Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hudson Guild: Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom!

[“Winter Amaryllis,” Peter Harvey. “Birds, Butterflies & Flowers,” Alvaro Amejeiras. “Mexican Vase With Red Flowers,” Sally Friedman. “Bowl of Tulips,” Muriel Taub Glantzman.]

Last year, a request for submissions was sent out by the arts program at Hudson Guild for a show featuring unusual still-life works. The response was so overwhelming—and varied—that it was decided to separate the response into three different clusters of still-life exhibits. The show last spring was devoted to food and kitchen objects. Next year a show will focus exclusively on inorganic objects. The current show, curated by gallery director Jim Furlong, is focused on horticultural objects. Other exhibits have been devoted to watercolor, drawing, oil painting, landscapes, and portraits.

Since 1895, art programs at Hudson Guild have helped to strengthen the fabric of community in Chelsea by bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to explore their mutual interest in the arts. Hudson Guild’s two galleries—Hudson Guild Gallery (opened in 1948) and Guild Gallery II (opened in 2001)—offer a number of ways for participants of all ages to engage with the visual arts. Providing this opportunity for those who might not otherwise have access to the art world is a special mission of Hudson Guild. The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation, Con Edison, Susan and Tony Gilroy, Emily Meschter, Jolie Stahl, and Friends of the Arts at Hudson Guild assist Arts at Hudson Guild in serving these underserved communities.

Just a glance at the four pictured works shows the remarkable variety of styles and media utilized in depicting elements from our everyday lives—and the enduring fascination of the still life in creative expression. For more than five decades, Hudson Guild’s various arts programs have presented more than 300 diverse shows and works by both professional and amateur artists. Traditional styles of painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography have been supplemented by works using emerging media and styles. Talks and tours led by Guild arts staff (and sometimes the artists) encourage a deeper exploration of the visual arts. Over 3,000 people participate in Hudson Guild's arts programming each year. Their various initiatives help foster development of self-discipline, self-esteem, and creativity.

In our new century, Hudson Guild continues the vital work of social reform. Begun by such visionaries as Felix Adler (1851-1933), Hull House founder Jane Addams (1860-1935), The Children’s Aid Society’s Charles Loring Brace (1826=1890), and Henry Street Settlement founder Lillian Wald (1867-1940), most settlement houses (of which Hudson Guild is one) were formed to empower the poor and working poor—especially those in America’s burgeoning immigrant population. These institutions are no less important to our neighborhoods today.

Botanical Pictures: Unusual Still Lifes of Plants & Flowers
Through January 26, 2010
@ Guild Gallery II
Hudson Guild Fulton Center
119 West 9th Avenue (between 17th & 18th Streets), NYC 10011

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