Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Art galleries near and far to hold opening receptions this Saturday May 4th

Opening reception for “Stories” by Christine Rice at the Field Library, “Figuratively Speaking’ at the Flat Iron in Peekskill, and “Inside and Out: Women with Life Sentences” by Sara Bennett debuts at The Capa Space

Reception for “Stories” by Christine Rice to be held at the Field Library Gallery May 4th

Either before, after, or even during the 7th annual Peekskill Rotary Cherry Blossom Festival, or taking some time to volunteer with the 13th Annual Riverkeeper Sweep cleanup of the Annsville Park Preserve on land or by kayak, take a moment to visit the Field Gallery at the Field Library for the opening reception of Christine Rice’s first solo exhibition “Stories.” The reception will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2024 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

At the young age of 75, Christine Rice continues to draw, a pursuit she’s followed since early childhood. “I became a self-taught watercolorist about 40 years ago,” she said.  She is profoundly moved by the natural world. Some of her favorite subjects are birds. “Birds are probably the highest among my favorite subjects. I am also deeply moved by the beauty of horses, as well as some of the people around me.” After moving to the Hudson Valley from New Hampshire, Rice says,  “I find the Hudson River to be a prominent subject. I was instantly stunned by its breadth and power.”

Artwork by Christine Rice

It was through a chain of regifting that Rice discovered a new form of painting that changed her art. “About eight years ago, a gift box of about 50 large encaustic sticks was given to her. Apparently a woman of means (in Maine) had bought them and then she discovered encaustic painting was too fussy a process. So, she got rid of them by giving them to her hairdresser. The hairdresser then gave them to a friend, who in turn sent them to me from Maine as a surprise.” Rice says, “it was love at first sight.” 

Rice decided to take an online course to learn how to paint with encaustic. The course which “lasted a year and only cost $200” taught Rice the basics of encaustic painting. As Wikepdia explains, “Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, is a form of painting that involves a heated wax medium to which colored pigments have been added. The molten mix is applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are sometimes used.”

With the love of watercolors, from a young age, to the newly ‘discovered’ encaustic painting, Rice decided to “combine my love for watercolor with my passion for encaustic” The result is “a luminous and inherently transparent medium that involves a great deal of patience and love.”  

“Stories” by Christine Rice will be at the Field Gallery from May 3 through May 28th. The Field Gallery is located on the mezzanine level of The Field Library. Visitors can view “Stories” in the Field Gallery anytime the Field Library is open. 

The Field Gallery, at the Field Library, was established about 17 years ago when the library converted a former law library into a gallery space. In a quick span of time, the Field Gallery became an integral part of the Peekskill artist community. Exhibits at the space typically run for 6-12 weeks.

“Figuratively Speaking” debuts at the Flat Iron Gallery Starting May 2

Starting Thursday May 2, 2024, the “Flat Iron Gallery” will be exhibiting a new show, “Figuratively Speaking.” The exhibit will feature figurative paintings, portraits, vases, figurative sculpture and pottery, and figurative textiles, prints and photography as well as wearable art. 

Photo used courtesy of the Flat Iron Gallery

The “Figuratively Speaking” will be opening this weekend and will be the Flat Iron Galleries feature show for the weekend of June 1st and 2nd when the “Peekskill Arts Alliance” celebrates its 25th “Open Studio” event! The exhibit will continue to be on display through June 30th. The Flat Iron Gallery, located above the Peekskill Coffeehouse is celebrating its 27th year in Peekskill.  On November 25, 2021, the Peekskill Herald profiled the Flat Iron Gallery in the story, The Art of a Gallery Lasting 25 Years. The Flat Iron Gallery is open Thursday to Sunday from 12 noon to 6pm. It is also open by appointment during the week. Call Wendie Garber at the Flat Iron Gallery at 914-734-1894 or visit their Facebook page for more information. 

Inside and Out: Women with Life Sentences by Sara Bennett debuts at The Capa Space May 4th

Sara Bennett, a 2024 Guggenheim fellow, and a former public defender, is a photographer who primarily photographs women with life sentences, both inside and outside prison, as a way to draw attention to the problems of mass incarceration. On May 4th, from 5-7pm, the opening reception of Inside and Out: Women with Life Sentences photographs by Sara Bennett will debut at The Cappa Space in Yorktown. 

After 18 years as a public defender, Bennett turned her lens towards photographing women serving life sentences, both inside and outside of prison walls. Her unsentimental portraits are powerful reminders that though convicted of serious crimes, these women are no less human than the rest of us.

Tracy in her own apartment, 3-1/2 years after her release. Jamaica, NY (2017).
Copyright Sara Bennett
Used with permission from The Capa Space

Inside and Out: Women with Life Sentences includes works from Bennett’s series Life After Life in Prison: The Bedroom Project, intimate looks at the private spaces these formerly incarcerated women sculpt for themselves, and Looking Inside: Portraits of Women Serving Life Sentences. Bennett’s photographs, accompanied by handwritten texts from the subjects themselves, challenge assumptions that they are unredeemable or unforgivable. As The New Yorker’s Photo Booth stated, “Bennett’s work dulls the sense of otherness that we might associate with perpetrators of serious crimes.” Many of the photographs in this exhibition include “women who are serving life sentences for homicide and were photographed in New York State prisons.”

Linda, 70, in the rec room for the medically unemployed at Taconic Correctional Facility, Bedford Hills, NY 2019
Copyright Sara Bennett
Used with permission from The Capa Space

The Capa Space is one of newest art centers in the area, opening in 2022, located in  Yorktown, NY. It is named after famed war photographer Robert Capa. Capa, considered the world’s greatest war photographer, brought home the grim realities of five different wars including the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese invasion of China, WWII including the landing at Normandy, as well as other conflicts. Capa was a groundbreaking photojournalist who placed himself in the middle of military conflicts to document the destruction of lives and property while also capturing the survivors who marched on through life, their human spirit in triumph over unspeakable adversity. The Capa Center is ideally located only a short walk from the graves of internationally renowned war photographer Robert Capa and his younger brother Cornell Capa. 

The Capa Space is a non profit education and exhibition center created to foster and advance the belief that the community can use photography to advance concepts of peace, equality and justice. The space features rotating “concerned photography” that inspires community participation and social action. Inside and Out continues The Capa Space’s mission of using the power of photography to advance equality, justice and human understanding by going behind the walls and exposing the inner lives of this imprisoned population, Bennett’s exhibition encourages viewers to see these women’s full humanity.

The Capa Space is open Thursday-Sunday 1-5pm and located at 2467 Quaker Church Road, Yorktown NY. For more information visit or visit The Capa Space on Instagram.


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About the Contributor
Dave Mueller
As a Peekskill native, Dave is thrilled to be working with the Peekskill Herald showcasing featured calendar events. A 1999 graduate of PHS, he remembers reading and enjoying the original weekly print edition of the Peekskill Herald every Thursday. He especially liked the political stories, local features and sports coverage when it was written by Peekskill Runner columnist Jack Burns who always managed to weave history into the running times. An avid hiker, he enjoys exploring the local trails as well as the concrete ones in his job as a conductor for Metro North Railroad. He’s a former teacher and co-founder of the Friends of the Peekskill Dog Park, where he frequently can be found with his Koda. He’s happy to be part of the Herald’s growth as the source of local news for Peekskill and looks forward to highlighting a few of many of the events and happenings in Peekskill and the surrounding communities. Reach Dave at [email protected]