Artists and curators are always looking for new avenues of expression and a popular new route has been pop-up galleries and exhibitions. This dynamic new trend has led to a variety of pop-ups around Westchester. Over the past year, the County has seen everything from an arts and music centric pop-up at the Rye House in Port Chester to a pop-up exhibition of fine art curated as part of an open house in Harrison.
Most recently, versatile designer and curator Manuel Wawrzy spearheaded an effort to bridge the gap between a traditional gallery show and more experimental settings for a variety of contemporary artists across different visual mediums. The pop-up exhibition, titled Collection MMXIX, was on display in a selection of industrial studio spaces at the Hudson River Landing in Dobbs Ferry, which houses a number of the artists, including some of the show participants.
Arlé Sklar-Weinstein, a fiber artist from Hastings-on-Hudson, was one of the exhibitors and has been showing in Westchester and SoHo galleries for 50 years. One of Sklar-Weinstein’s contributions to the show was a series of kimonos made primarily of caution tape and other plastics. “I had recently been gifted a bag of caution tape when I saw the breaking news of the Fukushima disaster,” explains Sklar-Weinstein. “I was moved by the impact of that emergency and began to create a kimono out of that caution tape.” The subsequent kimonos in the series retain the original form, but were inspired by different human catastrophes around the world.
Exhibiting artist Samer Akroush, who paints under the moniker RIDIKKULUZ, had a number of large scale self-portraits with contemporary takes on baroque and expressionist styles. “I grew up admiring painters like Caravaggio, and I love playing with shadow and silhouettes,” he explained. In one of the prominent exhibited pieces, As Per Your Request, Akroush reflects on the “idea of an artist being forced into the “9-5” as well as exploring a “duality of identities.” The dramatic visual tone of Akroush’s pieces can be quite evocative, but the undercurrent of humor and vulnerability sprinkled throughout his work serve to present a subtly balanced collection.
The exhibition, which was sponsored by Pure Insurance and USI Insurance Services, was on view for the evening of May 30. During the event, 25% of proceeds from pieces sold were contributed to the non-profit organization Art of Autism, whose representing artist Kimberly Tucker was also participating in the show.
William Bermingham works in the Communications Department at ArtsWestchester. He is a graduate of Purchase College where he studied Arts Management.