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Volume XXVIII, Number 5939
Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013

Cara Lynch’s House Work On View At The Poe Park Visitor Center

Cara Lynch, I Hope You Love Birds, Too, woodcut, screenprint, and hand silver leafing on paper, 2013,
Cara Lynch, I Hope You Love Birds, Too, woodcut, screenprint, and hand silver leafing on paper, 2013,
image courtesy of the artist

NYC Parks is pleased to announce the exhibition House Work, a series of prints and installations by Cara Lynch on view at the Poe Park Visitor Center through October 5, 2013. Inspired by historic homes, including those in the Bronx, this show is a window into the world of intricate patterns from past centuries and goes beyond simple ornamentation.

Cara Lynch references pattern and textile designs in order to contemplate memory and identity in relation to material culture. Lynch shares a concern and interest in feminine identity and the home, much like the domestic craft work created by 18th and 19th century housewives, which is at the heart of her artworks. Of the 23 historic homes owned by NYC Parks, four are located in the Bronx, one being Poe Cottage located just feet from the Visitor Center. Pelham Bay Park’s Bartow Pell Mansion, unlike Poe’s modest cottage, is a three-story Greek revival mansion built between 1836 and 1842 that is flush with ornate wallpapers, curtains and textiles. The print, I Hope You Love Birds, Too, directly references the bedding in a room in the mansion called, “The Girls Chamber.”

Her intensely hand-worked woodcuts measure nearly 4’ in length and clearly illustrate Lynch’s belief in the purification of self through meditative labor—quietly expressing frustration, instability and obsession through intricate or repeating patterns. Her texturally rich prints achieve an aged patina with the use of rusted iron flock, which creates an illusion of vintage floral tablecloth or window treatments. The screenprint Van Cortlandt’s Bread and Butter directly references the incredible delftware in the house’s collection (the oldest house in the Bronx), but Lynch reinterprets the design with layers of screenprinting and hand coloring.

Three of Lynch’s installations are also on view at the Poe Park Visitor Center. In addition to a wallpaper and a window work, she created an exhibit of crafted plates made from patterned paper used to wrap bouquets at New York City’s ubiquitous corner bodega flower shops. The collection of ten emulates Delft ceramics made popular in the Netherlands in the 1600 - 1700s, but whose replications have become common in the homes of collectors and tourists.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Lynch will host a printmaking workshop for kids ages 6-12 on Saturday, September 21 at 12:00 p.m. Children will create their own relief print and removable window decor they can take home with them. Young children must be accompanied by an adult. This event is free, but space is limited. RSVP is necessary; please contact Lucy Aponte at the Poe Park Visitor Center at 718-365-5516.

Cara Lynch is an emerging artist based in Brooklyn and Long Island, New York. Lynch is an interdisciplinary artist and has participated in a number of public exhibitions in New York. Her recent public work includes the mural The Hearts Best Feelings Gather Home located on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, commissioned by the NYC Department of Transportation, as well as an installation in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn as part of Storefront Art Walk. Her large temporary floor chalk mural is on view in August at Adelphi University. In the fall she will install a mural outside of the Bronx Museum of Art that further investigates the historic home design.

The historic homes in NYC Parks are members of the Historic House Trust, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to provide essential support for houses of architectural and cultural significance spanning 350 years of New York City history. Bartow Pell Mansion is operated by the Bartow Pell Conservancy. Poe Cottage and the Valentine-Varian House are operated by the Bronx County Historical Society. The Van Cortlandt House Museum is operated by The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York.

The Poe Park Visitor Center hosts public programs supportive of Parks’ mission, with particular emphasis on the arts, including artist workshops, readings, film screenings, temporary exhibits, lectures and community planning. The Poe Park Visitor Center is located at 2640 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”

Kurt Vonnegut
(1922 - 2007)
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