September 24 to September 25
The indecisive, the short attention-spanned, and the culture-vulture who wants to do it all at once should find themselves in New Rochelle for its annual ArtsFest. There, a “hop-on, hop-off” trolley transports visitors to a variety of artsy venues throughout the city for free, interactive activities. Artist Charles Fazzino hosts a community project in his studio, The Thomas Paine Cottage holds a colonial fair, the Huguenot Children’s Library puts out beloved primary-colored blocks for Lego fun, the Museum of Arts & Culture presents an exhibition of works by artist Debra Hampton, and so on. For a complete schedule of activities, visit newrochellearts.org.
Westchester Concorso d’Eleganza
We see some pretty fancy cars on the streets of Westchester, so it takes a lot to impress the local auto-enthusiast. It’s a good thing, then, that the Concorso d’Eleganza car show doesn’t make do with just any old beater. Sponsored by the Westchester Italian Cultural Center, the Concorso showcases the most drool-inducing Italian cars, including Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and Alfa Romeos. In total, the show features more than 100 classic cars and motorcycles in Tuckahoe’s Depot Square.
Blaze: October 1 to November 6
Van Cortlandt Manor
Hollow: October 8 to October 30
What’s your Halloween fright tolerance? If you shut your eyes in fear at even the wussiest Twilight-style vampires, enjoy the gentle seasonal pleasures of the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. The event, which has drawn national attention and crowds that number in the tens of thousands, features more than 4,000 hand-carved pumpkins combined to make scenes of fish, flowers, and even dinosaurs. If you were first on line for all seven Saw movies, however, you might need the more intense experience over at the Horseman’s Hollow. There, a dimly lit path winds it way through ghoulish scenes, including one with our favorite local haunt, the Headless Horseman.
The Performing Arts Center
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) commissioned the performance, and it’ll debut at BAM’s Next Wave Festival—but we get to see it first. Grammy-nominated jazz musician Darcy James Argue and Croatian-born artist and graphic novelist Danijel Zezelj team up to develop a new work at Purchase College. The result will be a wordless multi-media performance where big-band music, animation, and live painting tell a story about a tower being constructed in a futuristic Brooklyn.
What’s changed the most in the past half-century?
I would probably say the most dramatic change has been our location. We moved the location from the center of town into our community park. It’s much more pastoral. The park is lined by trees. It’s much prettier. We could expect between eight-thousand and ten-thousand people coming through. Also the quality of our artists has gotten better. And we’ve been able to take on more of them since we changed location.
How do you find the artists that you feature?
The outdoor artist community is very close-knit and they talk about the show. We’re very fortunate that our show has really resonated with the artists. The artists send in examples of their work, and then fifteen volunteer professionals—who all have backgrounds in art—spend two and a half hours a night, two nights a week, for six weeks viewing the artwork. It’s not easy. We get close to six hundred applicants for one-hundred-and-eighty-five slots. There will be artists who have been at our show for many years, and the panel will feel as if the artist has not really evolved, and they might not accept them back. They’ll say, ‘We feel you need to push yourself a little more.’ No one likes to hear that, but, in the end they do and you can see that growth. The whole caliber of artists who apply each year has been getting higher and higher.
What’s new this year?
People come mainly for the art, but this year we have more entertainment. We’ll have bands play throughout the day: bluegrass bands, jazz bands, maybe someone playing a guitar, and some bands that already have their own followings. We’re also going to have artist demonstrations, so artists in different fields show how they make their art. Finally, we’ll have jurors with different areas of expertise act as docents. They will take people around to see, for example, different photographic styles, and how one artist shoots with the camera a certain way and how another will use a computer to get a certain effect. It’ll definitely be enriching.