2003 Arsenal Gallery Exhibits

Exhibits by Year:

December 10 - December 31, 2003

21st Annual Wreath Interpretations Exhibition
Various artists

The Arsenal Gallery celebrates the onset of winter with the opening of the 21st Annual Wreath Interpretations Exhibition. The exhibition features over 20 wreaths made of unusual materials, including paper cranes, blue mussel shells, and construction materials. The creative spirits who made wreaths for this exhibition generally reject the colors of traditional holiday crafts in favor of circular forms that delve into broad contemporary themes.

Highlights of this year's exhibition include a wreath made of interlocking paper hands that surround the heart of a life-size self-portrait and a tribute in pictures to Aretha Franklin, entitled "A Wreath O'Franklin."

Image of "Polka Dot Wreath" by Toby Allan Schift

Image of "Box Wreath" by Barbara Wallace

October 29 - December 4, 2003

Diane Dwyer

HOLLOW BONES, a one-person show of works by Diane Dwyer, features over twenty-five recent oil paintings of birds. Dwyer's catalogue of birds - which includes the American Goldfinch, the Blue-Winged Warbler and Tufted Titmouse, among others - is more akin to portraiture than to scientific illustration. Dwyer's paintings capture the character and expression of each bird as it alights for a brief moment in a bleak landscape before taking flight. The small scale of the work and the detailed depiction of each bird brings viewers in close to take notice.

Image of painting of a bluejay from 'HOLLOW BONES' by Diane Dwyer

September 16 - October 23, 2003

Seeds of Origin
Debra Ramsay

Seeds of Origin, a one-person show of works by New York native Debra Ramsay, includes over 15 new encaustic paintings. Ramsay's spare, yet luminous compositions of encaustic paint and found natural objects, such as seedpods, leaves and flower petals, pay homage to the textures and organic order of the natural environment.

Ramsay's process of building up successive translucent layers of pigmented beeswax allows earlier alterations to the piece to remain partially visible. "Using encaustic paint allows me to pursue my interest in layered knowledge," said Ramsay. "I'm intuitively drawn to the beauty of a seedpod's shape or a petal's color, and am intrigued by the complexity contained within these small pieces of nature. In a way, they serve as a metaphor for our complex and layered selves."

Photo of piece of art from "Seeds of Origin"

June 19 - September 5, 2003

Central to the City: Manhattan Squares

Central to the City: Manhattan Squares features 96 archival and contemporary photographs, vintage postcards, historic renderings, as well as artifacts and memorabilia representing the vital role Manhattan's 40 squares have played in the life of the city. The pictures and objects in the show have been selected to illustrate the range of features and activities in Manhattan's squares, from their origins to now, and represent the crucial role of these squares in defining the metropolis.

Manhattan's squares have been venues for outdoor markets, military exercises, political rallies, music, college commencements, and countless receptions, celebrations and vigils. They contain more than 40 of our finest scultures and have been the scene of historical milestones, from the display of the Statue of Liberty's torch in Madison Square to the first Labor Day Parade in Union Square. Most of the images included in the exhibition are from the New York City Parks & Recreation Photo Archive and Map File Collections, with additional images on loan from a variety of sources.

Image for Central to the City: Manhattan Squares exhibit

May 21 - June 12, 2003

Homage to the Horseshoe Crab
Takeshi Yamada

An Homage to the Horseshoe Crab features the work of Takeshi Yamada, a Japanese artist and naturalist based in Brooklyn, including drawings, paintings, and over thirty ceremonial masks painted directly onto the shells of horseshoe crabs. Takeshi Yamada collects horseshoe crab shells from Brooklyn's beaches and then transforms them into art objects evocative of archeological artifacts and mythological figures. Inspired by Japanese myths about the horseshoe crab, Mr. Yamada uses the animal's spear-like tail as a pen for his pen and ink drawings and the shells as his canvas in his "Warrior's Ceremonial Masks" series.

Photo of painted horseshoe crab by Takeshi Yamada

April 17 - May 15, 2003

Moonching Wu

Fluid, Moonching Wu's first one-person show, presents fifteen of the artist's recent color photographs of nature at water's edge. Ms. Wu's subtle photographs focus on the importance of water in nature-its fluidity, its power to sustain life, and its ability to reflect light. Taken in the coastal marshes and estuaries of North America, Europe, and Asia, the photographs on exhibit at the Arsenal Gallery are part of four ongoing series of images: Aerial View, Freshwater, Saltwater, and Rare Earth. Ms. Wu's photographs capture the colorful choreography of jellyfish, the symmetry of natural forms, and the designs of the landscape as seen from above. When not traveling, Ms. Wu explores New York parks, often shooting in the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and at Wave Hill in the Bronx. Her most recent additions to the Saltwater series chart the fluid motion of jellyfish at the New York Aquarium at Coney Island.

Image, Top: from the Saltwater Series by Moonching Wu

Image, Bottom: from the Aerial View Series by Moonching Wu

Image from Moonching Wu's Saltwater series

Photo of an aerial view of a coastal marsh

March 4 - April 3, 2003

Silent Voices

Charla begins each painting by wrapping her canvas around a tree or boulder found in nature and rubbing the textures of nature directly onto the canvas. Once back in the studio, the artist develops these preparatory texture sketches into subtly colored, abstract paintings. In the finished works, nature is almost imperceptible. Painted in oil and acrylic on canvas, the soft, abstract forms depicted are reminiscent of a horizon line draped in fog, luminous light falling on water, or a rough stone viewed through a microscope.

Photo of a painting "Separate", 2001, acrylic on canvas, by artist Charla

Photo of the rocks that inspired the painting "Separate"

January 30 - February 25, 2003

By The Strength of Our Hands

Organized by Parks & Recreation's Ebony Society Black History Committee, the exhibition of over forty artworks celebrating Black History Month features oil paintings, quilts, pastels, masks, and tile mosaics. By The Strength of Our Hands highlights the creative contributions of Parks employees, retirees, and seniors who are members in recreation centers throughout the city.

Photo of painting from "By The Strength of Our Hands" exhibit

January 9, 2003 - January 23, 2003

Look at This! NYC Through the Eyes of Children

Look at This! NYC Through the Eyes of Children is a multi-media exhibit of artwork made by children in the Parks Department's free afterschool program.

Detail image of artwork from the Parks After-School Program.

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