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Poe Park Visitor Center Presents: 9th Annual Whimsical Winter Wonder…Exhibition

Eighteen local, national, and international artists provide much-needed joy with their delightful interpretations of the whimsy and wonder of this most magical season of the year through their creative expression.

This fun exhibition is normally on display each year at Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx. While the gallery is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we've shared this year's exhibition as an online show featuring a display of each artwork alongside the artist's written interpretation of their work.

Exile Pattern, Bereket Alemayehu 

reflection of a canopy of leafless trees in a stream of water formed from melting snow on the forest floor

As Above So Below
75 cm x 53 cm, photo art

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reflection of a canopy of leafless trees in a stream of water formed from melting snow on the forest floor
leafless treed reflect in a puddle of water in which the melting snow looks like a cloud shaped like a dragon
A piece of melting ice on the ground looks like a sculpted glass bowl
Up close look at a slab of ice melting on the forest floor near a grove of pine trees
Pieces of ice melt and freeze again on the ground while reflecting the elements around them
black ice on the ground reflect what looks like a shadow of a tree
A circular piece of ice melts against a salmon-colored setting
a wave of ice frozen in motion

I’m an Ethiopian photographer residing in Seoul, South Korea. My arrival in South Korea was a turning point in my career development as I was able to get unlimited opportunities to the wonders of its natural beauty and paranormal scenery. I was captivated by South Korea’s natural wonders; especially the sharp contrast of the four seasons in the country. For a person like me who has grown up in a tropical country in Africa, the freezing cold in winter along with the icy snow covering the ground is a source of unique experience. The experimental art photo which I am a delight to present is a collection of photos that I have been snapping during the 2016-18 winter months at Beyokje-dong and Chunjgu city in South Korea. The winter months weren't only filled with extreme cold and gloomy days but indeed with colorful touches as well; actually, the winter had its own patterns, texture, and lights and attractions! 

Deep Freeze Goddess, Bobbi Beck 

Drawing of a sky blue face with navy blue lips and a hold holding hollies and red berries. The head is decorated with geometric shapes and topped by a star

Deep Freeze Goddess
22 x 28, mixed media with metallic glitter, 2020

Winter is my favorite season. Feeling the biting cold on my face brings my entire being to life. My family DNA reveals my love of freezing temperatures, new-formed frost, whipping icy winds, and the deep crunchy snow I love to stomp about in. This is my happy time and the most productive period for me and my artwork. For years, when it got near zero, I was frequently out the door at daybreak and headed towards Central Park to ice skate and glide in bliss. Winter makes me feel like a goddess.

About the artist: Bobbi Beck uses her art as an extension and vehicle to convey her daily experiences and feelings to others. Trained as a photographer, then later evolving as a tapestry artist and now creating autobiographical mixed media pieces that everyone can relate to in one way or another. Her works have been exhibited at many venues and been included in private and public collections over her long career.

Dreaming of Winter, Brad Kopman 

Painting of a full moon shines brightly among the clouds over a grove of pine trees covered in snow

Dreaming of Winter
12 x 16, acrylic on canvas painting, 2020

The Watchers, Cheyenne Kean-Lemery Leduc

A girl leans her head to the side while standing in the wintry woods and holding a red cardinal

The Watchers
11 x 10.5, watercolor, 2020

A modern take on the story of "Little Red Riding Hood". Intelligent, independent young girl on her way through a wintery forest. The forest represents modern society and social media, the cardinal birds represent support and protection. 

About the artist: Cheyenne Kean-Lemery is an Alberta, Canada based artist. She is an intuitive creator using symbolism and surreal themes to express experiences and emotions. Her main medium is watercolor and ink.

Cozy at Home, Elaine Langer

painting of a display of a cinnamon stick, muffin, a mug, a succulent, and books, including the three musketeers, the count of monte carlo, and a book about edgar allan poe

Cozy at Home
9 x 12, soft pastels, 2020

Cozy At Home is just that. Pick up a book and a warm drink with treats and spice, while we stay inside. As NYC and the Bronx hit the second wave of the coronavirus, I wanted to create a hopeful outlook. We are all at home with ourselves and can try to make what we can of it. The books chosen in this piece are tattered and old. We can embrace what we already have and appreciate it. For me, these three books bring me comfort as I have read the Dumas books over many stages of my life. The Poe Biography is an Ode to the Place, the Poe Visitor Center, which has been a great creative outlet over the years and now. The plant brings life and warmth through this cold and lonely winter. The message, we will get through this.   

About the artist: Elaine Langer is a watercolorist and pastel artist that paints in plein air and at home. As a member of the New York City Urban Sketchers, Elaine is rarely seen without her sketchbook and watercolors. Elaine’s paintings are deeply personal, and often involve memories of a moment in time. In more recent years, many of Elaine’s finished paintings originated from urban sketches and plein air paintings. During these past months at home, Elaine took time to work on pastel painting, and has completed many works featuring the Bronx during the pandemic. 

Winter Woodland, Helen Bennett 

painting of a wintry scene of the woods featuring striking gray and black hues for the trees, gray splashes for snow, and pinks and whites that bring light and a glow of snow into the forest scene

Winter Woodland
Acrylic paint on canvas, 2020

I wanted to create a wintery scene that captures the magic and sparkle of light on snow and ice, but that doesn’t leave the viewer feeling cold. I studied winter trees in sunlight and decorated with fairy lights.

About the artist: I've been an artist since childhood and never been happier than when I'm creating pictures or sculptures. Having left teaching this year, I've been able to devote more time to my art with the aim of making it my career and I've completed many commissions over recent months and had my work exhibited in local and international online exhibitions. My style is realistic; I like to create pieces that mean something - that evoke memories or portray special people and places.

Josipa Kecman 

a group of penguins take turns jumping off a cliff of ice, this is how they fly

Aquatic Birds
12 x 9, watercolors, 2015

Penguins are inspiration and amusement on their own. This is a flightless bird that swims. I find them very playful and charming. In this painting, they learned to “fly”.

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a group of penguins take turns jumping off a cliff of ice, this is how they fly
A cozy cabin nestles among a grove of pine trees against the backdrop of a huge mountain of ice
a painting of a bird with a white underbelly and blue, white, gray, and black feathers
painting of a red cardinal on a branch of red berries covered in snow
A baby polar bear asleep on a much older polar bear napping on the snow
The sun shines through a grove of pine trees covered a hill blanketed in snow, the sun lights up the sky yellow, orange, and pink with purple hues reflected in the clouds above

About the artist: I currently live in Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada. Originally, I am from Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I’m a teacher and took two years in fine arts. I have lived in different countries and continents. I’ve traveled a lot and so many different cultures influenced me, and my art. I was always outstanding in my drawings and paintings as a child, and later, a student. In 2015, I was encouraged and very dedicated to painting more often. Since then, I’m not losing any more time and I truly enjoy it. I have had exhibits in a few different Art Galleries here in Winnipeg, Canada. One of my paintings “Brittanie” is in Russia on exhibit and the other one “Disrobed” is in Croatia. Many of my paintings are in private collections around the world. 

Kim Heuer 

Painting of kids being pulled around playfully in the snow by sled dogs on a snow covered hill featuring a grove of pine trees and a snowman on its own sled

Winter Afternoon in Alaska
19 3/8 x 19 3/8, acrylic on wood, 2020

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Painting of kids being pulled around playfully in the snow by sled dogs on a snow covered hill featuring a grove of pine trees and a snowman on its own sled
A sled dog pulls a kid along on a sled and down a hill covered in snow and lined by pine trees

My family was stationed in Alaska in the Fairbanks area. My kids were small, and enjoyed playing with their dogs outside in the snow. I can still remember the joy of laughter when the dogs would pull them on the sled and they would go fast. They would play for hours and had the time of their life with their fur buddies.

Kimberly Bauer 

An image of santa with a finger to his lips

6 x 6, woodcut

Whiteline Woodcut is an original American art form that seemed especially appropriate in this stressful time.

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An image of santa with a finger to his lips
A dancer puts on her ice skates
A wintry scene in the forest

About the artist: I am a printmaker in Western Wisconsin. The focus of my work is the beauty and wonder of the world around me. I love the balance of controlled and uncontrolled approaches that printmaking offers. I engage in a quest to sort through ambivalent or conflicting themes. Using color to convey setting and mood I try to capture the light and moment that is too often forgotten.

Michael Mendel 

a cabin in the woods

Abandoned Delaware County Barn
11 x 14, watercolors, 2018

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a cabin in the woods

Nothing thrills me more than when I’m fortunate enough to find and capture a chilling winter scene in brilliant watercolors. Be it a setting in the urban Bronx right outside my kitchen window, or a fanatical winter golfer in snowbound Switzerland, or perhaps that abandoned barn in Delaware County, high in the Catskill mountains of New York State! With brushes in hand, I always welcome that first big winter storm regardless of where I’m at.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

About the artist: Michael Mendel (aka Zepel), a self-taught watercolorist since 2009, has received national acclaim for his work, including features in newspapers, magazines, NPR, and television. For over 35 years, he designed album covers for some of America’s great recording vocalists and bands, including Tony Bennett, Donovan, The Beach Boys, The Hollies and the Stylistics. He also designed album covers for original Broadway show recordings and movie soundtracks, including “The Godfather” and “Serpico”. His work has garnered recognition from the National Arts Club of New York and the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, both located in New York City, and has exhibited at the Jewish Institute of Religion Museum in NYC, as well as the Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey. Locally, he was honored to be the first fine artist ever to exhibit his work at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston and was recently commissioned to paint a series of railroad-themed watercolors for a private collector. 

Ner Beck 

Pinecone Heads
11 x 14, photo collage, 2020

Chatty couple ready for outdoor fun.

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When I see flurries drifting beyond my window, my mind begins to hear the lyrics from the classic song “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” Ready at any moment to capture the surprises that pop up right in front of you as you jump over mushy gutters and balance yourself on freezing sidewalks. Everything is blanketed in a mantel of white, magically transforming almost everything you see into flowing soft sculptures to wonder at. After you bundle up and head out the door, you suddenly feel like a kid all over again.

About the artist: Ner has been doing street photography almost every day since he started with this random image searching obsession way back in the late sixties. Working as a graphic artist and art director for most of his career, he has been focusing his vision and observations on whatever crosses his path on his long daily walks around New York City.

Ranjit Sahu

Inseparable in Winter
20 x 16, oil, 2020

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About the artist: Ranjit Sahu lives in Virginia and these oil paintings were done with the pets and wildlife in mind.

Samantha Tzambazis 

Red Geode 1
12 x 10, Acrylic paint, clad quartz, glass, resin, glitter, 2020

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With Christmas colors in mind, these two pieces were created to showcase the twinkle of Christmas. In the light, it sparkles. 

About the artist: I am a 23-year-old, self-taught artist based in Ontario Canada. I work with many mediums to create one-of-a-kind works. My favourite medium is pencil, specializing in realism. My abstract work can take many forms, such as geode paintings. 

Memories in Hakone, Sylvia Haw 

Memories in Hakone
21cm x15.7cm, acrylic and pencil on wood, 2020

When we see a sunset, we just revel in its beauty. We don’t point to the sky and say “that part needs to be a little more pink and that part needs more orange”. We just appreciate the beauty of it. Thus, I use the sunset and it’s colours as a starting point to explore the relationship between my feelings towards myself and my surroundings. A lot of my work is done in self-reflection to bring forth the tangibility of our desires and our dreams in relation to our realities and memories. To everyone who forgets the connection between their desires and their reality, I am also guilty and this is a gentle reminder to listen to your heart.

About the artist: Sylvia Haw is a Canadian painter from Montreal, Quebec. She studied in Fine Arts in cégep du Vieux-Montréal, a French art college, before changing her major to pursue nursing. She then worked as a freelance artist in Montreal, painting murals for Japanese bars and restaurants. She also gathered experience with photography and content creation while managing multiple social media profiles for cafes and restaurants around Montreal. She left her work and since then, she has been traveling around. She is currently based in Yokosuka, Japan.

A Child's Wonder, Tammy Gladden

A Child’s Wonder
16 x 20, acrylic paint on stretched canvas, 2020

The painting is a child’s dream come to life — all her stuffed animals have joined in the fun as well as Santa and Frosty!!!

About the artist: I’m a 54-year-old, self-taught artist with a love for nature, and I love realism. I live in Kentucky on a 50-acre farm. I have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. I quit painting in 1985 when my first child was born and just started back about a year ago. 

Traci B. IcArt

Mountain Valley
12 x 24, oil on canvas

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I paint while in a trance meditation, expressing matters that otherwise have no words. Each piece has parts that might not be noticed by some. The deeper one goes, the more that is revealed. Love inspired each one, alongside a connection to nature.

About the artist: Being blessed with two children, we homeschool since their beginning and in that, I began working from home, creating. I enjoy working in many mediums and have done so for most of my life. Having lived in Alaska for the last 30 plus years, inspiration in all directions was a breeze to capture. From photographs to paintings, books worth of poems, and metal creations, alongside self-sustaining aspects, I have managed to create many things while living in the Land of the Last Frontier. 

Resilient, Victor Omondi 

65 cm x 43 cm, oil on canvas, 2020

About the artist: I am an artist born and raised in Nairobi. My dream was and still is to become a renowned realist Artist. I discovered my talent when I was a young boy of about age 6. I further developed my talent in high school. I later joined Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts – BIFA (a renowned fine arts college based in Nairobi, Kenya) where I did a certificate course in Drawing and Painting. Between 2012 and 2016 I worked for a branding firm and media as a graphic design. In 2016, I left my job in media and continued where I left off as an artist — a decision I don’t regret.

Wendy A. Morgan 

Newfoundland Puffins
4 x 6, coffee on acid-free cold press paper

My home would not be the same without flocks of puffins playing around the coastlines. This piece is a favorite among many.

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About the artist: Wendy A. Morgan is a visual artist who uses a necessary component of each morning into her creations, coffee, often painting playful pieces inspired by nature and her surroundings in rich sepia tones. Wendy comes from away, living in Newfoundland, Canada where she enjoys the rich landscapes and biodiversity of an island tucked in the Northeast.

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