Simone Kestelman’s warriors on display at RoCA

Simone Kestelman’s warriors on display at RoCA

The work of Scarsdale artist Simone Kestelman will be featured in an exhibition of female sculptures at RoCA, the Rockland Center for the Arts in Nyack, starting October 15, 2021.

The Women in Sculpture exhibition is part of a tribute to 20th century artist and feminist, Dorothy Gillespie. The exhibition will open on October 15 in the Catherine Konner Sculpture Park at RoCA. Artists include works by Dorothy M. Gillespie, Leigh Taylor Mickelson, Aurora Robson, Simone Kestelman and Cathrin Hoskinson.

Dorothy Gillespie (1920-2012) pioneered joyful new directions in metal sculpture and is best known for her large-scale, colorful arrangements of cut aluminum strips bending, radiating or rippling in giant ribbons arrangements , enchanted towers or glowing fireworks. She was well known as a painter, sculptor and installation artist whose work incorporated many important artistic trends of the 20th century.

An influential force in the women’s movement, Gillespie encouraged more female art in museums and art in public spaces through major museum events, such as the Whitney, as the founder of Women Artists Historical Archives of the Women’s Interart Center in New York, as co-founder of the NY Professional Women Artists group, recording interviews with the most important women artists of the 20th century and teaching at colleges and universities.

She was luckier than 19th-century female sculptors who were mostly hired as workshop assistants by established male sculptors with little exposure. They did not pursue monumental work as often as the men. Today, many more women are now entering traditional male-dominated carving roles in metal, wood and stone, thanks to the pioneering activism of women like Dorothy Gillespie in the 20th century.

Dorothy Gillespie’s career spanned seven decades, always at the forefront of the American art movement. His works adorn many institutions, museums, colleges, universities, and public spaces, including the permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the United States Mission to the United Nations.

More women than ever are entering the mediums of sculpture which were traditionally occupied by men. They also get orders for monumental public sculptures. The accomplished 21st century sculptors featured with Gillespie have each made a contribution to the art world through their mediums.

Among the artists are the Warriors glass sculptures by Simone Kestelman of Scarsdale representing different types of inner strength. Together, they show that people are stronger when they accept their vulnerability and stay strong in spite of it. Glass sculptures may appear fragile but are resistant to heat, cold, pressure, and chemicals. They can withstand heavy rains, snowstorms and heat waves. In times of stress, if we stand still, we realize how strong we are at overcoming adversity. The stripes of its pieces represent the DNA that makes us each unique. These sculptures express the diversity of both individuality and
personality.
Kestelman’s work reflects on and comments on important social issues through his work, focusing on injustice, inequality and abuse by going beyond traditional imagery and sculpture. Its intention is to get more people to think and act to promote the protection of women and children in vulnerable situations. She was director of the SK Gallery in White Plains, NY and has exhibited at the Museum of Art, Morago, CA, the Tucson Contemporary Womens Art Collective, the United Nations, MOCA in Calgary, Canada and A Hebraica Gallery, Novotel Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Learn more about the upcoming exhibition here.

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