By Bobby Panza
Cool jazz played on the PA system as the works of budding artists as young as two and seasoned creators in their 80s were showcased at the Rutgers Presbyterian Church’s Community Arts Show, held in the sanctuary at 236 West 73rd Street, on the evening of November 7.
West Side Rag spoke with a few of the more than 50 featured artists, including 17-year-old Amelia, who not only goes by one name, but also titles every one of her pieces the same: ‘Untitled.’ When asked why, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School student told the Rag, “I like how people can just make what they want of [a painting] when they look at it. I’m not telling them anything. It’s all up to them, sort of.”
Amelia told WSR her preferred tool for the artwork she creates is the pencil, because it’s not very messy and readily available in most households. “I’ve liked drawing since I was a little kid,” she said. She’s currently going through the college-admissions process, with an eye on Drexel, Boston College, or George Washington University, but is unsure about her plans. “I’ve been going to an art school for years where we do two hours of artwork every day,” she explained. “I don’t know if I want to do four more years of that.” Currently, she is going through an obsession with crochet, she said.
Also featured were the digital photographs of Carol Brewer, 68. Brewer credits her father with inspiring her love of photography. “I picked up one of his old World War II cameras when I was 12 and started taking pictures,” said the Upper West Side local. She originally attended art school at Arizona State University to become a painter, but quickly realized it wasn’t for her and pivoted to taking pictures for the school newspaper. An avid traveler, she has journeyed to approximately 80 countries, capturing the sights along the way. “I recommend Prague and Madrid as two of the most beautiful cities in the world,” she said. At the top of her list of countries to visit next is Uzbekistan in Central Asia.
The art show was organized by Lesley Countryman and Peter Rinaldi, both of whom have been part of the Rutgers community for over two decades. In 2023, the two Upper West Siders began a pilot project known as Tuesdays in the Sanctuary. “We’ve had documentary films, wellness workshops, concerts with all different kinds of music,” said Countryman. Rinaldi added that Tuesdays in the Sanctuary was just renewed through 2024. For more information click here.
The Rutgers Community Art Show will run until November 19. Public viewing times are Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
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