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Zoom Into Contemporary Artists’ Studios

by Amy Alinkofsky

To continue its mission of enrichment through the arts, Rockland Center for the Arts (RoCA) will present virtual artists studio tours. Youll get the rare privilege of stepping into some incredible artists studios–to get a glimpse of where and how they make their art, find their inspiration, and create. These studio tours will be conducted via Zoom.

Glass Artist, Erica Rosenfeld

On Tue, July, 14, 2020 at 3p, tour the studio of Erica Rosenfeld, a glass artist, embracing the cultural histories of glassmaking, crafting, and cooking. Through her blown glass, glass jewelry, and mixed media artwork she celebrates community-centric, obsessive, labor-intensive ritual.

Rosenfeld creates large wall installations of blown glass and uses multiple processes of blowing, fusing, slicing, carving, and sewing glass together with seed beads in her jewelry artworks. In all of her work, she uses glass as the primary material while combining it with light, paint, found objects, food, and other mixed media. This hybrid artistic practice has centered on sculptural and social aspects of glass, food-making, and performance.

Her current body of work, “Reverie Forest: Sanctuary for Strange Creatures,” explores Post-War Era America’s culture of conformity, othering, mass culture, and mass fear. The focus is on the mid-century “Paint by Numbers” phenomenon: it sees them as cultural artifacts, a view of them as windows into the culture in America at the time in the early 1950s when they were popular. They speak of a mindless conformity which consumed national life at the time, a culture infested with a fear of not “staying in the lines,” instilling a need to find safety and order. The cloyingly cute “Paint by Number” animals become beautiful mutants, their pastoral landscapes metamorphose into peculiar habitats to give them a new life. Their new perceived freakishness now has a safe zone in “Reverie Forest,” where they can live outside of the constraints, free from fear and conformity. Rosenfeld’s “Forest” can be a place of danger and asylum, wild thrashing and calm, the earthly and the spiritual. It’s deadly and beautiful simultaneously. These dichotomies create an unknown magical environment which can lead the inhabitants into transformative places.

Rosenfeld, whose work has been featured in The New York Times and Art News, is the co-founder of the interactive glassblowing & food performance collective, Burnt Asphalt Family, with whom she has performed throughout the United States. She shows her work at Heller Gallery in NYC and has work that is held in private and public collections nationally. She has been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design, Kentucky Museum of Art, Racine Art Museum, Boise Art Museum, Museum of American Glass, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and Cornell Art Museum. She has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, The Studio at The Corning Museum, and Urban Glass.

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Quilt Artist, Paula Kovarik

On Tue, July, 21, 2020 at 3p, tour the studio of Paula Kovarik, a quilt artist, that exhibited at RoCA in 2019 for the Spirit of Being. Kovarik makes art with thread and fabric, stitching as an extension of her thoughts through her hands. Her quilts reach deep into the collective unconscious and unify it through a thread that is the notion of life. She has been profiled in American Craft, Fiber ArtNow and Art Quilting Studio magazines and has exhibited throughout the United States.

Kovarik’s art is slow and deliberate in its crafting: textural and multi-layered, it reveals a product born of concentration on an idea and hours of methodical application. Her artwork strives to find the zone where there resides a creative, different consciousness: an altered state of being. Letting the thread tell the story, she is sensitive to surprises, allowing the work to tell her more than she thinks she knows. The inner becomes the outer.  She lets the thread tell the story. It’s about defining rough-edged ideas through intimate attention to detail. It’s about layered, ripped, cut and sandwiched together pieces producing a composition that reflects her values and voice.

American Craft Magazine wrote in their May 2015 issue “Kovarik draws with thread, using the quilt as a canvas for incredibly detailed worlds, crammed with odd little shapes, structures, and creatures, real and imagined. . . . Quirky as they are, her quilts explore big ideas about love, psychology, nature, and politics. The unifying thread, so to speak, is the notion of life as a complex web of seemingly random energies and events, things that connect in ways both obvious and unexpected.”

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Register

To register for these virtual studio tours event, visit rocklandartcenter.org. Registration for all virtual events will close 5 hours before the program begins. Zoom invitations will be emailed 24 hours in advance of the program. If you don’t receive an email with an invitation code, please check your spam folder or send an email to dflanaganrca@aol.com. To ensure you can join on time, please use the Zoom link to register at least a few minutes before start time.

Rockland Center for the Arts is the oldest arts organization in Rockland County, presenting outstanding programming in the arts for over 70 years. RoCA is located at 27 South Greenbush Rd, West Nyack, NY 10994. For more information visit rocklandartcenter.org or call 845-358-0877.

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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