Eddie Carella referenced his spirit animal, the fox, and Mórrígan, the raven queen of Irish folklore. Anthony Ferguson was inspired his daily routine at William F. May Day Center. Carol Fields made her color choices based on patterns she has seen when studying African art.
These are just some of the varied artists and meanings behind the works featured at Our Stories, an exhibition featuring creative minds supported at and working at ArTech at the Howie Stone Center. Held at the ARTViews Gallery at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, Our Stories is on display until December 31st, 2018.
Making Bronx Connections
“ARTViews celebrates artists in the Bronx, so when we heard about ArTech it made perfect sense to bring these programs together,” said Olivia Davis, Assistant Curator of the Montefiore Fine Art Program and Collection. “A hospital can be an amazing way to unite between art, medicine and health.”
Olivia and Jodi Moies, Curator of the Fine Art Program and Collection at Montefiore Einstein, worked with Dhanashree “Dhanni” Gadiyar, Program Manager at ArTech, in organizing the exhibition. “Working with Dhanni, we agreed upon a theme of self-portraits, and thus was born Our Stories,” Jodi said at the opening reception, held on Wednesday, November 14th. “This exhibition brings together autobiographical paintings of 26 self-taught artists, all of you with Bronx connections, to express your life experiences and cultural influences. By expressing how you as artists see yourself, we can better understand what is important to you.”
Artists featured in the exhibit have a wide range of backgrounds and influences. Ages span from 24 through 72 years old. Our Stories features artists both with and without disabilities. A connecting thread between all of them is being Bronx-based for work, home, or both.
“I am artist and painter from Puerto Rico living in the south Bronx,” said Jayson Valles. “I have been an artist since I was five years old. The piece that I made for this show is ‘Portrait of Myself Relaxing in the Paradise.’ This is one of the biggest pieces I’ve ever created—so far, so good! I feel very proud to have worked on this.”
The exhibit has touched the hearts and minds of many at Montefiore and AHRC New York City. “It struck me as a I had a chance to look at the artwork to have a chance to talk to the artists, their families, and staff members how much Montefiore’s mission—to heal, teach, discover, and advance the health of communities that we serve—really resonates in so much of the artwork,” said Susie Green, Systems Senior Vice President of Operations at the hospital. “We’re so proud to be able to have your work hanging in our hallways. Our staff, patients, and families appreciate the work that you have done to give us this beautiful art to look at.”
The Purpose of the ArTech Studio
Betsy Lynam, Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer, said “ArTech’s mission is to not only provide a professional studio environment for self-taught artists, but also to contribute to the rich, culturally diverse background of the community in the Bronx. It’s one of our most wonderful programs where we really are pleased to have artists able to express their journeys and how they feel about their lives and communities, and we see that reflected in the art, which is beautiful.”
Bill Stone is an AHRC NYC Board Member who was instrumental in securing funding from Senator Jeff Klein that established ArTech. His late son Howie is the namesake of the Howie Stone Adult Day Center, where ArTech is based. “This is fantastic,” he said at the opening reception. “It’s so professional, and the team here has done a tremendous job. You can see the enthusiasm of the people here. I only wish I had any talent!”