“The Gratitude Project” Exhibit

Artist: Hilda Green Demsky
“The Gratitude Project”
Painting and Poetry Exhibit

Interpretive oil paintings inspired by responses of 36 United States Poets Laureate to The New York Times inquiry “What people in their State would be thankful for” during the Covid pandemic.

Demsky's exhibit will be on display in the Library's Gallery from April 3rd through May 25th, with an opening reception on Saturday, April 15th, from 2:00–4:00 p.m. Demsky will also give an Artist's Talk on Sunday, April 23rd at 3:00 p.m. This exhibit is part of the Library's celebration of National Poetry month.

When thirty-six United States poets laureate responded to the NYT request to write, in 100 words or less, “what people in their State would be thankful for,” their submitted poetry inspired New York artist Hilda Green Demsky to interpret their words in paint.

During the pandemic, Ms. Demsky had been looking for a project that would jumpstart the unease she felt about the growing loss and pain caused by Covid-19. Finding comfort in the beautiful words of our State poets laureate, her artistic goal was to capture the spirit of hope and recovery, and share it in an exhibition combining poetry and paintings, which she called “The Gratitude Project.”

“The Gratitude Project” exhibit is comprised of 36 oil canvas paintings, each measuring 20″ x 16′ mounted alongside the poems that have inspired them, the NYT article, and some information about the artist. Each painting contains a hidden outline of the state, objects unique to its history and poetry, and is color coded to the geographic region of the U.S> that it represents. For example, all of the paintings of the Midwest have an underpainting of the color yellow ochre which represents the vast fields of wheat.

Hilda Green Demsky is the recipient of many national awards such as The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, Andy Warhol Award, and Christa McAuliffe Fellowship among others. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA in Fine Arts & Design and received her Masters Degree at Hunter College in Art Education. Ms. Demsky taught art and White Plains High School for 21 years, and Manhattanville College while maintaining her art studio in an historic building in Port Chester, where she still paints today.

Categories: Gallery and Library News.

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