Thursday, December 24, 2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Greetings - Make it a DiY Art Celebration


Dear friends,
Every year I look for a new image to say "Happy Thanksgiving."  Usually, it's a work of art.
This year, I looked around the internet and found such easy, fun craft ideas that I thought: why not make this Thanksgiving an artsy DIY festival celebration?

Here are a few ideas on YouTube and on one website that seem inexpensive and uncomplicated.  Perhaps you have some of this stuff hanging around the house.

Wishing you And Your Family 

A Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

with love from the

New York Arts Exchange

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Last Call: Jacob Lawrence's "American Struggle" series at the Met Museum through November 1, 2020

Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle closes on Sunday, November 1st.  The exhibition, installed while the Metropolitan Museum of Art reestablished its visiting protocols during the long "pandemic  pause" (nearly 6 months), opened on August 29th.  It's a fitting theme for this moment in American history.  We are struggling.  There is no doubt, regardless of where on the political spectrum you believe you belong, we are all struggling in this most miraculous of earthly creations, the United States of America.  

Jacob Lawrence, Victory and Defeat, 1955
 panel 13 in American Struggle series,
1954-56, egg tempera on hard board, 12 x 16 inches
Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross. 
© 2020 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/
Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photography by Bob Packert / PEM)

Here, for example, the Metropolitan Museum's text panel summarizes the surrender of the British in Yorktown, Virginia, interpreted by Lawrence in his Victory and Defeat, a powerful synthesis of Cubism, abstraction, and social realism. For Hamilton fans, this moment may seem familiar:

"[Jacob] Lawrence depicts an impenetrable wall of twenty-two black cannonballs to symbolize the successful twenty-two-day siege at Yorktown, Virginia, in which American troops forced the British occupying the town to surrender. This battle, celebrated for the heroic leadership of Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette, effectively ended the American Revolution. Lawrence’s wall also serves as a backdrop for the sword exchange that took place between two appointed delegates on behalf of American General George Washington and British General Charles Cornwallis, on October 19, 1781. The artist focused on this imminent transfer of power and peaceful resolution by creating a space between the redcoat gripping his sword and the open hand of an unseen patriot, framed against a cloud-filled sky symbolizing a hopeful future."

Jacob Lawrence, “. . . for freedom we want and will have, for we have served this cruel land long enuff . . ." —a Georgia slave, 1810, Panel 27, 1956, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56. Egg tempera on hardboard. Private collection.
 © 2020 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

I urge you to visit Lawrence's masterpiece series: Struggle: From the History of the American People, painted from 1954-1956, before it closes on Sunday, November 1st, or if this is impossible, please study his works on the museum's website.  The title itself deserves a sustained reflection: "the history of the American People" - all American people?  Well, not our neighbors Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. Rather, all who have lived and continue to live in the politically connected 50 states within the Americas, the United States. In these united states, we have much to be thankful for and much to strive for in order to form "a more perfect union."  

Jacob Lawrence, "If we fail, let us fail like men, and expire together in one common struggle . . .,"—Henry Clay, 1813, Panel 23, 1956, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56. Egg tempera on hardboard. Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross. 
© 2020 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Bob Packert/PEM.

For more information about this particular series by our American treasure, New York artist Jacob Lawrence, please watch this short video produced for PBS, with a tour of the exhibition guided by artist Derrick Adams, whose exhibition Buoyant at the Hudson River Museum recently closed.  

For more information about Jacob Lawrence and his numerous series, please visit the Museum of Modern Art's Artist Page dedicated to Lawrence's work in the MoMA collection and previous temporary exhibitions and D.C. Moore Gallery. (Members of the New York Arts Exchange art tours may recall our visit to D.C. Moore in 2008 to see Jacob Lawrence: Moving Forward, at the gallery's previous address on Fifth Avenue.)

Best wishes for Halloween,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Last Call: "Simmer Down," a virtual art exhibition curated by Niara Jordan with the support of ArtsWestchester, through October 30th


Simmer Down, a virtual exhibition curated by Niara Jordan

Dear friends,

It's raining and the air is tense with anticipation.  We all eagerly await the results of the U.S. Presidential Election, which has dominated the news cycles almost as much as the Covid-19 virus. We need relief and we need it now.

Niara Jordan, Juan, 2020

How about visiting an art exhibition?  No need to leave your home. No need to get up from the computer or put down your phone. It's here. Click and you'll arrive in a virtual art gallery, where the talented, emerging artist Niara Jordan curated a show entitled Simmer Down, a perfect response to our sizzling current events--personally, politically, socially, and weather-wise. We need to chill, and Ms. Jordan has selected several uplifting artworks that offer inspiration. Here is her exhibition's address:

Christina Thomas, Walking In His Light, 2018

But first, a big "thank you" to Christina Thomas, one of the artists in this show and one of the artists in two of my own exhibitions: Bosom Bodies: An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October) and Art Above the Sofa., for sending me the link to Simmer Down, and introducing me to Niara Jordan. I am blown away by the design of this virtual space and its versatility. Please check out the whole website, while you are in the "neighborhood." It's a treat, not a trick, for our holiday spirit.  I look forward to learning more about such ventures. The possibilities for exhibiting in this fashion seem limitless. Moreover, Ms. Jordan's select of works is outstanding, as well as her choice of platform, music and virtual installation of the works. The whole experience is quite satisfying.

Simmer Downsupported by a grant from ArtsWestchester, features the works of Westchester artists Niara Jordan, Donna Faranda, Banana Lady, Edward Walsh, Lisa Medoff, Isaiah Cuadra, Diamond’s Mystical Vanity, Sandra Wong Geroux, Patricia Stuart, Tali Margolin, Leslie Hardie, Zayia Winslow, Donna Castelluccio, Corinne Lapin-Cohen, and Christina Thomas. To find out more about each artist, click here for a page entitled "Exhibiting Artists."  Then, scroll down and click on the artworks that interest you. Presto! You land on the artist's page, where you can read the artist's statement, peruse the artist's resume, and contact the artist personally.  I love this immediate gratification.


Simmer Down closes on October 30th - so hurry up, click on the live link and let us know what you think of the show and this virtual experience: 

And don't forget to VOTE!

Warm regards on this soggy fall day in NY -


Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Zooming with artist Ruby Silvious: An interview hosted by the Greenwich Arts Council on Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 7 pm


Recycled & Refashioned: An Interview with Ruby Silvious

  • This virtual event is part of Greenwich Arts Council Selective Space Series

    To RSVP please at You will receive a Zoom link to participate in this virtual lecture.

  • Looking forward to seeing you there!

  • Beth

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Simmie Knox, 2000

Simmie Knox, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2000

Thank you for your wisdom, your courage
 and your numerous contributions -

May your memory be for a blessing


Friday, September 11, 2020

Remembering Michael Rolando Richards (Brooklyn, August 2, 1963-WTC, September 11, 2001)

Michael R. Richards, Winged, 1999


 “The idea of flight relates to my use of pilots and planes, but it also references… the idea of being lifted up, enraptured, or taken up to a safe place–to a better world.”  

 ---  Michael Richards

Michael R. Richards in Miami, 1999

On September 11, we remember the vibrant Michael Richards, whose career was certainly on the ascendant when planes attacked the World Trade Center, killing him in the studio of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council on the 92nd floor of the North Tower. Thousands perished on that day and subsequently from health-related conditions caused by spending time at the site, cleaning up or living in the area.  The devastation of this heinous act goes well beyond the recorded and unrecorded. We are still processing the moment and the aftermath.

Michael R. Richards, Tuskegee Airman, 1999

We are also still processing the loss of Michael Richards, especially at a time when his work is more relevant than ever.  We see the model Mustang planes piercing his sculpted body in a Tuskegee Airman's pilot suit and think "how prescient!"  The miniature planes remind us of the attack from the massive passenger jets piercing the WTC Twin Towers on that sunny morning in 2001.  

Michael R. Richards, Are You Down?, Franconia Sculpture Park, created in 2000, installed in 2012

Today, nineteen years later, Michael Richards' work seems more relevant to the Black Lives Matter moment, because he work always addressed BLM issues: Black aspirations met with systemic racism that weighed down upward mobility. In Winged (1999) we see black arms fringed in feathers, spread out like Christ on the Cross, reminding us of persecution and the desire to transcend the daily grind of microagressions.

Richards said that his work“allows for an examination of the psychic conflict which results from the desire to both belong to and resist a society which denies blackness even as it affirms. In attempting to make this pain and alienation concrete, I use my body, the primary locus of experience, as a die from which to make casts. These function as surrogates, and as an entry into the work.”

From this statement, we can continue to believe that Michael Richards still lives among us, in these personal effigies that speak more powerfully and poignantly in our current political climate. 

Michael Richards: Winged, a retrospective exhibition  on Governors Island, Summer 2016

The Michael Richards Grant to support a Miami-Dade artist was established by Oolite Arts a few years ago.  For more information click on to this link.  For more information about Oolite (formerly known as the ArtCenter/South Florida), click on to the link here:

Today we remember Michael Rolando Richards.  May his memory be for a blessing.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Zooming into Fall with Lectures, Online Articles and Museum Appointment Info


Vincent van Gogh, Tree Roots, 1890

Dear friends of the New York Arts Exchange,

September is here with the promise of refreshing autumn breezes. And yet, confusion still reigns over the New York area as we continue to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.  Whom do we trust?  Where should we go without concern for our health?  Should I make an appointment with a museum or wait a bit until the museums test their new procedures?  

I prefer prudence and will continue to Zoom my classes at Mercy College and at other venues this fall.  

Here is Beth's Fall Schedule on Zoom.  Click on the titles to find the website and register with the specific organization.

Wednesday, September 23rd at 7 pm: "Vincent van Gogh's Auvers Period: Considering the Latest Revelations."  Hosted on Zoom by the Greenwich Arts Council
Free for Members of GAC; $15 for non-members.  Register through the GAC

Tuesday, October 13th at 10 am: "Three Important Contemporary Black Artists: Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley and Yinka Shonibare."  Hosted by Learning in Retirement. 
Fee: $5.  Register through LIR.

Wednesday, October 21st at 7 pm: "Recycled and Refashioned: The Art of Ruby Silvious." Hosted by the Greenwich Arts Coucil.  This is an interview with Ruby Silvious with plenty of time for a Q and A.  Mark your calendars - not to be missed! 
Free to member of the GAC. $15 for non-members.  Register through the GAC

Thursday, November 12th at 7 pm: "Andy Warhol and the Pop Revolution." Hosted by Byram Shubert Library, Greenwich, CT.  Free.  Register through BSL.

James Tissot, Seaside (Portrait of Kathleen Kelly NewtonP, 1878

People often ask: What are you up to these days?  Well, I am ashamed to admit, I didn't "Marie Kondo-ize" my house, as I promised myself back in March  Instead I wrote articles on art, because this is my #1 passion.  Here are a few examples on the New York Arts Exchange blog: Lester Rapaport, Fereshteh Priou, Chizuru Morii Kaplan, and Ruby Silvious.

Jacqueline Marval, Les Odalisques, 1903

Here are my articles in Bonjour Paris articles since April 2020:

And finally, museums are beginning to open again.
You have to make appointments, which at first seems strange until you discover that you don't miss navigating through the midday mobs.

Here are the websites for reservations in NYC:

New York Historical Society:

El Museo del Barrio has posted guidelines, but does not require reservations:

Farther afield:
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers:
Il Magazzino, Cold Springs:
Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY:

Best wishes for your Labor Day Weekend,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Perfect Pleasure: Ruby Silvious' Exhibition at Albany Institute of History and Art, through August 30, 2020

Recycled and Refashioned: The Art of Ruby Silvious reminds us that art must be seen in person. Even if today's digital approximations satisfy our curiosity, the artwork itself cannot be known, unless, of course, the work was meant to be only a digital image. Ruby Silvious' magnificently painted teabags, books, eggshells, kimonos, and whimsical pistachio nutshells require careful study. The textures and colors offer the eye such pleasure, lingering over every detail.  The creativity and beauty in every millimeter make this substantial show even grander. There is so much to see and savor.   

Ruby Silvious' show opened on January 25th and closed in March during the Covid-19 shutdown.  Fortunately, New York State museums opened on July 25th.  The Albany Institute of History and Art is housed in a beautiful building with plenty of space for social distancing. Visits require a timed ticket. And don't forget your mask! It's required.  NB: the show ends definitively on Sunday, August 30th.

Days open are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm.  Sunday, 12 noon - 5 pm..  Please make an effort to see Ruby Silvious' Albany Institute exhibition as soon as possible.The pilgrimage is worth it!