COVID-19 notwithstanding, the 48th annual Art Show: Bedford is going ahead in virtual form to raise funds for 14 local charities.
The popular annual event, now in its 48th year, is taking place beginning today, Friday, Jan. 22, and runs through Sunday, Jan. 31. It features collector-quality art including painting, mixed media, sculpture and jewelry created by artists from the region.
At the heart of the annual art show is its philanthropic mission. Proceeds will support 14 local nonprofits that benefit needy and marginalized persons throughout Westchester, according to organizers.
“There may be a misperception that the show is a benefit for St. Matthew’s Church,” said Tara Deeks, co-chair. The annual event usually is held at the Bedford church.
However, she went on, “That is not the case. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the show are donated to local charities.”
This year’s exhibition will take place entirely online through Art Show: Bedford’s website at artshowbedford.org. Show organizers have launched an online sales capacity to support this year’s virtual program. “This newly instituted online sales capacity will enable collectors to purchase art over a longer timeframe and with utmost convenience, secure in the knowledge that their purchases will be hand-delivered or shipped promptly,” said art show officials in a press release. The online sales feature was introduced last month.
Over 40 artists are participating in this year’s show, selling paintings, photographs and sculpture, as well as handmade jewelry, glass items and pottery at all price points. Works run the gamut from contemporary to traditional style.
“Each year we reinvite successful artists from our previous shows and add a complement of exciting new artists so that the show is always vital and refreshed,” said Susannah Leighton, co-chair and curator.
Many of the artists represented in the show are willing to take commissions. In some cases, interested buyers have also arranged “COVID-safe meetings” with the artists in advance of purchasing.
Local artist Rachel White has created a signature piece for the 2021 event that expresses the overall show theme of togetherness. Her painting, “Community” is a “study in human skin tones that reflects the range of our diverse beauty as human beings, reminding us that we are all in this together,” said exhibition representatives.
A committee of volunteers have been assisting Ms. Deeks and Ms. Leighton, the co-chairs. Christopher Brescia of CB Gallery of Katonah is the guest curator.
Every year, a preview party kicks off the show. This year, however, for safety reasons, the preview party, to be held today, Friday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m., will take the form of a virtual event called “Community Cocktails.” If time permits, attendees can still preorder a tote bag that will include ready-made cocktails, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, sweet treats and gifts. The bags can be picked up at St. Matthew’s Church on the afternoon of the event. Attendees will receive a link to a live-streamed Zoom presentation. The program will include a greeting from the Rev. John Zahl of St. Matthew’s Church, information on the beneficiary charities, and detailed descriptions of the silent auction items. The party will also include a virtual magic show performed by Tom Pesce, combining close-up magic, mind-reading, comedy and multimedia visual effects. Tickets to the preview party are $125 and can be purchased on the art show website.
Among the silent auction items are two by artist Stephen Hannock. The first is a framed painting that is a study for a larger work entitled “Luminous Lakes Below the Knife Edge: Mount Katahdin, Maine.”
“Scores of artists have painted Mount Katahdin,” Mr. Hannock noted, including Frederick Church, Marsden Hartley and Richard Estes. The Knife Edge, he explained, is a dramatic peak “that erupts out of a flat forest plane peppered with lakes.” The artist hired a bush pilot to fly him “around Katahdin, dipping below the peak and soaring above the surrounding lakes for 45 minutes so I could draw,” he said. “I don’t use photography so I was drawing while bouncing all over creation on a windy day in a plane held together with duct tape.” A short video that highlights the finished work can be viewed at .
In addition, Mr. Hannock donated a private tour for four people to visit his studio, located in a warehouse in North Adams, Massachusetts. The tour package also includes an overnight at the Porches Inn, also in North Adams. It can easily be combined with visits to nearby MASS MoCA and the Sterling Clark Art Institute.
Other auction items include a catered cocktail party for 18, Ms. White’s “Community” painting, a guided tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a garden landscaping consultation.
Community organizations designated to benefit from Art Show: Bedford this year include A-Home, Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester, Community Center of Northern Westchester, Endeavor Therapeutic Riding, Hope’s Door, Hour Children, Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, Neighbors Link, Rehabilitation Through The Arts and VNA & Hospice Care Foundation of Hudson Valley.