Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview with "Acting Out: Words that Connect" Playwright Tony Howarth

Tony Howarth's play, A Pile of Rags, will be performed at HVCCA on Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th as part of the second weekend of the Acting Out: Words that Connect Series.

Tony Howarth is a playwright, director, teacher, and poet.  Credits include a dozen one-act plays and multiple full lengths, including Thornwood, which was made into an award-winning indie film, Slings and Arrows; Sundown; Dream City Twosome; and Billy Bubblehead
In addition to the musical, Troll-Loll-La!, Howarth has written book and lyrics for two other musicals, Dream, based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Shirley Girl.  For many summers he directed with the College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Mass. His poetry has appeared in Chronogram, Chantrelle’s Notebook, Drown in My Own Fears, Tiger’s Eye, The Naugatuck River Review, and a magazine in England, Obsessed with Pipework.  His chapbook, As the Glider Glides, was published in 2013 by The Last Automat Press.

Can you describe your entrance into the world of play-writing?
I’ve always been a writer, began as a  journalist.  When the newspaper business began to implode, in the ‘60s, with competition from television, I turned to teaching. English.  But the department head asked me to create a theatre program – back to school, a doctoral progam at Fordham, with a focus on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre.  But then, faced with masses of students who wanted to be on the stage, I obliged by writing plays with as many characters as possible, at least 20.  And from there, I kept going. 

You are a poet, as well as a playwright and director.  How do you feel your experience within the realm of poetry has affected you and your work as a playwright and director?

I’ve only been writing poetry since 2009, when I visited the Lake District and got back in touch with Wordsworth.  It has begun to turn me away from realistic drama more into the mythic and metaphorical, which is why I’ve enjoyed working in the HVCCA gallery so much. 
What do you find most inspires you in your creative endeavors?
I can’t isolate any one inspiration, just say that life inspires me, people struggling to survive, struggling to put their lives back together after some overwhelming calamity, struggling to figure out what life is all about, caught between what the world demands and what your soul demands, people trying to sort out which stop they want on the subway. 
What is the last great book that you read?
Your timing is exquisite.  Two weeks ago I read a commentary in the NYT book review about James Joyce, went rushing to A Portrait of the Artists as a Young Man.  I read it back in the day when I was an undergraduate, appropriately young, read it again now and there I was, still, on every page.


What other projects are you currently working on?

Several – but the most urgent has been my recent channeling of Joyce – caught up in a world where doctrinaire demands emanate from Fux the News and associates every evening.

Visit for more information on the Acting Out: Words that Connect series.
Tickets are available online or call 914.788.0100. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Family Education Workshops

The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art is committed to interdisciplinary educational programs that enrich the city of Peekskill, a multicultural community that has recreated itself as a major arts destination.

Beginning Saturday, April 12th HVCCA’s Museum Educator, David Licata, will be offering Saturday Family Education Workshops from 2 – 4 PM at the museum. On select Saturdays HVCCA will hold an art activity for families with children of all ages. The art lessons are related to the current exhibitions at HVCCA. The lessons can take about two hours and usually include a family friendly tour of the exhibition and hands-on arts activities.

For more information contact Davlid Licata at dlicata [at] hvcca [dot] org

Non-Members: $15 four workshops/$5 each workshop
Family level members: $7 four workshops/$2 each workshop


April 12th
2 – 4PM
Create and Egg Shaker Instrument!
Inspired by the work of Chen Zhen and the Holidays, students will create and decorate egg shakers.

April 26th
2 – 4PM
Abstracted Figurative Sculptures!
Inspired by the permanent installation sculpture by Folkert DE Jong, Students will create sculptures using plasticine clay, Styrofoam and found objects.

May 10th
2 – 4PM
Make a Seed Bomb!
Inspired by the season and the Hudson Valley Seed Library, mix together both art and gardening!

May 24th
2 – 4PM
Creating your own Fonts!
Inspired by Mat Keegan’s Alphabet Soup, students will create their own fonts using collage materials, markers and pencils.

June 7th
2 – 4PM
Light Painting Photography!
Students will learn to play with long exposure photography and be the models for their very own Light Painting. Each student will get to take home one print.

June 28th
2 – 4PM
Self-Portrait Silhouette! 
Inspired by Justin Ladda’s artwork we will create a self-portrait by tracing your shadow.

July 6th
2 – 4PM
Create a Personal Flag! 
Inspired by work from Costa Vece, each student will create their own flag out of fabric and mixed media.

Slow Art Day 2014

Slow Art Day is a worldwide celebration of art that encourages people to look at art SLOWLY – and thereby experience art in a new way.

One day each year – April 12th in 2014 – people all over the world visit local museums and galleries to look at art slowly. Participants look at works of art for 10 minutes each and then meet together over lunch to talk about their experience. 

That’s it. Simple by design, the goal is to focus on the art and the art of seeing. 

Join us at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art for an in depth discussion of 10 works from our current exhibition Art at the Core. Continue the conversation in the warm and inviting casual tavern atmosphere of Birdsall House (970 Main Street, Peekskill), a gourmet farm-to-table dining and craft beer restaurant in the heart of downtown Peekskill. 

For Slow Art Day, Admission to the HVCCA and the tour are complimentary
Birdsall House special for Slow Art Day: $15.00 prix fix lunch inclusive of appetizer, meal and desert.

Museum Hours: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Art Discussion: 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch at Birdsall House and continuation of dialogue: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

You can see more about Slow Art Day and the mission behind it at

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ali Banisadr's Solo Exhibition "Motherboard" at Sperone Westwater

HVCCA is pleased to announce former Peekskill Project V artist, Ali Banisadr's solo show of new paintings at Sperone Westwater gallery in New York. The exhibition, titled Motherboard, is now on view through April 19th.

Motherboard, 2013

Born in Tehran in 1976, Banisadr grew up during the Islamic revolution and the eight-year Iran-Iraq War. In 1988, he and his family left Iran, first to Turkey and then to California. In 2000, he moved to New York City where he currently lives and works. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2005, and his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2007.

Banisadr’s exuberant paintings oscillate between the abstract and the figurative. Single visceral brush strokes resolve into minute details and subtle narratives, creating compositions of remarkable complexity in which abstraction and figuration co-mingle. The extraordinary intricacy and stereoscopic space in Banisadr’s work has prompted comparison to Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel, as well as Persian miniatures. Critics have also highlighted the connections to the New York School painters of the 40s and 50s.

For more information on the exhibition visit
To learn more about Ali Banisadr visit his website at

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Brandon Ballengee in "Beyond Earth Art..." at Cornell University

In 1969, Cornell University hosted the historic Earth Art exhibition, which featured earthworks by Robert Smithson, Hans Haacke, Dennis Oppenheim and others.

Now 45 years later, Cornell University’s Johnson Museum of Art presents Beyond Earth Art • Contemporary Artists and the Environment from January 25th to June 8th, 2014. We are pleased to announce that former Peekskill Project V artist, Brandon Ballengee, is featured in this follow up exhibition, displaying his monumental installation Collapse (last seen in the summer of 2012 at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in NYC). Also outside of the Johnson is Love Motel for Insects: Anax Junius Variation, which was previously located in Central Park in NYC.

Collapse, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 2014. 
Photograph by David O. Brown.

To learn more about Brandon Ballengee visit his website at
For more information on the exhibition visit

Friday, March 28, 2014

Brent Owens Solo Show: "For Thinkin' Long and Dark"

We're pleased to announce former Peekskill Project V artist, Brent Owens' solo show, For Thinkin' Long and Dark, now on view at English Kills Art Gallery in Bushwick.
The show runs through March 30th, so be sure to get there this weekend!

 Warmhole, 2013, 72"H x 60"W x 2.5"D, plywood, enamel paint

English Kills Art Gallery
114 Forrest st., #1
Bushwick, Brooklyn , 11206
Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays 1-6 PM and by appointment. 

Check out more of Owens' work at

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Field Gallery Presents:

Inside/Out: Teen Portrait Identity
March 27th—April 27th 2014
Opening Reception:  Thursday, March 27 3:30 – 8PM

The Field Gallery invites you to a provocative show of teenage individuality. 
With the rise of the selfie as the expression of teen identity today (the cell phone, the webcam, the casual, quick photo on social media), this show turns the camera’s gaze outward. How do inner-city youth see their friends, allies, strangers, neighbors, a frenemy? 

In this ground-breaking and thought-provoking show, led by artists and educators Jo-Ann Brody and Jamelah Zidhan, urban youth were taught a series on the history and technique of portrait photography. The teens were then broken up into small groups, where they turned the lens on each other. 

These young artists had an invaluable opportunity to express themselves in a way they’ve never had in recent times: a chance to connect by looking beyond preconceived notions of self.
The result is an astounding view of what they see of each other, and by extension, what they see of themselves.  

The Field Gallery is located in the Field Library at 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, New York. For further information please call 914-737-1212, email Alicia Morgan, Gallery Curator at , or visit the library's website at