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 artsw.org/crossingborders 

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. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Geoff Feder

"If I was stuck on a desert island, no hope of rescue, I would still be sculpting" 

-Geoff Feder

Geoff Feder is a local Peekskill sculptor who will be involved with our "Live Arts Fest" this upcoming weekend.

When asked his opinions on Love and Lust (the themes of our upcoming show) Feder, of course, automatically thinks in terms of art and creation. Art is more so lust than it is love. Art should be made lustfully. Obsession and "love" over each piece doesn't allow for growth as an artist. There is more emotion, less devotion to it all.

But yet it is a devotion. A passionate, creative, and outspoken man, Feder's motto is that art and creation are compulsions. Not a want or a skill, a hobby or pastime, but things essential to his existence. He throws his entire self into his work, leaving with burn scars and a sense of fulfillment.

On Saturday, Feder will be displaying his lustful passion for his work, proving the importance of his passionate process.

Join us from 1 to 5 on Saturday January 10th to see Geoff and other artists create - and to join in their creation.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year, New Event!

Happy New Year! Hope everyone's holidays (whatever they may be) went well and you recieved and gave tons of art supplies, many museum memberships, and gifts made by local artists! 
Here at HVCCA, we are starting of the new year with a BANG - our 1st annual "Live Arts Fest"!
On this weekend, January 10th, the museum wil be packed full with interactive projects, live shows, and captivating works, all by Hudson-Valley based artists. As an extremely family friendly event, the fest will feature hands-on projects with Orange Splot Art Spot and live artistic creation sure to grab the attention of young eyes. As a sneakpeak of the festivities to come, I've talked to a couple of our participating artists to get a glimpse of what they'll be featuring- read on to find out more about the local artists you'll be seeing this Saturday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ambidextrous Artistry

Like most other museum employees, Donna Mikkelsen (our educational director) is quite the artist. However, her special skill is a bit different than most. Not only does Mikkelsen create stunning and intricate works, her method is quite remarkable. Using both hands equally in a feat of ambidexterity, Donna mirrors one side of her canvas (whether that canvas be fabric, paper, or glass window pane), merging two identical sides into one cohesive and symmetrical piece. 

Donna performing live at The Falcon this December 

Recently, Donna was featured in a show at The Falcon in Marlboro, NY. Her motions were projected on screen while live musicians played along. This complete joint effort of performance art and visual art, of the auditory and the aesthetically pleasing, is really an amazing and new artistic venture. 

Donna with one of her larger pieces 
Also called "Ambi Art", this concept of mirror-like creation is known to be therapeutic and helpful in improving skill. This recently discovered process improves hand eye coordination and the ability to draw in proportion- but it is easier said than done. 

Ambidexterity, the ability to use both the left and the right side equally so, with no hand or side claiming dominance, is a trait found in less than 1% of the population. An even smaller number, however, is able to take full advantage of their quirk to the extent Donna Mikkelsen has.