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Juried Art Program

How to exhibit at the library

Exhibition is on display March 3, 2024 to March 29, 2024.

Artist’s Statement:

The uncanny is at once absolutely familiar and yet strangely unsettling. In our own world where everything is increasingly programmed and automated, the uncanny interrupts our assumptions. For example, butterflies escape their pins and fly away from the cabinet that holds them; a young woman puts down her book of ghost stories oblivious to the ghost observing her. The uncanny, more than anything, is the feeling we get when something familiar happens in a strange context, or conversely, when something strange happens in a familiar context. It is the feeling one gets on seeing new occupants in a childhood home; the uncanny disturbs the borders of familiar things.

The word uncanny has its origins in 16th century Scotland and its history can be traced through the literature of ghost stories. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, the idea moved from the countryside into the city – from Henry James’ terrifying tale ‘The Turn of the Screw’ to Shirley Jackson’s urban nightmare ‘Paranoia’. Today we use the term uncanny valley when describing our unease in differentiating human from computer.

In my work I use familiar seeming images and place them in slightly strange settings. The use of old photographs is deliberate as I am relying on our belief that photographs do not lie. Cinematographers understand that images in black and white convey truthfulness.

My pictures capture ambiguity, such as two sets of twins meeting on a bridge in ‘Doppelganger, Doppelganger’; misinterpretation, as seen in ’Playtime with Nanny’; or even something perfectly reasonable like ‘Babysitting Granny’ that isn’t really reasonable at all.

The uncanny is there waiting to be noticed.

About the Artist:

When my children grew up and we stopped reading pop-up books together, I started taking apart the books that I owned to see how they worked.  Little by little, I taught myself the basics of the mechanisms and eventually got to the point where I could teach classes in Pop-up card making.  From there, I discovered paper engineering. I became fascinated by all the things a simple piece of paper could do.  The surfaces of my work are layered and often the paper is torn, cut or folded allowing me to create illusions of depth.  The staircase in “We have always Lived Here” allows my paper characters to climb.

My work often looks like illustrations for stories that you might almost remember or that haven’t yet been written. My literary influences are ghost stories and more specifically the ghost stories of Edith Wharton who describes chilly mansions and barely there encounters with things uncanny.  I often nod my head in agreement with the weird events described by Ambrose Bierce. Although not technically ghost stories, the writings of Jorge Luis Borges push my brain to uncanny areas of coincidence and mystery.

The visual artists who have clearly influenced me are Rene Magritte, whose elegant canvases describe scenes that are quietly mad, and Max Ernst who created brilliant and humorous collages. I search through books of early 19th and 20th century photographs for imagery that imbues the sense of things both forgotten and remembered.

Susan Kaufman

Website: srkaufman.com

Exhibit Art at the Library

Artists who are interested in exhibiting at the Harrison Public Library, Bruce Avenue, Harrison, NY for approximately one month during 2025 are invited to submit samples of their artwork for review by a Juried Art Committee sponsored by the Harrison Council for the Arts.

Twelve artists will be awarded one person shows by our jury, with three alternate artists chosen as well, should unexpected circumstances prevent artists from exhibiting according to schedule.  Group shows (2, 3 or 4 persons) will also be considered provided these artists register and submit work together.  Please note for group shows, all entrants must be chosen. 

If you are interested in competing for one of these shows, please bring samples to the Community Room, Harrison Public Library, 2 Bruce Avenue, Harrison, NY on Friday, May 17, 2024 between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  All artists must pick up their samples on Saturday, May 18, 2024 between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Two-dimensional art only is eligible and the samples must be in the form of two different pieces of the actual art (preferably framed), 12 copies of the art either in the form of 35mm slides, photos, prints or on computer disk (all different/representational of the artist’s work), and a resume. 

Please review the Art Exhibit Guidelines and Agreement.  If you choose to participate, you will be notified of the jury’s decision by mail no later than June 30, 2024.  If awarded exhibit time, you will be asked to call Kenji Kaneshiro at the Library and provide him with three choices for a monthly exhibit in 2025 (first come-first served).  If Kenji is not available when you call, please leave a voicemail message with your three choices 914/835-0324.  Kenji will confirm your exhibit date by mail and at that time you will be asked to sign the Art Exhibit Agreement which must be returned immediately.  The applicable fee is due three months prior to the exhibit date (see the Guidelines). 

If you have any questions, please contact Kenji Kaneshiro at the Library 914/835-0324 [email protected].

To be considered as an exhibitor, your work must be reviewed and approved by our distinguished jury formed by invitation from the Harrison Council for the Arts:

HOPE FRIEDLAND is a native New Yorker. As an undergraduate she majored in Ceramics and was selected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. She attended Columbia University for her master’s degree and upon graduation took additional graduate credits in Florence Italy. For many years she has taught watercolor classes to adults in Scarsdale and Mamaroneck. Hope is the director of The Westchester Artist Guild. This large group of local artists gather weekly, paint, exhibit and do critiques together. She was the co-president of the Northern Westchester Watercolor Society. As an award winning visual artist she paints in watercolor, works in mixed media and recently became interested in creating artists books. Her works are on display in local exhibits throughout the year. In Hope’s words “I love attending workshops, learning new techniques and sharing my knowledge with others.”

TRACY GILMAN, a B.F.A. and M.S. graduate of Pratt Institute, currently teaches Studio Art and Ceramics at Harrison High School. Prior to teaching in Harrison, Ms. Gilman taught in various museums and alternative educational settings, joining the New York City public school system in 1999. She has been a working artist since 1995, having shown her work throughout Westchester, New York City, Detroit, Sweden and Japan. Ms. Gilman was a founding director and exhibiting member of the Rider Project, a mobile art gallery in New York City, as well as an original member of Fakework, an Artist Collective. Ms. Gilman is a Board Member of the Harrison Council for the Arts, the Castle Gallery of New Rochelle, and maintains active memberships in the National Council of Education for the Ceramic Arts, the National Arts Education Association and the New York State Art Teachers Association.

ANGIE MARTINETTI was born and raised in Harrison, New York. They are currently living in New Rochelle, commuting to New York City for work and school. They graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2020 with a BFA in Film and Animation, and are currently working towards their MFA in Visual Arts Education at Hunter College. Angie’s foundations are in the 2D fine arts and digital media with extensive work in character design and self-produced short films. Their illustrative work leans towards topics of identity, reflection, and the visualization of emotions. More recently, Angie has been introduced to the world of prop and costume design for live theater. They have created large-scale, functional props for Harrison High School’s 2023 musical Into The Woods and Mamaroneck High School’s 2024 musical Newsies

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