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High School Students Attend Innovative Artist Discussion at OSilas Gallery PDF Print Email

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By Elizabeth Vranka, Executive Director, OSilas Gallery at Concordia College


Mar. 29, 2017:  March 21 was a special day in OSilas Gallery. Artists featured in the gallery's current exhibition, History of the Present, spoke in the gallery and gave area high school and college students an inside look at their work and life in art.

Students from Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, and St. Jean Baptiste high schools were invited to attend, as well as students from Concordia College. Due to space constraints, the event was limited to these area schools. Over 50 students were in attendance. 

This informative program was organized by History of the Present’s curators, Sarah Rowe and Rachel Sydlowski. Both Rowe and Sydlowski are working artists and educators. They created this program so local students could hear directly from the featured artists in order to better connect with the artwork on show and to understand the various ways one can have a creative life in the visual arts. 

According to Rowe, the chair of the art department at St. Jean Baptiste High School, "It was my hope that students would learn about the artists' working methods and materials as well as the conceptual basis for their work. By listening to the artists, I also hoped that students would learn about the various means for building a meaningful life in the arts."

The artists, Rose DeSianoJames Raczkowski, and Melissa Vandenberg, led the conversations. DeSiano spoke about her interest in photographs as documents and her fascination with American iconographic history. She also talked about her surprising redirection at a young age from aspiring scientist to photographer. Raczkowski spoke about his pathway to becoming an artist, which included a tour of duty as a special ops soldier in Iraq. He discussed his artistic training (both formal and self-taught), his preferred painting technique, the intention of his work, and his work practices. Vandenberg talked about her youth in Detroit, art education, repurposing old materials for use in her art, and recurring themes in her work.  

Sydlowski, the chair of the art department at Eastchester High School, hoped that the artist talks would open students up to the idea of art as a career. She said, "In the broadest sense, I wanted to normalize the idea of being an artist to my students. We had three artists speak about their processes and life experiences, and all have very different approaches. Students are in awe of the artists, but after the talks, they hopefully see them as regular people who happen to be artists. These kinds of experiences give students permission to envision themselves in the role of artist. It's important to foster and encourage the next creative generation."

The day also afforded students the opportunity to engage the artists in conversations about their work. "I was inspired by each of the artists' stories as well as their work. Hearing them speak convinced me that pursuing art as a career, though risky, is both plausible and fulfilling," said Eastchester junior Kelly Ryan. Another Eastchester High School student, Annalisa Reisman, added, "As a young artist, it's really important to hear from mature artists about their work and their process for creating a piece. At the gallery, the artists' backgrounds, ideas, and inspirations were passed along to all of us and showed us that anything is possible and to keep working and developing our ideas."

History of the Present features the work of Rose DeSianoShanti GrumbineValerie HegartyJames Raczkowski, and Melissa Vandenberg and is on show at OSilas Gallery through April 22. 

OSilas Gallery is located on the campus of Concordia College. Gallery hours are Tues./Wed./Fri., noon to 5:00 pm; Thurs., noon to 7:00 pm; and Sat./Sun., 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The gallery is closed on Mondays and April 13 to 17.

Please see www.osilasgallery.org for more information about exhibitions, special events, and programs. 

Pictured here:  Artists and their art at the History of the Present special day at OSilas Gallery.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Vranka, Executive Director, OSilas Gallery at Concordia College

 

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Books & the Arts Directory

Art Restoration and Framing

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

The Fine Arts Gallery is a beautiful gallery in the heart of our village. It sells original art and specializes in local artists from Bronxville past and present. It provides high end custom framing, art consulting, restoration and appraisals. Appointments are available upon request. It also sells the Historical Conservancy Journals which include a history of the village as well as the artists who have lived here and are presenting living here ($20/copy).

The gallery is open Monday - Saturday 8:30 am - 5pm (Closed Sunday)

99B Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-779-5053


Objects & Images Fine Arts

44 Pondfield Road, Suite 12
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-779-7979
info@objects-images.com
http://www.objects-images.com/home.php


The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College

171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
https://osilasgallery.org/

Books & Culture

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
914-337-7680
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
http://bronxvillelibrary.org/


Womrath Bookshop

Womrath Bookshop is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also sell children's toys and holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

76 Pondfield Road, Bronxville

(914) 337-0199

http://womrath.com/

Music & Performing Arts Schools

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Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester

Established in 1977, Ballet Arts-The Performing Arts Center of Southern Westchester offers a complete program of Performing Arts education for all ages. 28 teachers conduct over 60 classes per week including Ballet with piano accompaniment, Jazz, Ballroom, Tap, Irish Step, Lyrical Dance and Hip-Hop. New this spring is Creative Movement and Story Time Dance for 2 and 3 year old boys and girls. Fitness classes include Zumba, Pilates & personal training. Classes are available for students ages 2 to Adult in every skill level. Private Dance, Voice & Instrument Lessons at our studio or in your home are available by appointment. Seasonal and Summer Performing Arts Camps.

Themed Birthday Parties-Children and parents enjoy play dance and music with our staff-you have fun and we'll clean up.

Centre Stage is our on site Dance, Gymnastics, Ice Skating and Fitness Apparel and Accessories Boutique. Specialty Dance footwear, Unique Costumes, Gifts and Collectables.
Sheran Daniele, Founder & Artistic Director.
504 Fifth Avenue, Pelham
914 738 8300
www.ballet-arts.net
info@ballet-arts.net


Concordia Conservatory

Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.

Executive Director: Kathleen Suss

Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Concordia College-New York

Phone: 914-395-4507

Kathleen.Suss@concordia-ny.edu

www.concordiaconservatory.org


Crestwood Music Education Center

Crestwood Music Education Center, founded in 1987, has established itself as one of the most reputable and premier music schools in Westchester County with well over 800 students studying piano, guitar voice, Suzuki and much more. Their philosophy is to create a very positive, stimulating environment that gives each student the chance for creative self-expression. They believe in the importance of having a world-class faculty with extensive education as well as the teaching and performing experience that can only found in America's finest music schools.

453 White Plains Road
Eastchester, New York 10709
914-961-3497
info@ginescanomusic.com
www.ginescanomusic.com

 

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