50 Years Of ArtsWestchester, 50 Local Artists To Honor

2015 is ArtsWestchester’s 50th anniversary, and in celebration, the organization is recognizing 50 local creative artists as leaders in the county arts scene. Navigate the following slideshow to see each of the featured artists and read their bio as provided to ArtsWestchester. Start »

Photos and bios courtesy of ArtsWestchester


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Tim Armacost, Composer

“I have had the good fortune to… have been enriched by the ease with which jazz incorporates concepts from musical traditions around the world.”



Sidra Bell, Choreographer

“I strive to incubate new forms and ideas in contemporary dance, and to touch a broad community with work that is challenging and empowering.”


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Derek Bermel, Composer

“I’m a composer of music in many styles and genres – from symphonic and theatrical to hip-hop and film. I love to get my hands on the music, to feel it through playing it.”



Hayes Biggs, Composer

“My work increasingly embraces the full continuum between tonal and non-tonal idioms. I am inspired by poetry of all kinds, and by the possibilities of the human voice… my musical personality is a fundamentally lyrical one.”

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Chester Biscardi, Composer

“As a composer, I am increasingly interested in setting text to music. Emily Dickinson, Denise Levertov, Thorton Wilder, Allen Ginsberg, Muriel Rukeyser, even the American Songbook serve as inspiration and source material for my compositions.”



Nancy Bowen, Visual Artist

Nancy Bowen is a mixed media artist known for her eclectic mixtures of imagery and materials in both two and three dimensions. Her work offers a poetic commentary on our quickly changing material culture.



Suzanne Cleary, Poet

“I want my poems to be entertaining and profound, hilarious and heart-breaking, well-crafted and wild. I love a poem that takes risks. My favorite question is ‘Can I get away with this?’”



Andrew Courtney, Visual Artist

“My work ascends from an early background in painting, ceramic sculpture, Fine Arts teaching and activism for social change. My image making is concerned with those places and people where social struggle is at the edge of transition.”



Susan Cox, Visual Artist

“I think about both the physical and the psychological/metaphorical ideas that I want to convey. The architecture of the idea and the movement of light are important themes”



KJ Denhert, Composer

“I write and record songs about what I know…I want my music to express a musical and lyrical balance between finding inspiration, seeking justice and fending off despair.”



Thomas Doyle, Visual Artist

“Typically populated with miniature figures contending with quiet calamities, my work often merges quotidian vignettes of American life and scenes of destruction to achieve an unsettling equilibrium.”



Karen Engelmann, Writer

“It took decades to take up my real work: writing long fiction. It felt impossible and highly impractical, but turned out to be an irresistible calling.”



Marcy Freedman, Performance Artist

“For the last ten years I have focused on video and performance art. These genres allow me to address a wide range of contemporary issues. I often present my work in public venues to reach people from all walks of life.”



Richard Haas, Visual Artist

“The architecture of America, and especially that of its inner cities, has been a major part of my artwork. I have tried to record my observations and studies of our rich and unique urban environment.”



Marie Howe, Poet

“I have hoped to write about the contraries of love and joy and pain and loss and bewilderment and wonder in poems that are accessible to everyone.”



Carla Rae Johnson, Visual Artist

“Making art is for me simultaneously an act of rebellion and a gift. When I am in my studio working, I am defying logical, practical, and socially acceptable norms.”



Laura Kaminsky, Composer

“It is crucial that I compose profoundly honest music that is both powerful and outwardly-directed, in tandem with more introspective and intimate works.”



Martin Kruck, Visual Artist

“My photographic projects often involve multi-layered interpretations of place… views of hotels, zoos, museums, parks and other human and animal environments are combined to create new scenes that explore ideas of post-naturalistic photography.”



Michael Levinson, Filmmaker

“’The Hyperglot,’ is a good representation of my career thus far…the theme of communicating in many languages, particularly with humor, remains an important facet of my artistic ambition.”


Malcolm MacDougall III, Visual Artist

“My large-scale work play off organic and inorganic metaphors. The projects stem from a fascination with the natural sciences, in particular, microscopy…on a macro level, I also draw from geological processes.”



John Maggiotto​, Visual Artist

“My photographs…are objects to share, invitations to stop and look again. The world doesn’t move too fast, we do…My best efforts convince some to take a second look.”


Bibiana Huang Matheis, Visual Artist

“To truly capture the essence of a subject, there must exist an understanding and a respect for its being. With each photograph, I hope to create a space in which we can be at peace.”



Howard Meyer, Playwright

My primary focus as a playwright is to weave social issues and concerns into dramatic narratives that explore obstructions and opportunities in intimate relationships.



Creighton Michael, Visual Artist

“My work extends a visual vocabulary that was initiated by the paintings of Mark Tobey and Cy Twombly… my studio practice has centered on investigating the diverse facets of drawing.”



Brian Morton, Writer

“I write novels in the belief that what D.H. Lawrence said a hundred years ago is still true: the novel is the ‘one bright book of life.’”


David Neumann, Choreographer

I make multi-disciplinary dances from scratch, bringing to gesture, word and proximity a delighted embrace of our contradictory lives. I seek to create complex dances that push the form.



Bruce Odland, Composer

“My work is to remember to listen to the world around me, to find beauty and meaning in the sounds, and make pieces that reward the experience of hearing.”



Jill Parry, Visual Artist

“I am a figurative painter and fiber artist. In my figurative paintings and portraits, my intention is not just to create a likeness but to express emotions and ideas.”



Jerry Pinkney, Visual Artist

“I have explored many different subjects. It is as if they all sit next to me in my studio, patiently waiting until the right time to leap onto my drawing table.”



Lise Prown Visual Artist

“I explore the intersection of technology, interactivity and everyday actions and objects. The goal of my work is to reach as broad a cross section of viewers as possible.”



Nalini Rau, Choreographer

“Driven to express themes meaningful to me, I found myself writing, which transformed to dance. As a choreographer, dance is a journey into my innermost being even as I reach out to the world.”



Marilyn Richeda, Visual Artist

“I work intuitively, allowing my imagination to dictate the direction of the work…Color and surface treatment are of the utmost importance to me… color is what seduces me, and it profoundly affects how I work with clay.”


Christopher Robbins, Visual Artist

“My work is on the uneasy cusp of public art and international development, creating sculptural interventions in the daily lives of strangers. I use heavy material demands and a careful work-process to craft awkwardly intimate social collaborations.”



Dyan Rosenberg, Visual Artist

“The phrase ‘Abstract Realism’ has been used to describe my work. My innate sense of form and color guide me in all of my artistic creations.”



Marisa Scheinfeld, Visual Artist

“I began documenting the remains of the [Borscht Belt] era…I find myself enamored with these leftovers, which in the present day reveal themselves as a transcendent study of contemplation, dwelling between the intersection of culture, landscape and time.”



Peri Schwartz, Visual Artist

“For the past fifteen years the subject has been the interior of my studio and a collection of bottles and jars filled with beautiful liquids.”



Barbara Segal, Visual Artist

“I transform seemingly simple objects into lush, sensual memories of childhood, status and youthful rebellion…I share secrets of coming of age and entomb conflict and disappointment beneath patterned and tiered surfaces.”



Michael Shapiro, Composer

“As a composer, I am called upon to write for different ensembles throughout the world for works that vary in content, purpose and occasion.”



Maxine Sherman, Choreographer

“As a dancer and choreographer, I breathe life into the human form to express ideas and emotions that cannot be expressed in language alone.”


Bettijane Sills, Choreographer

“I am steeped in the tradition of choreography as a visualization of the music and I use the classical ballet vocabulary to represent that concept.”


Peter Sis, Visual Artist

“I express myself through my art, and hope that others may enjoy it. I would like to enlighten people and show them how the world is fascinating, and complex and inspiring.”



Dave Steck, Filmmaker

“Every project starts as just an idea or feeling I want to convey. Once I can articulate it, I know I have a vision of what the project will be.”



Susan Todd & Andrew Young, Filmmakers

“As filmmakers, we believe in the power of cinematic storytelling to create empathy and understanding about the world around us.”



Rebeca Tomás, Choreographer

“In my work, I strive to find a balance between tradition and innovation. My goal is to remain faithful to the essence of Flamenco while asserting my own voice and incorporating contemporary perspectives.”



Eduardo Vilaro, Choreographer

“My vision is to continue to create and promote dance work that reflects the Latin American experience…and to build a contemporary Latino language of movement that provokes dialogue and breaks stereotypes.”


Neil Waldman, Visual Artist

“The earth’s landscapes brighten my darkest caverns/They are the beating of my heart/and their glorious colour is the stuff I breathe/Raging rivers are my life’s blood/Fields of flowers feed me”



Chris Wedge, Filmmaker

“I’ve spent my career looking for new ways to make animation. It sounds quaint today, but along the way I have, with many colleagues, developed and applied technology that creates photo-realistic representations of completely imaginary worlds.”



Antoinette Wysocki, Visual Artist

“My intention is to create abstract paintings that indulge in materials and focus on the expressive process itself. These paintings are an active engagement with the viewers’ sense of process.”



Ed Young, Visual Artist

“Early in my career, I felt as if I belonged nowhere. Now, I find I really belong everywhere. I draw from both of these sensibilities.”



Luca Zordan​,Visual Artist

“Working with children has always been my passion in photography, and has led me to travel the world encountering children from every culture, every race, and (almost) every continent.”


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Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

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Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

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