October 11, 2013 | Borough of Manhattan Community College
This fall, an exhibition of artworks by BMCC art faculty members opened in the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, located on the ground level of the college’s Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall.
Participating faculty members are Simon Carr, Betty Copeland, Pat Genova, Xico Greenwald, Sarah Haviland, Ann Hjelle, Thaddeus Radell, Jessica Ramirez, Jerrold Schoenblum, Anthony Sorce and A.C. Towery. Their eclectic artwork was on display during the college’s acclaimed Steinway Soiree benefit, where funds were raised for scholarships and to acquire a Steinway piano for students and faculty.
In celebration of the exhibit, an opening reception was held September 28, 2013 in the Shirley Fiterman Art Gallery and featured a concert by BMCC’s Fiterman Trio: Professors Maureen Keenan on flute; Robert Reed, on cello, and Howard Meltzer, on piano.
The artists speak
Peter (Xico) Greenwald, a professor in the Music and Art department, curated the exhibit. “What I really want people to take away from it is that we’re a serious faculty; working artists in New York who are committed to helping students reach their goals in terms of expressing themselves through art,” he says.
Professor Simon Carr agrees.
“I have always enjoyed our talented, enthusiastic students, even when we were working in our former studios on the main campus,” he says. “It’s good for students to see the faculty work, it ‘calls our bluff’. Art teachers often talk about drawing, painting, photography or sculpture, now we have to show what we, the faculty, can do.”
Carr shares the story behind his featured works.
“The paintings I have in this show are based on drawings done on the subway, and in dog parks in Manhattan. I work the paintings for a long time, changing them, sometimes dramatically, until I think they at least start to feel like the scenes I experienced, and continue to experience.”
Assistant Professor Jessica Ramirez is honored to share her work in the exhibit.
“I referenced landscapes and earth forms with this series,” she explains. “I looked at the ideas of permanence and stillness with the intention to manipulate forms and then freeze them in time. I enjoyed creating these forms, mainly because I am a process-oriented artist; I enjoy the act of creating and the techniques used during this process.”
The faculty artwork will be on display until October 26th.
Recent graduate Allon Morgan works as a gallery assistant. “This new gallery makes me a proud BMCC alum. It’s wonderful to be part of this new gallery space, as an employee, and shows students that we are so much more than ‘just’ a community college. We’re artists, and have a vast, impressive space to showcase community talent.”
On the gallery itself, Greenwald adds: “I like the way the space relates to the street in a very busy part of town. The arts are a huge part of the New York economy. It makes sense for BMCC to have a serious exhibition space.”
Says Carr: “We have excellent studios in Fiterman Hall on the 11th floor, along with our terrific gallery space. I’m proud to show my work with my colleagues, and hope as many students as possible stop by and visit the art classrooms and the exhibit.”
The Music and Art Department at BMCC runs 200 classes a semester in music performance, music history and theory, studio art, digital design and art history, providing students with opportunities to explore different visual media and musical outlets. Presenting students with a variety of classes in various subjects, from survey courses to specialized instruction, the BMCC faculty supports students’ educational and professional goals in the creative arts.