Creatively connecting so the twain can meet: Bridge art show opens next month


“November Calm”/© Tom Sobolik
“November Calm”/© Tom Sobolik

Beautiful and intriguing, the scenery of the Hudson Valley has long been a subject for artists. Even though the scenery is changing, the fascination continues.

As a way to link the New Tappan Zee Bridge project to creative populations in Nyack and Tarrytown, bridge officials invited painters, photographers, and sculptors to send their interpretations of the three-mile span to the 2014 Bridge Art Show, a collaboration with Arts Westchester, Rockland Center for the Arts, Rivertown Artists Workshop and Nyack Art Collective.

Fifty-two entries from Westchester and Rockland Counties, two from Connecticut, one from Pennsylvania, and one from New York City were submitted electronically within two months. Photography, sculpture and watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings were included among the submissions. A few people inquired after the final date (July 31) if they missed the deadline.

“[Art] brings us closer to our neighbors on the other side of the bridge,” ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam said. “Artists love to draw the bridge. It’s symbolic of connections and metaphorically working together.”

The original idea was to display work from Westchester artists in Rockland and Rockland artists in Westchester to stimulate a connection between the counties, promote economic development and open horizons.

The show also gives local artists a voice and a broader audience than normally afforded to those in local art exhibitions.

“This is a nice way to join the Westchester and Rockland arts communities,” RoCA Executive Director Julianne Ramos agreed. “Artists appreciate the opportunity to say they were in a show, and have their work recognized.”

All submissions have been reviewed and accepted. Artists received congratulatory letters asking them to bring their display-ready work to the Community Outreach Centers by August 24.

Further honors might also become available. The project’s Visual Quality Panel — including RoCA Board of Directors President Robert L. Fellows — will review all entries and select a Best of Show and two runners-up.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. RAW Co-Director/Founder Naomi Vladeck felt the group’s establishment in the Sleepy Hollow cultural community and RAW’s advocacy for local artists is a valuable bonus.

“Art is your interpretation,” NAC member Ken Burns added. “I see things as I believe other people see them. It’s a creative idea to have this show, and I feel people will be interested in seeing it.”

These Hudson Valley artists’ creativity might spark a memory or two, or show you a new vision, or the familiar in a new light. And who knows? Perhaps this show will set a precedent.

“Collaborating with local arts groups helped link the New NY Bridge project directly to the extremely talented artist community here in the Hudson Valley, and create even more excitement and interest in this historic project,” special project advisor Brian Conybeare said. “The 2014 Bridge Art Show has proven to be extremely popular and we look forward to displaying the 50-plus submissions at our Community Outreach Centers in Nyack and Tarrytown next month.”

Following a post-Labor Day grand opening, the show will run for two months at the Outreach Centers, 142 Main St., Nyack, and at 303 S. Broadway, Tarrytown. Both are open Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All art is for sale. If you wish to inquire as to the price of a work, feel free to do so.

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