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Mary Reilly's "Urban Woodlands" At Central Park's Arsenal Gallery

Monday, March 16, 2009
No. 16

The Arsenal Gallery and DFN Gallery are pleased to present New York City artist Mary Reilly’s Urban Woodlands, an exhibition of graphite drawings that captures the natural world within New York City’s parks. Focusing on unexpected places in an urban setting – ancient forests with magnificent old trees, winding rivers and streams, creeks and marshes, lakes and ponds, and miles of sand dune filled beaches – Reilly uniquely depicts each location through her extraordinary technique. The exhibit runs through April 30, 2009.

“Mary Reilly’s Urban Woodlands evocatively portrays the serene natural world that exists within our bustling city,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Her graphite layering technique will inspire exhibit viewers to explore the 29,000 acres of New York City parkland. We are delighted to celebrate these wild places through the unique perspective of one of New York’s finest contemporary artists.”

Reilly’s drawings are rendered through a reductive and additive process. By laying a mid-tone on the paper’s surface with up to eight layers of graphite, she develops her image by pushing the darks and lifting the lights. This working and reworking of each piece parallels nature's determined perseverance against time. The subtle shift in tone produced by her intricate process imbues each piece with a sensual soft-focused photographic quality.

Mary Reilly was born in Yorktown, New York, and has been a resident of New York City for over 20 years. She has studied at the School of Visual Arts, the Art Students League of New York and the National Academy School for Design. Reilly is represented by the DFN Gallery and her work has been featured in American Artist Drawing Magazine.

The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, and wildlife, in the context of New York City parks and their history. The Gallery is located on the third floor of Parks & Recreation’s headquarters in Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery closed on holidays. Admission is free.

Images available upon request.

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