KATONAH, NY (AP).- It's called Center Gallery, and that's just what curator Leslie Weissman wants it to be, the center of the community. Ms. Weissman sees Center Gallery as a warm, inviting space where residents can experience art up close and personal. "There's so much great art in Westchester; why shouldn't we have a gallery?" asks Ms. Weissman.
The Katonah Art Center was the right location for the gallery. A center of the arts already, with so many artists, students, and families who come through their doors, it seemed an obvious choice to Ms. Weissman.
Loren Anderson, founder of the Katonah Art Center, is very excited about housing a gallery in the KAC. "We are always looking for ways to bring new faces to the Katonah Art Center. We will now attract even more artists and collectors to the KAC, our students and families will be exposed to new ideas, and our current artists will receive greater exposure."
The Center Gallery will open Saturday, February 27 with a reception from 4-7PM, free and open to the public. The artist on exhibit, the Center Gallery's first, will be Wendy Petta-Goldman. Ms. Petta-Goldman will exhibit two series. The first is inspired by color and texture and is graphically oriented, showcasing Ms. Petta-Goldman's background as a quilt designer. It challenges our perspective of objects and textures, says Ms. Weissman.
Like many great artists, Ms. Petta-Goldman's second series was influenced by and is very pop culture, according to Ms. Weissman. The artist was inspired by candy wrapper sculptures she made for her children (she has ten!). It's an appeal for the environment and is visually exciting, says Ms. Weissman.
Both Ms. Weissman and Ms. Anderson are very enthusiastic about starting an important gallery 45 miles north of Manhattan. We have so many talented artists in our community; this will be an extraordinary way to showcase all of this talent says Ms. Anderson.
As a distinguished art collector with many of her pieces lent to museums across the country, Ms. Weissman is very familiar with the rarified and difficult-to approach atmosphere of Manhattan galleries. Without sacrificing quality, she is hoping to bring a different kind of atmosphere to Center Gallery one that is accessible. She would like the Center Gallery to be a place to gather perhaps before lunch, or with your kids, or just a place to have a lively conversation surrounded by art.
Ms. Weissman is known in the community for her charity work as both the founder of Presents for Purpose, a socially conscious company whose proceeds go to charitable organizations, and for her work as a board member of the Blythesdale Children's Hospital. "But my love is art," says Ms. Weissman. I love the idea of being able to bring art to our community. It's what life's all about art, music, theater. Ms. Anderson agrees. In fact, the Katonah Art Center has been all about fine art for many years and has recently expanded into the performing arts. And now, the Center Gallery will be another hub of activity at the KAC.