Friday, September 11, 2015

The Blog Returns! Also, September Updates

Set-up commences for Hermann Nitsch's "Leviticus" at HVCCA
It's been a while since our last post (three months is essentially three years in blog-time) but HVCCA has been busier than ever and we are delighted to bring our blog back to life! We've opened two new shows which are currently on view, including an exhibition by the sometimes-banned, highly acclaimed Hermann Nitsch, leader of the Actionists and perhaps one the most celebrated artists alive today. "Leviticus" is composed of 12 terragraph prints, sacred vestments and a massive biblical text. In conjunction, these pieces remind us of both the ritual nature of worship and the raw power of the Hebrew priest and his god. As if that wasn't enough to entice you: three of the largest pieces are sprayed in animal blood. "Leviticus" is as visceral as it comes, and we invite you to experience it firsthand.

For those of us swamped under back-to-school mania,  the opening reception will be September 12th from five to seven pm, the perfect week-end revitalizer.

If you prefer your art with fewer entrails, the LOVE exhibition is still going strong! It features one of Robert Indiana's ubiquitous "Love" statues (that one. You know that one we're talking about), as well as stunning works by Charles LeDray, Jonathan Newman, Sam Jinks, Birgit Brenner and many more, in a variety of mediums. Each piece offers a unique perspective on the most celebrated of virtues.

A handful of tiles, waiting to be admired!
For a blast from the past, take a drive down Central Ave and, across from the Peekskill Police Department, try and spy our latest piece of community art. You may remember the Public Tile Project, which debuted way back in 2009. More than two thousand tiles were painted by Hudson Valley kids, all representing a piece of our shared culture, which were then placed around Peekskill. By now many of those kids are in high school or away at college, but, thanks to an overwhelming response, there were still a few dozens tiles leftover.

Over the past few days, mastermind of the project Jo-Ann Brody has transformed these stacks of tiles into two magnificent public murals and the results are wonderful. This permanent installation is a testament to the talent of the Hudson Valley's young artists, and the hard work of HVCCA's staff. We hope that these murals brighten your evening jogs and morning commutes, and invite you to stop and examine these pieces of Hudson Valley history. Post your favorite tiles on social media and remember to tag #HVCCA!

Jo-Ann Brody poses with a finished mural
Last but certainly not least, the most highly anticipated HVCCA event is Peekskill Project 6. Those of you who have attended past Peekskill Projects have an idea of what to expect. This citywide public arts festival is happening from September 27th through the end of December and will include an immense variety of contemporary art installations by 60 artists, spread throughout the city of Peekskill.

As the opening draws closer, we invite you to check our website for regular updates. The HVCCA staff has been working hard to organize the dozens of installations going up over the next month, ensuring that this Peekskill Project will be our best yet. Sneak previews, captured by a crafty intern, will be posted sporadically over twitter, so be sure to follow us!

Working time for art into a busy schedule can be a challenge, especially when there's so much to see. If any of our programming has intrigued you, Museum Day Live! is fast approaching and is the perfect opportunity to explore everything HVCCA has to offer. This program, sponsored by the Smithsonian, guarantees free admission to HVCCA with a Museum Day Live! ticket on Saturday, September 26th. We will also be offering a free docent tour at 2 pm with an exclusive preview of Peekskill Project 6.

The HVCCA calendar is stuffed full of events to attend, art of all mediums to view and experiences to share, and we are thrilled to present these programs to our fabulous community. What are you most looking forward to over the upcoming weeks? Is it Hermann Nitsch's bloody musing on ritual, or Robert Indiana's iconic burst of positivity? Do you hope to stop and admire our murals on your way to work, or do you have 48 hours reserved to fully experience Peekskill Project 6? Let us know in the comment box, and don't hesitate to ask your most probing art-related (or Peekskill-related) questions. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Keegan and Nick"

For duo "Keegan and Nick", art is a family affair. Self-described "absurdists" with "active imaginations", this father son team pushes boundaries. 
Keegan's kinetic sculpture "VIP room" and video "Kissing Remixed" are currently installed as part of our "Love" exhibit here at HVCCA, and have been a topic of conversation for many of our patrons. 
Alongside his own work, Keegan also does collaborative projects with his father, Nick. The dynamic duo created kinetic and non-moving sculptures, instillations, video pieces and more; all abstract in their own right. 

On Friday, May 15th, Keegan and Nick begin a new show, Bounce, at "Spaces Gallery". The show runs until July 10th, so be sure to check it out! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It Runs in the Family

For Andrew Barthelmes, following in his father's footsteps wasn't a question a familial loyalty, but a question of inspiration. As a child watching his father Bob Barthelmes work, Andy was encouraged to pursue his creative genes - aided by support and inspiration from his father.
 Both men have distinct styles, with Andy leaning towards oil paints and large scale pieces, and Bob sticking mainly to watercolor, but tend to carry similar themes in their work. Both men paint what around them, city-scapes and scenes from everyday life, whether present or past.
Andrew Barthelmes
In June, Andrew and Bob will be taking part in "Peekskill Open Studios", in which the public gets the chance to walk through studios and see artists at work. The two will be painting together in Bob's new workspace, formerly the children's room of the Field Library. Tours are both guided and self guided, and the opening reception is June 5th at the Paramount.
In addition, Andy was also featured in our "live arts day" this past September, where he painted a large-scale canvas from start to finish.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Artist Update: Ken Vallario

Ken Vallario's work is like flipping through a history book while on acid - in the best way possible. 
Surrealist, detail-oriented, and with an emphasis on color- Vallarios work is stunning to look at.
Many of his paintings emphasize the human form, but there is still something inherently politically about them. He typically works on larger canvases, combining the geometric and organic into one dream-like painting. His art has a deeply spiritual about them - but maybe thats just my interpretation. To each their own; and Vallario's work leaves room for thought and rumination. 
An accomplished author as well, Vallario often combines his two passions in a mash-up of words, small-scale sculpture, and painting. 
On March 14th, Vallario will be holding a show at Central Booking on 21 Lualow St, NY, NY. This show acts as an annual a reveal of his new work - the first time it will be seen by the public. The show, called "Frontier" features some of his "largest work ever" and is sure to be exciting. Who knows what this show, and his future holds? But one thing is for sure: stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


A HUGE congratulations to Steven Crisostomo! Steven, a past intern and volunteer of HVCCA, was just chosen as a Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow at Hunter College! This award, in parts including a tuition fee waiver and stipend, is awarded to only five students each year. We are so proud of Steven and his commitment to his work, his schooling, and previously, to the museum! Congrats, and we wish you the best of luck!

Also: A huge congrats to Arts Westchester Award winners Lise Prown, Carla Rae Johnson, and Marcie Friedman! This award was given to fifty "outstanding artists living in Westchester", as a celebration of ArtsWestchester's 50th anniversary. Whether participating in Peekskill Project, helping to curate a video exhibit, or as active members of our Artist Club, each of these women is integral to our museum. 

Congrats Ladies! 

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.