A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Francine Perlman: " Lost in Infinity "at the NYPL Morninside Branch

Lost in Infinity 2,  mixed medium 23"x28"
Francine Perlman

  One of my favorite things is to come across art work in unexpected places.  A few days ago I stopped at the my local library the Morningside Branch on 113th street and broadway,  to drop off some books.  Since I can never leave the library without taking out a book, I decided to take the stairs up to the second floor and browse around.  As I looked up at the sun drenched staircase, I was immediately greeted by the art work of Francine Perlman that was on display on the walls of the staircase.  I sometimes forget that this library  has made a wonderful use of the walls of it's staircase by designating it as a mini art gallery. They have breathed life into a space that would otherwise go unnoticed, and transformed it into a visually interactive experience.  Ms. Perlman's mixed media art work is  entrancing as the soft lines in each piece buzz and whirl around each other.  I can almost hear the lines and colors play strange and wondrous harmonies within the negative spaces.  I am so glad that the visitors to this library, especially the children,encounter art work such as Ms. Perlman's when they go to pick out books.  Not all children get to visit museums, much less view examples of  abstract art in libraries.   I often meet adults who say that their children are not interested in abstract art.  I think that exposing children to different types of art early on in their lives, may pave the way for  a lifelong interest in it.  At minimum, it will secure good memories of art appreciation with their family.
  Kudos to the staff at the Morningside Branch who are thoughtful enough to keep up this wonderful mini art gallery. They know  that early  exposure to art is the key to future appreciation of all types of art. Be sure to point out Ms. Perlman's paintings to your children as you pass them along the walls of the staircase.  I have a hunch they will be able to create an infinite amount of stories, when getting  lost in the infinity of her imagery.
 The Moringside Branch of the New York Public library  is located  at 113th street and broadway.
Francine Perlman's work will be up until May 31st  library hours M-Th 10-7, F-S 10-5.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

YOHO Artists Open Studio Weekend

Spring is finally here and that means that the YoHo Open Studio weekend event is around the corner! My family's favorite art studio tour will be held on Saturday May 3rd and Sunday, May 4th from noon to 6pm, each day. Make the trip to the historic Alexander A. Smith Carpet mills, an industrial complex in Yonkers that closed in the late 1980's and was slowly, reoccupied by artists who needed affordable studio spaces. The expansive work spaces flooded with natural light became reinvented as a hub of creativity.  Today, YOHO Artists  is comprised of more than 30 participating resident artists, artisans and digital media professionals, working in a wide variety of disciplines, who live in NYC, Westchester and New Jersey and commute to their studios. Last year, the event attracted more than 800 visitors to the studios.   This is the 11th year of this event.   
             When my daughter was younger we appreciated that all the studios were located in one factory building complex making it easy to access them with it's large elevators and wide corridors.  More importantly there were always many friendly artists eager to share their knowledge and allow visitors to watch them working up close.  Over the years the collective has added arts and crafts activities and an art theme game for children to try while on the tour.  One of our favorite artists to visit is Librado Romero.  He is always welcoming, and often invites kids to put some brush strokes on a canvas.  What an thrill that is for them and memorable experience they come away with. Their creative ideas are validated and encouraged by a wise and talented artist.
The Metro North Commuter Rail Service provides easy access to Yonkers directly from Manhattan and Grand Central Station. There is free parking on the site  and elevator access. There is live music scheduled and some refreshments served.  
578 Neppherhan Ave. Yonkers, NY.  10701 
YoHo Artists has a  Facebook page.   
photo: Librado Romero in his studio   photo credit: Mary Hardiman