By Stephen E. Lipken
ArtsFest 2018 returned to New Rochelle and Pelham from October 19 to October 21, covering an amazing journey of art events and activities, beginning with an Oktoberfest Gallery Hop.
At Flowerbake by Angela, 136 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, owner Angela Scalamogna, a self-taught cake decorator opened her own bakery on Valentine’s Day, offering a variety of delicious baked goods along with cake decorating classes for kids and adults. Local Pelham artist Katy Garry held a pop-up exhibit of her fine art during the ArtsFest weekend and families could purchase and “paint” their own cookies surrounded by her works in the light-filled space.
INSPO, 144 Fifth Avenue, a boutique, featured a gallery of paintings by co-owner Janice Harding. Asked about the origin of the store’s name, daughter and co-owner Ginghi Clarke shared, “I wanted my store to serve as an inspiration to all my customers and be inspired by them as well.”
Charlotte Mouquin, Executive Director at the Pelham Art Center (PAC) stated that art lovers who attended the Oktoberfest Gallery Hop kickoff party were provided with beer by the Bronx Brewing Company and music by the Eric Katz Trio. Susan Nathenson, ceramicist and instructor at PAC did a book signing and pop-up exhibition.
Saturday’s events at PAC included guest artist Bob Clyatt with an interactive art project. Sunday’s events featured a magic show featuring Eitan Gotian and partnership with Love Yourself. Hair sculptor Michael Mut was on hand to conduct free hair stylings.
Mut mentioned that the Love Yourself Project, Brooklyn, providing arts, education and self-empowerment was started in 2010 with 1,000 origami hearts, “where people wrote one thing that they loved about themselves inside the heart. By 2020 we will have 10,000 hearts.”
Thomas Paine Cottage Museum, New Rochelle showcased photography and collage paintings by Cristina Cerone; watercolors by Sara Furlong, works by the Emmet family, plus Colonial Re-enactors. A sumptuous meal was catered by Beechmont Tavern.
“I was asked to be a part of ArtsFest, even though we are not traditionally an art gallery. The restaurant is adorned with Matisse-inspired paintings which was my inspiration, being a self-taught artist,” restauranteur Alvin Clayton, owner of Alvin and Friends, New Rochelle said.
“Most communities that focus on art tend to have a very viable community, with people coming from all over, because art is a language in itself.” Clayton pointed out that some of his artwork is painted blue, particularly noted jazz and dance performers. “Blue represents spirituality that performs at a higher level than this world.”
Famed 3D-Pop Artist Charles Fazzino remarked that he was inspired by pop-up books as a kid. “I attended the School of Visual Arts as an illustrator, put things together and made them look like a pop-up book.” Fazzino’s daughter Heather exhibited several portraits.
Fazzino shared that he was commissioned by the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center, Glen Cove, L.I. to commemorate 12 heroes instrumental in saving Jews, the theme, “After the Darkness.” Three pieces from the exhibition, a plate engraved with the name “Yad Vashem;” “After the Darkness,” a 3D-picture of Holocaust scenes including the rail line to Auschwitz and a free-standing Jewish Prayer Book, wrapped in barbed wire were on hand.
Finally, Tailgate Dogs & Sausages Restaurant, New Rochelle displayed a stunning series of hand-painted portraits by Floyd Simmons of rappers and renowned athlete Michael Jordan.
ArtsFest was sponsored by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts (NRCA); Alvin and Friends; AJ’s Burgers; ArtsWestchester; Fazzino; Gallery Roc; Gwendolen Appleyard; Hurley’s Steakhouse and Pub; Montefiore New Rochelle; City of New Rochelle; New Rochelle Radiology; RXR; Ottavio’s Woodworking; Tailgate Dogs & Sausages; and WatermarkPointe.