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Two Local Artists and Westchester’s Largest Park, Connected By Nature

Detail of "Garlic in a Wire Basket" by Sally Franklin
Detail of "Garlic in a Wire Basket" by Sally Franklin
Detail of "Garlic in a Wire Basket" by Sally Franklin

This summer, paired with the lush grounds of Westchester County’s largest park, visitors will find artwork that breathes the same life as its green meadows and picturesque hiking trails. The WPA Gallery at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation will display the nature-inspired works of two local artists as part of its Art in the Park program.

With a mission of “comingling the appreciation and understanding of the natural world with its expression through all art forms,” Art in the Park’s newest exhibition is appropriately called “Connected by Nature.” Works by artists Sally Franklin and Joanne D. Ponzo reflect each of the artists’ passion for art and nature. The two have been painting together for eight years after discovering their shared passion for watercolor paints, but their backgrounds and styles differ from one another.

Sally Franklin, a fine artist with a background in fashion illustration, creates both delicate, fluid watercolor paintings and meticulously rendered works in colored pencil. Fabric, the play between light and shadows, and nature are all elements that often make their way into her works. For instance, in “Hear the Rustle,” a simple pile of leaves is presented through a playful mix of autumn colors, its unfinished edges intentionally showing energy just beneath the surface.

“Well Balanced” by Joanne D. Ponzo

Joanne D. Ponzo, previously an art teacher and currently an art therapist, draws with pencil to render images as realistically as possible for the base of her watercolor and oil paintings; however, she often interprets the images in a new way by allowing the paint to make its own decisions. In “Stone Balance,” carefully stacked stones emit both strength and delicate balance that are reflected in color and subject.

A July 14 opening reception from 1-3pm will include music by jazz and blues pianist Michael Weinstein. In addition to taking in the artwork, guests can make a day of their visit to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation due to the well-rounded list of activities available on the grounds of the 4,315-acre park, from playgrounds to picnic amenities.  The works will remain on view through August 18. A portion of the proceeds from artwork sold will support future Art in the Park programs.

Art in the Park’s supporters include the Hudson Valley MOCA, Katonah Museum of Art, Westchester Parks Foundation and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, among others.

WPA Gallery is one of two galleries at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (the other is The Gallery in the Park). It is located at the Junction of Routes 35 & 121 S. in Cross River, NY. 914-864-7317.

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