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HVCCA: Artist Reception for Leslie Pelino

HVCCA: Artist Reception for Leslie Pelino

The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, NY

Leslie PelinoI must have driven past this museum over 1000 times in the years I have lived in Northern Westchester County. For the longest time, I thought it was a warehouse of some sort, had no idea it was a museum. Once I realized it was a museum, it has been on my list of places to go and check out. Today proved the perfect opportunity with the artist reception for Leslie Pelino.


Upon entering the museum, I was struck by how large and spacious it is inside. The crisp white walls reaching 2 stories high. I  could even see a second level at the back of the museum.  After a chat with the ladies at the front desk, I started to meander. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and diversity of artists on exhibit. I was immediately taken with Susan Obrant’s amazing couture crochet creations at the front near the door. I just LOVED the blue one. Ahh, I may have to purchase one of those in the future! And she was very nice explaining her process somewhat and how she can also create custom works for individuals upon request.


Next, I wandered the perimeter of the gallery checking out all the nooks and crannies. The back rooms that housed Peter Bynum’s light art were especially interesting and soothing, rather like looking at inkblots and letting your mind see whatever it cared to. One of my absolute favorite pieces was Todd Murphy’s Samuel. A huge portrait of a white stag with real tree branches making up the immense head of antlers.


The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary ArtFinally, I listened to the poetry reading by Steven Lewis and later had a chance to speak with Leslie about her whimsical salvaged creations. She explained how any found object she comes across can become the seed for a new piece. Many of those pieces can take months to create.  The colors she uses are bright and the creatures she creates out of cloth, and found objects can’t help but make you smile as you look on in wonder at the sheer scope and talent needed for their creation. While jubilant and almost adolescent when you first see them, her pieces can also have a much deeper meaning she eluded, treading the concept of multiple souls fused together on a journey of life, death and reincarnation.

All in all, I had a lovely time exploring this local gem of a museum and talking with Leslie and Susan. I encourage you to go for a visit and see for yourself. You just never know what treasures are right around the corner from you. Just use your GPS when you go or you might miss it!

1 Comment

  1. Susan Obrant

    Just saw this now. Please come for a studio visit. It would be my pleasure


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