Juried Art Program
“The Process,” by Cécile Roberfroid and “Beirut Remains,” by May Elian
Exhibition is on display March 5 to March 31, 2023.
About the Artists:
Cécile is a French American abstract artist who trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York. After attending art school, she studied psychology and combined these two passions by becoming an art therapist, using the process of art-making to heal and process trauma. She has experience working in multiple media including ceramics, photography, fiber arts and oil paints, but has always felt most connected to oil paints.
May is an interdisciplinary Artist, an experienced Librarian and Media practitioner with over 10 years of experience in the field. She is a fully trilingual journalist in English, French and Arabic. She is a producer with strong online content skills and media crisis management expertise. She has a wide multimedia experience in data evaluation, social media, and cultural affairs.
I grew up in many different countries and often turned to art to make sense of the world around me. I continued my passion by attending art school, and combined art and psychology to become an art therapist. As an art therapist I use art and the art-making process to help others heal and work through trauma.
I work in a similar way with my own work using the process of art-making to heal, interpret and understand things around me. Each painting is a conversation, I start with a word, or a feeling and let the process happen. The choice of colors, shapes or movement is a reaction to the feelings I have at that moment. To that end, each painting is unique in being a response to my feelings at the moment of being created.
I am a Lebanese Canadian artist based in New York with a previous career in journalism. Constantly inspired by personal lessons learned, dedicated to overcoming trauma. Most of my body of work is a non-objective pattern based; influenced by past or current events. Sometimes I use figurative elements to convey a message that has exhausted obvious explanations.
My art reflects lines, scripts and shapes of tormented beings. It relies on intuition to incorporate typographical shapes, concluding in a chaotic, nevertheless, harmonious turbulence. It is deeply rooted in poetry and short stories. It starts with a thought, or lyrics that are intuitively hidden into the composition. Typographical elements – Akkadian, Arabic, English, French or Morse code – are intentionally used to induce interaction. Incorporating script into my composition invites the visitor – if interested – to decipher it. It is also like a charm that can protect your space and soul if you so choose.
I am an artist that is mostly comfortable at the intersection of art expression, ecology, and human rights activism. I combine oxymorons: concrete, anxious forms and raw material while longing for softness, slowness and closeness. Using a variety of mediums, I mostly work with acrylic, gauze and plaster to depict the agony generated by multiple, unhealed traumas.
Art for me is a continuous conversation where every mundane item fits. Questions of identity and belonging are deeply ingrained in my artmaking, as are themes of migration and asylum. It is my search for the truth. When words become pointless, sculptures answer, hence my ambition toward multisensory approaches. I am also drawn to functional art that embraces environmental issues, sustainable yet aesthetically- appealing.
One of my goals is to transform poetic discourses into dimensional installations that activate the public space, urban and rural. I am inquisitive about post-production art, its surroundings, where it is placed or displaced, where disregarded items reflect disregarded souls.
My latest work : “Beirut remains” imagines a city as a lover: deceptively antagonistic, yet dependent and nostalgic, attached yet longing to detach.
My upcoming exhibition at Harrison Public Library in March 2023 depicts mainly my feelings and attachment towards the city where I was born, Beirut especially after being in New york when the explosion happened at its the port on August 4th 2020. More than 230 died and many were injured and half of the city was destroyed.
My art is inspired by my biography, moving frequently, settlement constantly interrupted, if not transferred into paper, canvas it becomes an intolerable burden.
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 2024 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 12, 2023 between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. All artists must pick up their samples on Saturday, May 13, 2023 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, 2023. 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 2024 (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 firstname.lastname@example.org (alternate contact is Connie Perrotta, Harrison Council for the Arts Juried Art Program volunteer at 914/315-1922 email@example.com).
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.
FRANK SIERZEGA, a graduate of Harrison High School, received his B.A. from Fredonia College. He continued his studies at the College of New Rochelle and the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, with illustration being his main focus. Mr. Sierzega has worked as a freelance artist and was employed as a full-time graphic artist with J.A. Sexauer, Inc., Scarsdale, NY. He has been working with pastels for several years and has come to appreciate their immediacy and intensity of color.