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Women of Rockland At Palisades Mall

by Terri Kayden

A shopping trip to the Palisades Mall in West Nyack might not be the most likely place to see an art installation but, visitors will be in for a visual treat when Rockland artist Lisa Levart’s newest photographic exhibition, Women of Rockland; Portraits of Sacred Myths’€, is suspended between three floors of a main Atrium from June 1 through July 31 with the Opening Reception Monday, June 1, 6’€“ 7p.

The installation, along with the womenofrockland.com website, is the first interactive installation that the Palisades Mall has had. ‘€œI am thrilled to have it shown here, where over 30,000 people visit each weekend. It is an amazing opportunity to spread the message about women, diversity, community and supporting the arts,’€ said Levart. The exhibition will have traveled the county from the Nyack Center, where it opened in April, to the Rockland County Day School, to its final destination at the Palisades Mall. ‘€œThis entire experience has been a fabulous journey,’€ continued Levart.

Women of Rockland features a series of large photographic fabric banners with images of five Rockland County women from diverse cultures that capture evocative contemporary interpretations of known and little known sacred myths from their individual and international cultures including a Jewish filmmaker, the founder of Mzuzu Academy, the first internationally accredited secondary school in the northern region of Malawi, a Chinese American visual artist, three young college students from the Sufi Mosque in Chestnut Ridge and a French Gypsy singer/songwriter. The photographic images will be accompanied by a written piece commenting on the ancient myth that each woman chose to embody and why that sacred story has meaning in their everyday lives.

‘€œAs a community, Rockland County is evolving, and increasingly becoming diverse in the cultures, faiths and languages of its residents. Yet, even within this amazing mosaic, we often know little about the sacred myths and poetic life stories of our neighbors,’€ said Levart. ‘€œWhen we reach back into the early myths and stories of all cultures, we often have more similarities than differences. By sharing these photographs with the public, I hope to set the stage for increased dialogue and communication within the Rockland community, as well as an appreciation for the basic connectiveness between the different traditions that help shape our world,’€ continued Levart.

Levart, the 2010 recipient of the Individual Artist grant through Arts Council of Rockland, said that the grant enabled her to bring this project to fruition. For those who are familiar with Levart from her  Goddess on Earth installation that was displayed at Riverspace Arts in Nyack in 2009, you know that this will be a show worth traveling to see, whether in your own home town or around the county.

‘€¢Palisades Center Mall, West Nyack: Opening Reception: June 1, 6-7p.

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Exhibition Runs: June 1 through July 31 featuring the Rockland Conservatory of Music Intergenerational Women’s Chorus and JAMCCAR’s Ekklipse Steel Drum Band.

This project is made possible, in part, with funds from the Individual Artist Grant program of the Arts Council of Rockland  and the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

For more information call 845-358-7986 or visit www.womenofrockland.com


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