Harrison Public Library Presents “The Process,” by Cécile Roberfroid and “Beirut Remains,” by May Elian

Exhibition is on display March 5 to March 31, 2023.
Gallery is open to the public during regular library hours.

Artist’s Statements:

Cécile Roberfroid
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.

May Elian
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.

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.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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Harrison Public Library
2 Bruce Avenue
Harrison, NY
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2023
Times: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event

Presenter: Harrison Public Library
Presenter Phone: 914-835-0324
Presenter Website: harrisonpl.org