“Artists serving artists”: Nyack Art Collective gives local artists sense of community

For Rockland residents with an artistic eye, the Nyack Art Collective may just be the place to nourish creative expression. In its 10-year existence, this collective of “artists serving artists” has grown from a small social club to a 60-member not-for-profit with an Etsy store that regularly shares its work with the community at large.

With membership, artists gain the opportunity to show their pieces in collective gallery spaces throughout the county, including hot local spots such as the Hotel Nyack, X House and Nyack’s Elmwood Playhouse. Despite the village of Nyack being part of the collective’s name, co-presidents Mary Louise Allen and Janet Pirozzi-Riolo stress that members of the club come from all over Rockland, sharing talents of all kinds.

“We’re all individual artists,” said Pirozzi-Riolo. “We’re not in one workspace per se—we’re all different. We have watercolor artists, pastel artists, oil paint artists, a textile artist. Though we’re not creating together necessarily, we come together for the exhibits of our own work.”

Beyond displaying their pieces in gallery showings (some themed, some not), members are asked to be part of at least one of the organization’s seven committees: Membership, Gallery/Exhibitions, Social Events, Community Events, Fundraising/Grants, Media, Merchandise/Marketing, and Finance. Though the collective does not currently have an official home base—monthly meetings are currently held at the Nyack Library—the work of these committees allows the collective to run smoothly, encouraging its members to mingle and support one another’s art.

“My husband and I have been involved for 10 years, and the social aspect of it—meeting and making friends with like-minded people—is great,” said Allen, who is also one of the founding members of the collective. “It’s just a great opportunity and we’re grateful to be part of it.”

Allen and Pirozzi-Riolo agree that while they are proud of the work the Nyack Art Collective does for the community now (such as weekly figure-drawing classes held at X House for both members and non-members) they would like to do more in 2024. Though nothing is official as of yet, the idea of setting up an artistic summer camp for young people in the summer months has been discussed. Above all, both women emphasize that the Nyack Art Collective is a community gem—one that deserves to be shared and cherished.

“For me, I’m new to this and have barely been here a year,” Pirozzi-Riolo noted. “I’ve never had an opportunity like this—to be with all of these creative people and be able to show my work. I do all this artwork, run classes, go to classes, and (the work) is just accumulating. This is a wonderful opportunity to get it out there; not just to sell it, but expose it to people. There’s nothing better than that.”

To learn more about how to become a member of the Nyack Art Collective, visit https://www.nyackartcollec- tive.com/about.

Current NAC exhibit at the Hotel Nyack.

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