Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lust: Opening This Sunday

This sunday, the "Lust" exhibit at HVCCA opens to the public. Exploring the sin of lust, the artists featured explore sex, sexuality, and eroticism in both their purest and most contrived forms. Featuring photography, sculpture, metal work, drawings and much more - this new exhibition allows us to view lust from varying angles and perspectives. 
Interestingly, the exhibit coincides with the "Love" show up currently. The juxtaposition of these two never-endingly intertwined concepts to each other creates a really interesting atmosphere, and raises a lot of question. The exhibits force the audience to question love and lust, in their own lives and in the larger scheme of things. Are the two ideas related? Can one exist without the other? Are both purely romantic or sexual concepts? Where do we draw the line between pure pornography and pornographic art? 
The "Lust" exhibit is rated 18+, and features very graphic content.  

Join us on Sunday April 19th to discuss and view the new pieces, and enjoy wine, beer, and things to snack on. However, maybe keep the drinking to a minimum if nudity makes you queasy. 

Artist Update: Michael Zelehoski

Michael Zelehoski's work challenges the viewer. It tricks the eyes, deceives the mind, and tests the barrier between 2-D and 3-D. Using found objects (including wood from decrepit houses and police barricades, and rusting metal bars), Zelehoski turns these 3-D materials into flat assemblages. With a meticulous hand, and a mastery of perspective, Zelehoski engineers his pieces to lay on the line between sculpture and painting- with a style thats almost collage-like. 
A member of our "Artists Club", Zelehoski exhibited with us in the Power of Place exhibit in 2013, and in the main gallery (New Hudson River School) for Peekskill Project V of 2012. 
On May 7th, Zelehoski opens "New Order" at the Mike Weiss Gallery. 

Most recently, Zelehoski's piece "Open House" was chosen as a permanent instillation in Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre Pompidou.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Artist Update: Shirin Neshat

Shirin Neshat could be called a "political artist", to say the least.
Raised in pre-revolution Iran, Neshat grew up with a father who's desire to westernize and modernize coexisted with her grandparent's traditional upbringing. Much of her work reflects these deep roots, especially her struggle with her return to Iran later in her life, and its difference to the place of her memories. With common themes of femininity, martyrdom and equality, and how these have a place in Islam, Neshat uses her films,photographs, and other works to send a political message.
Leaving Iran for college in America, Neshat did not return until 1990; and her return coincided with the beginning of her creative expression. Exploring political movements such as the Islamic Revolution and the Green Movement (or Arab Spring), her work affects both those in the islamic community and its outsiders. 
Recently, Neshat was commissioned for an exhibit at the new YARAT contemporary art space in Baku, Azerbaijan. With a black and white portrait series, Neshat explores the many faces of Azerbaijan, proving it's immense ethnic and cultural diversity. She began shooting the series in November of last year, interviewing each participant about their own definition of home, as well as photographing them in studio. The work is a beautifully simplistic portrait of the country and it's people. The commissioned work is called "Home of My Eyes" and runs until June. 
In May, Shirin Neshat opens an exhibit at the Hirschhorn Museum called "Facing History". The exhibit explores Neshat's work in the context of history. Each hand-selected piece is accompanied by an outline of its historical significance, such as its intended political message or the current events at the time of its creation. The exhibit is also centered around Neshat herself, so it features the notes, sketches, and plans surrounding her work. 
Neshat is also currently exhibited here at HVCCA, in our "Love" exhibit. 
For more information on this artist and her work, especially "Home of My Eyes", check out this recent interview. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Angela Washko: Misogyny, World of Warcraft, and Pick-Up Artists

What is feminism according to people who know nothing about it? This question is often addressed by Angela Washko in both her life and work. By interveiwing people who are relatively uneducated about feminism, Washko proves a need to further educate and develop awareness. Through their claims against the "feminist agenda" many of her dissenters just further prove the need for feminist action.  Her interviews, however, do not take place on a typical medium. Many of her "informal interviews" come from interactions with characters on the "World of Warcraft" online game - where she poses questions asking these player's views on feminism and the connotations that come with it.
A "screen grab" from one of Washko's discussions

Roosh V. and Angela Washko in discussion 
Typical video game users aren't exactly famous for their social awareness and political correctness. With a screen to hide behind, virtual witches and warlocks often throw around curses and derogatory terms, aimed at not only automated enemies, but also fellow players. Sexism and an anti-feminism agenda are often popular with users - Angela Washko explores this mentality through her exploits and inquiries on the gaming site.  Washko posts her findings on her blog and also presents them as instillations, using a combination of video and photographic work ("screen shots"). We were lucky enough to have her work "Playing a Girl" in the museum this past fall.

Washko's call to arms 
Her latest massive project has been tackling one of the internet's "most infamous misogynist". She was able to score a virtual interview with Roosh V. , creator and writer of "Return of The Kings" and the "Bang" book series  - an infamously sexist and misogynistic series of writings.  As Washko says; "google him." You can find a transcript of and highlights from the interview here. The two discussed feminism, love, sex, and romancde - with highly differing opinions. Washko hopes to further her exploration of Roosh V., by seeking out women who have slept with him and interviewing them as well. 

Her explorations into the mentalities of anti-feminists have garnered much attention and praise, putting her name onto the map. Among other projects, Washko was featured in an online gallery about body image: here, as well as in Amour Fou at the Anvil Center. AND: She is one of the first artists EVER to sell a vine (a short video on a social media site).

All of her recent accomplishments and endeavors would not fit in one short post so please do yourself a favor and check her out

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Love Show" Opening

Livia Straus

Last weekend, on valentines day, we celebrated the opening of our new show; "Love: The First of Seven Virtues". The museum was packed full of patrons enjoying "lovely" art, delicious chocolate desserts, and tasty beer and wine. 
Benjamin Lybrand
Benjamin Lybrand special feature of the night was when the museum director, Livia Straus, took to the DJ booth to make a quick speech at the end of the night. Our wonderful DJ Benjamin Lybrand paused his homemade beats and mixes and gave the mic away for an impromptu announcement. Each artist present at the opening was called up to speak about their pieces; shedding new light onto their beloved works. Hearing the history and meaning of some of the featured works directly from the artists themselves was an awesome experience.
Straus also spoke about some of her personal favorite highlights, including Robert Indiana's "Love" sculpture, and Saul Raskin's "The Beggars Dance of the Dybbuk". 

Thank you to everyone who battled the elements to make it to the show- we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did and will be returning to view the show soon!

The Artists who spoke and their corresponding works: 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Artist Update : Yardena Youner

At "Live Arts Fest" last month
Last month's "Live Art Fest" was no easy feat. But with the help and partnership of some amazing artists, it was a massive success. One of the most integral parts of the event took form in glitter, colored pencils, glue soaked yarn, and pastels on faded brown paper. Tracing their body's outline onto paper, customizing detailed faces, and decorating with a beautiful mess of color, kids and parents alike loved taking part in the life size portrait creation. Yardena Youner, a master of mixed media herself, organized and led the popular craft.
Youner's personal work, however, tends to follow slightly darker themes. War, her childhood in Israel, and political conflict reoccur in her work, alongside themes of peace, resurrection and dreams. Photography (often deconstructed), instillation, and mixed media are her tools of expression. Personal and political are one of the same in her artwork and she says her plan/process and her execution tie into one another. A beautiful mesh. 
A member of ArtsWestchester, Yardena will be featured in their upcoming "Crossing Borders" exhibit. Starting March 17th and running until May 2nd, the exhibition is being held at the "Peckham and Shenkmen Galleries in White Plains. The exhibition revolves around work from artists of nine separate nationalities, their pieces focused on a "desire to build a bright future" while "remaining rooted in the past and connected to family legacy".
Make sure to stop by the show to support not only this wonderful artist and human being, but also the other diverse and inspired artists involved. For more information visit the 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


The doors have been closed for MUCH too long. 
On Valentines Day, this upcoming Saturday, HVCCA finally reopens its doors after months of installment and preparation! 
The "Love" exhibit, in partnership with the FWMA and its associated museums, is the first parallel  of "The Seven Deadly Sins" show, with "Lust" arriving to the museum this April. The exhibit showcases works from artists all across the globe; from local Hudson Valley sculptors to painters the world (or century) over. 
The central focus of this show is love - as a concept, a word, an idea, a movement, an emotion...really as anything. Love is not concrete or straightforward, and the pieces featured aren't either. The artists included explore love through different mediums and concepts, and no two pieces are even slightly alike. 
Robert Indiana's famous LOVE sculpture greets you as you walk in. On one wall lies a huge painting adorned with colorful cats and other characters. Realistic human sculptures with slight twists are a common occurrence, and nudity is present in many pieces. The show is really not to be missed.
So leave the cold outdoors for the warmth of love, and join us this Valentines Day for a special opening. Featured artists Sherry Kerlin, Nathan Ritterpusch, Carole Feuerman, Keegan Kuvach, Jon Newman, Ridley Howard, Emil Alzamora, Dan Weise and Keleae Rivers will all be present and heavily celebrated. 
Beer and wine will be flowing thanks to Bertolline and Sons, and Chocolate pastries from the Homestyle Bakery will be devoured by all. So stop by between 5 and 7 and perhaps even bring a loved one, for live music by DJ Benjamin Lybrand, delectable drinks and desserts, and art like you've never seen. 

Free for Members
$5 for Non-members

For more information, click here.