Artful Connection: Larry Rivers and Uncle Herb

 larry rivers and uncle herb (susan merson)larry rivers and uncle herb (susan merson) bronx
Renowned artist Larry Rivers was born Yitzroch (Irving) Grossberg in the Bronx. He grew up on Mace Avenue. Before he studied at NYU and Julliard, he was in a band as a teenager. This photo was submitted by Artful Circle member Susan Merson, whose Uncle Herb Genis (on right, with Rivers) was in the band with Rivers when they were about 16 years old. What a wonderful artful connection!

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“The Palette Reveals the Artist” Lecture

“The Palette Reveals the Artist” Lecture with Alexander Katlan
Sunday, December 13th at 2pm
at the Art League of Long Island (107 East Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills, NY, 631-462-5400)

alex katlan at his desk
Esteemed art conservator Alex Katlan will present an informative art talk based on his book “The Palette Reveals the Artist: The Grumbacher Artist Palette Collection and the Salmagundi Club Palette Collection”.


The palette collection of the historic Salmagundi Club represents a piece of art history. Many well-known artists of the past 140 years such as William Merrit Chase and George Inness, Jr. have participated in the club tradition of leaving their palettes for display at the iconic brownstone in Greenwich Village.

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Artful Circle in the Hamptons: The Dan Flavin Art Institute

IMG_2517  IMG_2516

by Debbie Wells

There are so many famous artists that have Long Island roots and it is always a treat to see them showcased in their hometowns. Everyone knows that artists such as Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner called the Hamptons home, but did you know that contemporary artist Dan Flavin (1933-1996) was a resident of Wainscott, a village nearby the resort town of Bridgehampton? The Dan Flavin Art Institute is a gem of a museum, located in the heart of the main street area and perfect for a delightful break from the usual Hamptons activities.

IMG_2506  IMG_2497(Above): On view at the museum

Dan Flavin: The Artist of Light

Born in New York City in 1933, he studied art history at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His first work with electric light was shown at the Judson Gallery in New York in 1961. He also exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the National Gallery of Canada in the 1960’s. Read More

Art-Themed Exhibit at the Jewish Museum

The Steerage on view September 25, 2015 – February 14, 2016
By Debbie Wells

Attending the Press Preview

On September 21st, I was invited to a media/press preview of the latest exhibits at the Jewish Museum to report my observations on our Artful Circle on-publication, Artful Observer. I hadn’t been to the Jewish Museum iIMG_1502n a long while, but was quickly reminded of its beauty as I approached its stately home on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street directly across from Central Park. Housed in the elegant Warburg Mansion on Museum Mile since 1944, the building was designed in French Gothic chateau-style by architect Charles P.H. Gilbert in 1908.

2000-6,The Steerage,Artist: Stieglitz, Photographer:John Parnell, Photo © The Jewish Museum, New York
Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946), The Steerage, 1907, photogravure, 15 7/8 × 11 1/8 in. (40.4 × 28.1 cm). The Jewish Museum, NY, purchase: Mr. and Mrs. George Jaffin Fund, 2000-6

The Deputy Director Jans Hoffmann and the museum curatorial staff presented all its newest exhibits to the press and then encouraged us to explore the galleries for a few hours on our own before the museum opened to the public. I was immediately attracted to an exhibition that I thought would be of interest to our Artful Circle members. Many times, our groups have enjoyed the work of Alfred Steiglitz and his wife, famous artist Georgia O’Keefe at art galleries and museums. This exhibit at the Jewish Museum centers around a single photograuvre by Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) entitled, The Steerage which the artist considered the greatest of his career. He even stated later in his life, “If all my photographs were lost, and I’d be represented by just one, The Steerage, I’d be satisfied.”

IMG_1464 Masterpieces & Curiosities  Series –
The Steerage

I met with Rebecca Shaykin, Leon Levy Assistant Curator, for a close-up look at the exhibit. First, she explained the concept behind their popular Masterpieces & Curiosities series, in which The Steerage is the fifth exhibit. The series showcases individual works in the Jewish Museum’s world-renowned collection.

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Perrell is featured in the New York Times!

Artful Circle’s Franklin Hill Perrell is featured in this New York Times article as he explains his role in The Moderns art exhibition currently at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, New York. Click Here to read the article “The Moderns: Chagall, Degas, Léger, Miró, Picasso and More…” continues at the Nassau Read More


by Debbie Wells
EH SCHIFF 2 retouch
Ellen Hallie Schiff in her art studio in Glen Cove, Long Island

The Artist’s World

Upon entering the charming home of Ellen Hallie Schiff in Glen Cove, Long Island, you immediately know you are in an environment designed by an artist. There, she displays her own work, as well as paintings by fellow local artists and mentors, such as Christian White and Steve Lampasona. Also on view are framed pictures by artists she has met on her travels, including a printmaker in Cuba.

Behind her home is a converted garage filled with wonderful light and bright white walls. Her canvases are neatly piled everywhere in process of being organized for her next showing. Bits of materials, paints and supplies are stored throughout the space. Pinned on the walls are scraps of motivational articles and pictures. She has reference material and artist books on the ready for inspiration. Read More

At the Studio & Garden: Artist Roy Nicholson

by Debbie Wells

IMG_0011Meeting the Artist

The Long Island Rail Road is my choice mode of transportation when Manhattan is the destination of our Artful Circle gallery visits. My own personal travel experience begins at the popular Hicksville train station. Always bustling, it certainly would never be considered a place with particular visual appeal. However, there is one notable exception – a set of large mosaic murals flanking the seating area of the station’s lobby.

Whenever walking by, I make a point to gaze at the colorful tiles of the mosaic art. Although an abstract composition, its horizontal design alludes to a landscape. There are two murals, each with a different color scheme. Not knowing anything about them, I felt compelled to step close and imagine how they were created and the meaning behind the swirls of color and texture. It wasn’t until much later that I spotted the plaques identifying the artist and title of the works.

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Merging Photographer and Painter

  Photographer Bob Chilton attended one of the Artful Circle Pop-Up events to the Hamptons this summer. On August 3rd, we toured the Parrish Museum in Water Mill and then visited the nearby studio and gardens of Long Island artist Bruce Lieberman. Chilton was especially inspired by Lieberman’s creative workspace. He truly captured the artistic spirit, Read More

Experience the New Whitney Museum

filipwolak-whitney-openingceremony-149-0612wotf008_800By Franklin Hill Perrell

From the moment you arrive at the new Whitney Museum of American Art, you can tell that this is unlike any museum you’ve previously visited. The new building looks like a gigantic twisted ship- container ship or ocean liner variously, berthed in the Meat Packing District. The nautical theme is no accident:

Renzo Piano was commenting not only the site itself and its splendid river exposure and views, but also the old sail makers lofts that dominated the area in the days when Herman Melville earned his living as a scrivener in the customs house.

Outstanding Architecture and NYC Locale

The location is serendipitous: the area- at the edge of the historic row houses of the west village and centered in its own milieu of dramatically re-purposed nineteenth century warehouses and wholesale butchers, which exudes unexpected charm, with cobble stone streets, the Standard Hotel (like a leisure-themed version of Le Corbusier’s UN) and its outdoor dining under the Pergola, and the Highline itself, whose very base is the Whitney’s plaza. Serendipitous as well, the proximity to Chelsea doubles the potential action.

630_006_800When you arrive at the Whitney, you see a plaza occupying almost half the block and an open expanse westward toward the Hudson River. The first floor is see-through, and Renzo Piano’s concept is that this space would be like an Italian city square enabling potential engagement for all. Read More

Artful Circle Artist Spotlight: Max Ernst Greis

By Debbie Wells

When your parents name you Max Ernst Greis, it seems inevitable that you would choose a career in art. New York born and bred, he is a master of the art of collage and has invented a hybrid of techniques way beyond traditional cut and glued paper. From traditional painting to multi-media, he constructs scenes with architectural, industrial, military and natural imagery.


I met Max Greis this spring while on one of our Artful Circle classes. As Franklin was curating art gallery visits for our groups, he arranged for the artist to meet us at Pavel Zoubok Gallery in Chelsea to talk about his debut solo exhibition entitled Samsara.

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