Monday, November 6, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Lynn H. Butler

Lynn H. Butler, After

Lynn Hyman Butler is an internationally recognized artist, whose photographs belong to numerous public and private collections, most notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Brooklyn Museum; La Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the International Center of  Photography in New York; Red Heart Inc, Kobe, Japan; and the David Rockefeller Collection,Tarrytown, NY.  Her work focuses on nature and our relationship to its fragility in our contemporary world.  She wrote: "I am motivated by the concern for the environment brought about by human relationships to the land that threaten those relationships." For Bosom Bodies, she contributed a personal narrative, which coincides with the theme of our exhibition.  Within this group, Buffer Lands demonstrates lenticular photography, which produces different images as the viewer moves from left to right to left in front of the picture.

Lynn H. Butler, Buffer Lands, 
Lenticular photography

Lynn's artist's statement explains: "My three pieces of artwork in the show Bosom Buddies are three stages of knowing that one may possibly have cancer, learning that cancer is a reality and then accepting what the consequences are. The first stage is denial, then facing the possibility of mortality in the second stage and photograph, and the third  stage and  photograph is coming to terms and being at peace on Earth with  one's body and the surroundings. The photograph called After is the denial, the photograph Buffer Lands is the facing of the mortality and the Woman on Horseback is the final stage of resting in peace with the outcome."

Lynn H. Butler, Peace

The fact that Lynn created an image of peace as a woman on horseback relates directly to her working method as a photographer: "From the Camargue in France to Sleepy Hollow in New York, then from the Maine coast to California, I searched the countryside by horseback to construct a plea to witness and conserve what is unique about the natural world. I photograph while in movement, mostly from horseback."  From this perch, the artist finds her evocative subjects that she transforms, through the process of photo development, into imagery reminiscent of Impressionism.

Lynn has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants.  Most recently, she received one from the Ministry de Culture, Espace Malraux Scene Nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie, France; Best Art Photographer, Newsweek, Selection for I.C.P. Infinity Awards; and First Prize, Washington Thoroughbred Associated Art Show, Seattle.

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Bosom Bodies: An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness closed on October 29th.  However, the artists' work remains on view on our Facebook page and on our Bosom Bodies blog.  Please visit us often and share these sites with your friends.

Bosom Bodies is a 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Trisha Wright

Trisha Wright, Striation II

Photographer Trisha Wright brings to Bosom Bodies a poignant series of works that describe dealing with breast cancer. She is a survivor. The artist explains:

"Having undergone a bilateral mastectomy fraught with difficulties has dramatically altered this experience as I project myself through surrogates in an attempt to feel whole once again. The beautiful mystery of the human form expressed through ethereal light and deep shadow expresses my world of dualities. Merging that form with aspects of the natural world creates a psychological fusion and metamorphosis. That is to say that aspects of a deeper self (often represented through water,  reflections, or both) are no longer ‘apart’ but merge in new ways to form hybrid realities."

Trisha Wright, Sky

Trisha came to photography through working with her father in the darkroom: "My artistic journey began at the age of four. I spent many hours in my father’s darkroom marveling in the artistic process as images slowly emerged from a tray of red liquid. One day I saw a bit of my own image begin to surface. As my reflection slowly developed, it felt like a bridge connecting an essence within myself to the world 'outside'.

I realized this years later when, as an art student working on a series of nude self portraits, I became aware of the 'loosening of boundaries' between this deeper self and the outside world. That is to say that a connection between the alchemy of the process and corporeality initiated feelings of inter-connectiveness, both psychological and concrete.

Photographs are quite literally 'light traces'; they are of course interpretations but also emanations of that very same light reflected from myself at that time and in that place. Herein lies the magic; time in this sense is not linear. Light traces from the past create new metaphorical spaces; they unify the figure and surroundings in a concrete way."

Trisha Wright, Metamorphosis

Trisha's intense series of images that capture what she calls "body life."   She began using infra-red  film with an array of traditional techniques and toning. She feels that her work has "evolved" in the "digital realm." 

Trisha studied fine arts at the University of Colorado/Boulder and at the Art Academy in San Francisco, where she worked as a free-lance photographer.  She worked in the Peace Corps in Gabon before moving to NYC, where she took classes at the International Center of Photography.  She earned an MA in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.   Trisha has taught in Port Washington, NY for the past 20 years. Previously, she taught art at Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY.

Trisha spent her summers on Cape Cod and in Rockport, Maine attending the Maine Photographic Workshops, known for their outstanding faculty. She credits Karin Rosenthal,  Elizabeth Opalenik and Connie Imboden as her major influences.

Trisha has exhibited at the Arts and Architecture Gallery in Toronto, Canada;  Ceres Gallery in Chelsea, NYC;  Heckshire Museum in Huntington, NY;  Graphic Eye Gallery in Port Washington, NY;  Macy Gallery at  Columbia University; and at Skidmore College in Saratoga, NY.  Her fine art photographs belong to several private collections throughout the United States and Canada.

Trisha wrote that her creative process "fuels [her] personal search for a sense of fusion between external and internal worlds." We are so pleased and honored that Trisha Wright agreed to be part of  Bosom Bodies: An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Her work has brought a personal narrative to the show that reflects our collective concerns and SISTAAH's mission: Survivors Inspiring Sister Through Art and Advocacy for Health. 

* * *
Come join us for the final day of  Bosom Bodies to see Trisha Wrights photos in person and the other 15 artists' work: Roni Ben-Ari, Lynn H. Butler, Marcy B. Freedman, Kathleen Gilje, Nadine Gordon-Taylor, Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Clarity Haynes, Carla Rae Johnson, Barbara Lubliner, Sasha [Alexandru] Meret, Ioana Niculescu-Aron, Toni Quest, Ruby Silvious, and Christina Thomas.

Marcy B. Freedman will perform "A Short History of My Elbows" at 3 PM, followed by an artists' discussion: "When the Personal Becomes Professional" and a reception.

Closing/Finissage: Sunday, October 29th, SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566.  3 - 5 PM.

For more information, please contact the curator Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, the director of the New York Arts Exchange, at or

Bosom Bodies is a


Friday, October 27, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Roni Ben-Ari

Roni Ben Ari, Ladies in Waiting,, 2017

Award-winning television journalist who became a full-time photographer, Roni Ben-Ari brings to Bosom Bodies a sobering narrative about the world of prostitution beyond the lurid images we see in the tabloids.  This is not your 21st century of Manet's Olympia or a feminist view of  Picasso's  Les Demoiselles d'Avignon moved to Israel, Russia and India.  No - this is real life captured by a sympathetic,  gifted artist who met these "working women" between tricks and promotional posing in brothels.  She calls them Ladies in Waiting.  The artist explains:

"In the  Ladies in Waiting photography project I was introduced to the lives of sex workers through my volunteer work in a mobile clinic in Tel Aviv. It is a clinic that offers medical treatment, food for women that work in prostitution ‒ in the streets or in apartment. The clinic’s staff includes a doctor, a nurse, social workers and dedicated volunteers that travel on set days to places that are known to have prostitutes who are subjugated to their profession. The female staff provides blood tests to identify sexual diseases, manual breast exam, condoms, and clean needles for drug use ‒ which are an inseparable part of prostitution. They offer sandwiches as well as cold and hot drinks. With these actions, they attempt to acquire their trust, and to provide them with an honest environment, a friendly face, genuine concern and a sympathetic ear. . . . . "

"Because I already met most of them and they knew me as a volunteer, I could share my interest in them as a photographer. If anyone didn’t want to take part, I left them alone, and to anyone that agreed I offered to set a day where we would sit with a cup of coffee in a place that was convenient for us both and we would talk without a camera. This didn’t happen right away. Building trust is a lengthy process where both sides, examine with a microscope, the honesty of the interview and the idea to be exposed. From the trust that was built, I became a fly on the wall ‒ present but not felt, serving as a witness to what is taking place in the woman’s daily life and in the lives of those like her. I gained a number of new friends ‒ life gave them a bad turn, but they remained women, daughters, people. Together we could take a walk, eat, drink coffee and talk about any subject without mentioning a word about how they made a living."

Photo of Roni Ben-Ari

Born in Ramat Gan, Israel, Roni Ben-Ari's first career was in radio and television research and production.  In 1984, she became a television director and reporter.  In 1996, she became a full-time photographer, curator and multimedia artist.   She studied at the College of Arts and Crafts in Givatayim, where she dedicated herself to creating enamel work and silver jewelry.  In 1968, she switched into broadcasting and pursued her degree in 1976-78 at the TV Journalism College in Tel Aviv,  In 1988, Roni Ben-Ari was recognized with the Zvi Award for Journalism.  As a photographer, she was selected for The Humanity Photo Awards Exhibition, organized by UNESCO and the China Folklore Photographic Association in Guangzhou in 2009.  Since then she has earned the Julia Margaret Cameron Award (2nd Edition) in the category of Portraits and Figures, first prize from The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards in the category of Culture and People, and honorable mention among the finalists for the Jacob Riis Documentary Award (5th Edition), and the Hariban Award in Kyoto, Japan  - the latter two bestowed this year.  Among her curatorial projects were Quest in 2016 and 2015, in Tel Aviv and Tel Hai, Israel, respectively.

Ladies In Waiting continues Roni Ben-Ari's principle mission of bringing attention to people who are "the rejected, the invisible and the voiceless."  She wrote in her book on this series: "I spent time in a closed ward for the elderly, and I saw up close how lonely they are in a fancy and impressive building; I followed members of the Ethiopian community in Israel, closed up amongst themselves; I saw how passersby walked, without giving a look, on the homeless that hide in a torn cardboard box on a cold winter day or sleep on the sidewalk by the light of the streetlamp on a hot summer night; I passed the border every morning in order to tell a story about a stone that is used for building and not for war, in a place where Arabs and Jews have been working together for twenty years; I thought that I would drown in a hill of garbage that relentlessly grows without anyone thinking that it would be better to separate most of it and recycle; I resided in neighborhoods of gypsies that live in filth; in deplorable conditions at the city edge because it is easier to push them away than to live near them. . . . .

I photographed my current project Ladies in Waiting for a year and a half in Israel, India, Russia, and Holland. The project describes the reality of the prostitutes that work on the streets and those that work in brothels. I wanted to understand what happens to them, from a human perspective, while waiting for the 'next one on line,' before they experience, yet again, the exploitation of their body and soul."

It has been a privilege to exhibit Roni Ben-Ari's work within the context of Bosom Bodies. In the midst of this "Harvey Weinstein" moment that lays bare the culture of sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse among the rich and powerful, Ben-Ari's work reveals yet another chilling example of misogyny that requires our attention and sympathy.  For more information about Roni Ben-Ari and to see her interviews on video, please visit her website: Roni Ben-Ari.

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Bosom Bodies closes on Sunday, October 29th with a Performance by Marcy B. Freedman, an Artists' Panel on "The Personal Becomes the Professional" and a reception.  Come join us from 3 - 5 pm at SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY.   

For more information, please contact the curator Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director of the New York Arts Exchange,  or visit:

Bosom Bodies is a 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Nadine Gordon-Taylor

Nadine Gordon-Taylor, Multiple Spheres of Consciousness

Nadine Gordon-Taylor paints her access to an authentic spiritual awareness.  This is an extraordinary gift enriched by her constant study of art history, visual arts, philosophy and symbolism. Nadine earned her doctorate at Columbia  University, Teacher's College and her MFA from Long Island University, C.W. Post campus.  In addition, she studied painting and human anatomy at Art Students League and lithography at the famous [Robert] Blackburn Print Studio.  As an undergraduate at Hunter College, she studied with the renowned Post-Minimalist artist Robert Morris.  For Bosom Bodies, Nadine contributed Multiple Spheres of Conscious and explained its Intuitive Message: "There are things that you have always wanted to do and never thought you could.  The Blue Rose has appeared to you at this time of your life to communicate that it is possible to do and have what you want.  Believe in miracles and be open to them appearing to you in non-traditional ways.  This is a time of awakening . . . "    The Blue Rose in many ways is a nurturing symbol, a cluster of petals that becomes a cosmic breast.

Nadine Gordon-Taylor, Balance: Seeing Through the Eye of Illusion

Multiple Spheres of Consciousness is part of Nadine's Portal series, which includes Balance: Seeing through the Eye of Illusion.  To understand her work, the artist explains: "I consider myself a 'translator' helping viewers tap into a wider spectrum of consciousness.  My art is like a gateway to the invisible. Stepping through the opening unites you with a higher consciousness.  As you experience colors, shapes, and objects in my art, you activate and align to inherent geometries of vibration that resonate and confirm our consciousness."   Nadine sells her original painting and reproductions of her original paintings at The Third Eye Studio at 108 South Division Street in Peekskill.

Nadine Gordon-Taylor, Spiral Universe with Spider: for Lisa

Now retired from teaching art at Scarsdale High School, Nadine still runs the School of Intuitive Art in Peekskill, where she lives. She has generously donated her SIA Gallery to our exhibition in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To learn more about SIA, please watch Nadine on this broadcast of Living Arts with Jackie Suarez and contact Nadine Gordon-Taylor at The Third Eye Studio.

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Sadly, we will have to close Bosom Bodies this Sunday, October 29th with our Finissage Performance, Panel and Reception.  Please join us to celebrate this wonderful collaboration with Nadine and all the BB artists, from 3 - 5 pm at SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566.

For more information, please contact the curator Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director of the New York Arts Exchange, at 

Bosom Bodies is a 


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Ioana Niculescu-Aron

Ioana Niculescu-Aron, Vertical 26, 2017

Ioana Niculescu-Aron has been impressively prolific for her young years.  Born in Bucharest, Romania in 1994, she has already exhibited internationally in numerous venues. Last year, she had two solo exhibitions in New York: one at the Romanian Cultural Institute in midtown and the other at Artifact Gallery on the Lower East Side. She has completed two undergraduate degrees in fine arts from The National University of Arts, Bucharest, Romania and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, Italy, plus two master's degrees in fine arts from The National University of Arts, Bucharest, Romania and the Haute école des arts du Rhin (HEAR) in  Strasbourg-Mulhouse, France. She is currently living in Regensburg, Germany and working on a series that includes the work contributed to Bosom Bodies: Vertical 26.  

Ioana explains her digitally composed photograph: "This image is part of the project Constellation on the Skin, a project that contains over 30 such pieces  (44,5’ x 16,5’ each) on glass. As the project is still in progress, I’ve decided to present for this unique occasion one of the sketches I have already made.  What I do is draw a graphic 'constellation' from the beauty spots on my chest. The structure is the skin, the color is the pigmentation of it. The beauty is the complexity inside us, drawn in this case  as some 'vectors' of transition: broken lines connecting  two points. The points in question are plastic markings designed to lay down certain directions of interest and to streamline the composition. In this way it is built from the illusion of recomposition without an end, of a permanent search of ourselves."

Ioana Niculescu-Aron with her exhibition Equilibrium at Artifact Gallery, June-July 2016

Mingling the abstract with the experiential, Ioana creates work that speaks to our existential concerns.  In her works for the exhibition Equilibrium, she focused on a colorful, lyricism in abstraction.  Iooana is inspired by the various aspects of our urban environments.  They are, for her, a collage: "The city is an antithetical COLLAGE of thoughts that crowd coexist side by side.  Streets, structures, asphalt, pipes - are composition elements for air and color - are lines of force.  But the city is also the one that can rob you of a healthy, steady breathing.  Inspired by all these, I paint.  The way I do ti is splitting the points of interest into more [than one] canvas."

One of her most challenging works took place in the abandon seaside casino in Constanta, Romania, wherein she videoed its haunting interiors and her personal perceptions, as if in search of her own sense of self  and her humanity within the landscape of contemporary decrepitude. By exploring this magnificent Art Nouveau building (completed in 1910), she seems to record her awareness of time, touch, sight, smell and hearing in terms of its ephemeral qualities -- like the history of this forgotten luxury resort.  Hopefully, she will continue her project at the casino in the future. 

We are so pleased that Ioana accepted our invitation to exhibition with Bosom Bodies and we look forward to hearing more about her project Constellation on the Skin developing in Regensburg this year.

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Please join us for the Finissage/Closing Performance, Panel and Reception for Bosom Bodies on Sunday, October 29, 3 - 5 pm at SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566.
For more information, please contact the curator Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, at

Bosom Bodies is a

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Carla Rae Johnson

Carla Rae Johnson, Please Touch Vesuvius, 2000

Carla Rae Johnson is a gifted artist whose accolades include a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, the Westchester Arts Council Design Commission for Cultural Tourism, the Studios Midwest Artist in Residence, and a Pollock-Krasner Grant.  Moreover, she is a much-beloved professor (or to quote her students: "awesome!"), an activist and a leader among artists in the Westchester/Hudson River area (she runs a fabulous salon).  Carla Rae's contribution to Bosom Bodies is part of her Séance Series, entitled Please Touch Vesuvius: Emily Dickinson Meets Marcel Duchamp.

Carla Rae explains: "Begun in 2000, this series proposes hypothetical meetings between creative and historic figures who never met during their life-times. The very first installment of this series is Emily Dickinson Meets Marcel Duchamp. In, The Séance Series the women in the sculptures and drawings pose a feminist challenge to their male counterparts testing courage and creative wits."   

Please Touch Vesuvius: "Asked to design an invitation in 1947, Duchamp submitted a rubber cast of a woman’s breast adhered to black velvet and titled Please Touch  Emily Dickinson, in several of her poems compares her explosive poetic powers (and, perhaps, some smoldering angers) to the natural force and heat of a volcano.  The juxtaposition of breast and volcano creates associations rich in visual/formal relationships, powerful contrasts, and gender role reversals."

Carla Rae Johnson,  Audre Lorde Meets Abraham Lincoln, 2007

Another installation from The Séance Series is a bridge made of rope and wood,  75 x 96 x 48 inches, which conceptualizes Audre Lorde Meets Abraham Lincoln, exhibited at Ceres Gallery in 2007.  The artists wrote: "Lorde and Lincoln play 'bridge.'   This bridge is not a card game, but a physical, symbolic span across an obstacle.  I think Audre Lorde would have confronted Lincoln on issues of race, power, and privilege, so it is Lincoln who must build the bridge. Not a straightforward crossing, this is a difficult, jagged transition; composed of huge steps, twists, inclines, and internal tensions.  At the top of the center of the crossing is a “spirit-level” symbolic of the quest to equalize and create a more level ground. Beneath the bridge sits the 'house.' Emblematic of the existing social structure, 'the master's house,' is the obstacle that must be bridged with understanding and common ground, level ground, so that together Lorde and Lincoln can dismantle its walls and work toward a just future."  Both Please Touch Vesuvius and Audre Lorde Meets Abraham Lincoln speak to Carla Rae's commitment to feminist issues and social justice.

Carla Rae Johnson, from PTSD (Post Trump Series of Drawings), 2017

Carla Rae's latest project is PTSD (Post Trump Series of Drawings), a sassy, savvy book of politically charged comments that features the artist's extraordinary draftsmanship. It is an absolute pleasure to pore over these beautifully limned images besides appreciating her astute appropriations of popular culture (yes, Carla Rae, it feels like Oz and we want to go home to Auntie Em).  Twenty percent (20%) of the sales price ($15) goes to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Come celebrate Carla Rae Johnson's PTSD (Post Trump Series Drawings) at her book party!

Sunday, October 29th
923 Central Avenue, Peekskill, NY
 1- 4 PM.  

And then come to our Performances, Panel Discussion and Closing Party for Bosom Bodies, 3 - 5 PM, at SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, just down the road from the Bruised Apple.

* * *

Bosom Bodies remains open through October 29th.  Please join us this week for a slide lecture on "The History of the Breast in Art" offered by curator Beth S. Gersh-Nesic on Sunday, October 22nd, at 2 PM.   Gallery Hours: Friday,  Saturday, Sunday, 12 noon - 5 PM.

Bosom Bodies is a 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Toni Quest

Toni Quest, U.S. in Us, 1994

Toni Quest (aka "Screaming Woman") is a Renaissance Woman: artist, entrepreneur,  undergraduate professor, life coach, jewelry designer, host of Energy Stoners  Jewelry Design Salons, talk-show host for Talk with TQ (available on YouTube), podcast personality on the internet radio show Seeing Beneath the Surface with Peter Elvidge and Toni Quest, curator, and author.  Best known among her publications are her autobiography Actualized, a Life in Progress and poetry in View of the Middle of the Road, Volume II (PRA Publishing).  She also contributed a photo of her painting U.S. in Us to the book's cover.  And Toni has posted numerous articles on LinkedIn. For Bosom Bodies, Toni painted her self-portrait entitled Giving It All.

Toni Quest, Giving It All, 2017
oil on canvas

Toni explains: "Giving it All is an awkward depiction of a woman who has not experienced a pregnancy. In spite of this, she does feel genuine maternal instincts. So she offers whatever sustenance she can manage to squeeze from her virtually empty breasts. Albeit cumbersome at times,  she generously offers her love  however she can."  And indeed Toni gives her love, her time and her wise counsel generously and unconditionally.  She is Peekskill's "hostess with the mostest" (a sobriquet created for DC socialite Perle Mesta). Moreover, Toni's energy knows no bounds.

Toni Quest with her work U.S. in Us during the exhibition Art Above the Sofa,  NYC
April 28, 2017

Toni teaches "Self-Actualizing Portraiture"© based on her own experience after a debilitating accident in 1994.  "[I] later formally wrote the instructional design for this course while in graduate school in 2008. [The] instructional design focuses on the needs of combat veterans who suffer from the symptoms of PTSD. "  Toni Quest has also taught psychology, sociology, geriatrics, writing and American history at the College of New Rochelle and is a certified Law of Attraction Life Coach, who specializes in artists' careers.

Toni Quest, Self-Portrait, 
on the cover of  Actualized, A Life in Progress (2016)

This Saturday, October 14th, Toni opens the exhibition she curated: Dia de los Muertos, featuring  Sue Zoon, Studio 4, 925 South Street, Peekskill,, October 14-November 17.  Opening hours: 6 - 9 PM.  

Also the next meeting of Energy Stoners  Jewelry Design Salon will be held at Studio 4 on October 20th.  Contact Toni for details and to make a reservation:

I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by Toni on Talk with TQ and Beneath the Surface with Peter Elvidge and Toni Quest.  Hopefully, they will invite me back for more - great fun, great conversation!

* * *
Bosom Bodies remains open through Sunday, October 29th.  Gallery Hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon - 5 pm.  SIA Gallery, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566.  For more information, please contact the curator, Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director of the New York Arts Exchange, LLC at

Bosom Bodies is a 

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Lynn H. Butler

Lynn H. Butler, After Lynn Hyman Butler is an internationally recognized artist, whose photographs belong to numerous public and p...