Yonkers-Based Artist Commissioned for Central Park Sculpture
Sculptor Vinnie Bagwell, a Yonkers native, has been commissioned to create a sculpture for Manhattan’s Central Park. The bronze work will replace a controversial statue that commemorates J. Marion Sims, a white doctor who conducted experimental surgeries on black female slaves in the 1800s. Bagwell’s Victory Beyond Sims rendering was the overwhelming favorite among the local community in which the statue will live. It depicts an 18-foot angel holding the rod of Asclepius, a serpent that symbolizes the field of medicine. On the angel’s skirt are carvings of the faces of black women.
Hudson River Museum Set For Expansion
Hudson River Museum (HRM) is set to begin renovations for an expansion. This is made possible with funds from the Westchester County Board of Legislators, who recently voted unanimously to approve renovations at the century-old establishment in Yonkers. The Board approved the use of $6.2 million, which had previously been allocated for other unbuilt improvements at the museum site. In addition to restorations to the historic Glenview house, these renovations include an expansion of the museum’s west wing to allow for additional gallery space for its permanent collection, enhancements to the climate control system to help preserve the Museum’s private collection, repairs to the leaky roof of the 1969 Brutalist-styled main building and a new indoor theater for winter programming. The project aims to provide HRM the ability to broaden its offerings to the public in Westchester and the metropolitan area.
ArtsWestchester Raises Funds for Public Art Project
New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Ira Schuman recently hosted a “Friendraiser” in support of a work of public art commissioned by ArtsWestchester. New York State textile artist Amanda Browder will create a monumental work of participatory public art (see more on page A8). At the event, guests mingled, Amanda Browder spoke of her artistic vision and funds were raised to match part of the $49,500 that ArtsWestcehster was granted from New York State Council on the Arts for this project. For more info, visit artsw.org/browder.
Clay Art Center Names New Executive Director
The Clay Art Center (CAC) has announced the appointment of Emily Peck as its new Executive Director. Peck brings tremendous nonprofit arts experience to CAC. In her position as Vice President of Private Sector Initiatives at Americans for the Arts (AFTA), she supported businesses and foundations in forming stronger partnerships to advance community. The Rye native also worked at Business Committee for the Arts (which later merged with AFTA) and Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to Carol Chevlowe, President of CAC’s Board of Directors: “Emily’s unique experience at the intersection of nonprofit, business and the arts will help build upon CAC’s six decades… while strategically guiding [it] forward.”
ArtsWestchester Announces Art$WChallenge
ArtsWestchester was recently joined by Westchester County Executive George Latimer and the Westchester County Board of Legislators to announce the Art$WChallenge, a matching grant program that raises funds in support of 62 eligible arts and culture groups throughout the County.Through December 16, eligible donations made will be matched by ArtsWestchester with support of the Westchester County government. Since its inception in 2007, the program has raised nearly $5.4 million – $3.6 million in private support for the arts, which were matched by $1.8 million by the County.
Support the Arts by Attending a Budget Hearing
Arts supporters can demonstrate to the Westchester County Executive and the Board of Legislators their support for cultural funding by attending one of Westchester County’s budget hearings this fall. The arts enhance quality of life, strengthen communities and act as an economic engine for the County. Attendance in large numbers helps to demonstrate how much the community is engaged by arts and cultural programs, as well as the cumulative impact the arts have on life in Westchester.
Upcoming public hearings for the 2020 budget:
Tuesday, November 19, 7pm
Doles Recreation Center Theater
250 S. 6th Avenue, Mount Vernon, NY
Tuesday, November 26, 7pm
Cortlandt Town Hall
1 Heady Street, Cortlandt, NY
Wednesday, December 4, 7pm
Westchester County Board of Legislators Chambers
148 Martine Avenue, 8th floor, White Plains, NY
A version of this article first appeared in the November issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.