WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- If you are looking for something free and mentally stimulating to do in January, a free exhibition in downtown White Plains puts a surgical lens on the ways art can be healing and how healing can be an art. The exhibit reopens on Tuesday, Jan. 3 and runs through Jan. 14 when there is a closing reception planned with the artists.
ArtsWestchester’s fall exhibition titled "Remedy" explores human attempts to relieve society’s modern ailments. The exhibit sponsored by Westchester Medical Center opened in October.
“From our growing biotech industry to booming world-class hospitals, Westchester is at the center of the evolution of medical treatments. Artists play a critical role in the healing process,” said Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester. “You only have to look as far as our local hospitals, which are bringing artwork into treatment centers, hiring art therapists to work with patients and turning those green hospital walls into more attractive canvases to see that the medical profession has embraced the restorative power of the arts.”
Among the local artists featured in "Remedy" are: Jacqueline Lorieo of Yonkers, Dianne Aronian of Yorktown Heights, Richard Falco of North Salem, Peter Konsterlie of Bridgeport, Conn., Carol Pfeffer of Irvington and Samantha Yergo of Mamaroneck.
“The artists in this exhibition engage with the relationship between arts and healing on a number of levels," said Kathleen Reckling, ArtsWestchester gallery director.
“Some are inspired by the methods, instruments, and institutions that diagnose and treat our ailments. Others remind us that art is a remedy in and of itself," Reckling said. "The work is provocative, it is humorous and it is also poignant.”
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ArtsWestchester’s Gallery is located at 31 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains. The exhibition is made possible with support from Westchester Medical Center. It will be on display through Jan. 14, 2017. Docent tours of the exhibit are available to the public and for private groups with a suggested per person donation.
Irvington's Pfeffer said she is inspired by current neuroscience research. Her “Brain State” series interprets sensory events in the brain’s cortexes and explores neurological issues such as synesthesia, a phenomenon in which the stimulation of one sense involuntarily induces perception of another sense. The works are created through chemical and light exposures in a darkroom without the use of an actual camera.
Working across media, the contributing artists engage with the tools, institutions, and methods of healing, as well as the role artists and art can play in the process of personal and collective healing.
Works like Brooklyn artist Laura Splan’s “Prozac, Thorazine, Zoloft” blend humor and craft with the tools of modern medicine to provoke questions about what can provide comfort in times of physical or mental distress. Splan’s soft sculptures, made through the tedious and time-consuming process of latch hooking, transform these commonly prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressants into cozy, domestic objects. Her oversized “pill-ows” provide a different kind of comfort than their prescription counterparts.
“Asylum” is a captivating body of work by New York photographer Christopher Payne who documented about 70 abandoned mental institutions in 30 states. Payne’s photographs are both lyrical and ghostly portraits of a forgotten age of mental health care.
Arizona-based artist Annie Lopez melds old photographic techniques with her Latina heritage to confront her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s and its effect on her family.
ArtsWestchester gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday, from noon to 6 p.m.
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