MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Jerome Harris Parmet of Scarsdale is one of 26 artists in the exhibit "Placemaking: Re-envisioning White Plains."
The exhibit is at ArtsWestchester’s Peckham and Shenkman galleries at 31 Mamaroneck Ave. in White Plains through July 13. In the exhibit, artists examine one-square block in White Plains, and imagine creative public art projects for key locations.
“This invitational show was conceived as part of an ongoing conversation to reexamine the potential of downtown White Plains as a cultural destination,'' said exhibtion curator Nazanin H. Munroe.
The 26 intriguing proposals represent the wide range of possibilities for public art in the city. Sculpture, landscaping, video projection and murals are among the varied ideas to animate and enliven the streetscape. The exhibition features artist renderings of the potential artwork on site, as well as scale-models.
Harris Parmet discussed his work, "Migratory Moments": "My goal as a sculptor involved in this Project is to contribute to the aesthetic environment in the downtown core of White Plains. Public art that captures the fancy of the multigenerational, multi-cultural, multi-purpose populations that dominate city. A triangular spit of land, a pedestrian crossing island, between Main Street on the North (with traffic moving one way East) and Mamaroneck Avenue (with traffic moving both ways- North and South) immediately engaged me in the vibrancy of downtown White Plains. I had frequently driven but never walked this area prior to exploring the selected sites, an artistically visionary experience.
One often thinks what it would be like to be marooned on an island. Visions of palm trees initially come to mind, blue water, sunshine, sand, coconuts, a nap on the beach. Site #4 is just the opposite! Cold, congested, concrete, yet a functional, safe place for one to arrive while crossing two streets in the midst of chaotic auto, truck and pedestrian traffic; yes, one could call it a haven but only for a moment or two of impatient waiting.
An island and a haven! While I stood there in a flight of imagination, I saw its potential to become more than just a safe location, if only momentarily. I wanted others to imagine, as I did, the movement of birds flying in and around it, alighting in a sanctuary before continuing on ~ predetermined journey as well; it could be an island for both pedestrians and (sculptural) wild life. I visualized the birds' presence to soften the harshness of urban life and harmonize with the green grass sculptures directly across the street. A little paradise to bring a smile to the lips and a skip in one's step."
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