bank Street College. My career trajectory includes Bilingual educator, Elementary Art educator and I served as an Art Administrator for the NYC Public Schools. My experiences allowed me to work closely with art organizations and artists.
“My passion for art started very early in life. I was the sidewalk scribbler and did artwork for my friends. Materials, color and the beauty of nature have influenced me to work in oil, watercolors, pencil, and print. I find that these materials allow me to represent the vibrancy of color and form in nature.
“Earlier in my career I exhibited with a group of women artists in the exhibition “Comadres” at the Museo Del Barrio in 1980. That year, I also exhibited my work at the Roosevelt Hotel as part of the National Council of Puerto Rican Women’s Conference in NYC.
“I’ve also exhibited at Gallery 79, NYC (1979). As a current member of the Riverdale Arts Association I’ve taken part in group shows at the Grinton I. Will Library, Yonkers; Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture; and Gallery 18, Riverdale YM-YWHA.
“My art studies continued at the Arts Student’s League with Isaac Soyer, Parsons School of Design, and the New York Botanical Gardens in the Botanical Illustration Certificate Program. Laura Vogel, Botanical Illustrator and Wennie Huang, Watercolorist, have been great mentors to me in my work. In recent years, the study of nature has become a focal point in my artistic work. “It is said that ” nature touches the spirit of man”. It certainly has touched my soul.
Gabrielle Robinson’s Photography
Delve into a world of pure imagination and creative exploration. Every photo Gabrielle takes has an eerie vibe and provocative composition that causes the viewer to question the scene even though it is pristine and untouched. Born and raised in NYC, Gabrielle has had prints all over the country in galleries in Los Angeles, CA, Essex, VT and Portland, OR. Some have hung in NYC hedge fund offices, in the Tweed Courthouse, and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And this November, some will hang in Gallery 18 at The Riverdale Y.
1000 Faces of Riverdale – Children’s Edition
A photo exhibit by Arnold Adler
Riverdale resident Arnie Adler is proud to exhibit thirty portraits taken for the 1000 Faces of Riverdale project. One Thousand Faces documents and celebrates the diversity of one of Bronx’s most dynamic neighborhoods. These children’s photos were taken from 2011-2013.
Adler’s goal is to have a positive impact on the town of Riverdale, by connecting individuals and sometimes isolated neighbors through photography. “Riverdale often feels segmented,” he observes. He points to divisions along financial, cultural, religious, and ideological lines. “I hope the 1,000 Faces of Riverdale project helps show how diverse groups can come together to create a community.”
Arnie has been a successful professional photographer since 1984. His client roster is filled with distinguished corporate, editorial and private clients, as well as Riverdalians who have called on him to capture happy moments at weddings and bar mitzvahs.