The journey of the 1000lb tree

The blood, sweat, tears and celebration! – and that is only the start of the journey; the portion of just loading the “mixed metal beauty of a tree” traveling from Red Hook (Hudson) to White Plains.

We started our morning at 9:30 am, prepping and adding the finishing touches.  The moving van departed with it’s weary three person team from ArtsWestchester at 4pm.  Installation of Fish Tales officially begins!

Artist of the Week: Haifa Bint-Kadi


Haifa Bint-Kadi holds an M.F.A. from Istituto d’Arte per il mosaico  in Ravenna, Italy and has been designing and fabricating public art mosaics since 1993.  She recently completed the construction and installation of a sculpture park for the State of New York at Suny Oneonta symbolizing the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Haifa Bint-Kadi has recently been awarded the competitive Create Change Residency which will culminate in a large scale public art project for south Yonkers.

“My work involves working closely with community in developing public art projects that reflect the community’s interests, history and perspectives using a constructivist model to engage the public in the Big Idea of community and in making connections to the environment. I call this work, Resurrection History. I believe public art should be accessible to the public and not simply because it’s installed in a public space, but because the artist has engaged the public through research, history and the discourse the public art inspires. I’m only interested in projects that engage the public in authentic ways.”

Todd & Laura’s Sneak Peek

Test your knowledge and guess which beautiful fish goes with which fish fact?

1.The Tautog is a popular inshore gamefish that lives along the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. Although capable of reaching relatively large sizes, they are very slow- growing

2. The American Shad is an anadromous fish, spending its adult life at sea and returning to fresh water rivers to spawn. They are primarily plankton feeders, but will eat small shrimp and fish eggs.

3. The Black Sea Bass is anadromous but does not spawn in Long Island Sound tributaries. They are popular sport fish that appear in the Sound in the summer, feeding on squid and finfish.


Hudson River Wildlife blooms in the science lab of Blue Mountain School

A collaborative effort between art and science took shape in Mr Bugara’s science lab at the Blue Mountain School in Croton last week. With the guidance and support of Mrs Krause and Mr Gioacchini, the talented art educators on staff; the invitation by R.A.R.E. and ArtsWestchester to build a “fish tank” of wildlife for the sculpture garden at the Arts Exchange Gallery (in White Plains) spurred a fury of recycled creativity, problem solving, team building and lots of duck tape.  Take an inside look into the high school’s process of representing the wealth of species in the estuaries that call the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound their home.

Hudson River Workshop with Chris Letts

Out of a large red ice box, Chris Letts from the Hudson River Foundation pulls out a cat fish (also known as bull heads) caught on the Hudson River by a fishermen.  His young audience sits at picnic tables at Croton Point Park, mouths agape just as the fish is, some let out a gasp of fascination and delight.  Mr Letts points to the tail and spreads it out, explaining how the cat fish has a slightly dipped, wide tail which basically is a sign of a slow, strong swimmer.   He moves on to the “whiskers” which he mentions are called barbells.  They act like sensory tongues outside of the mouth that detect food.

“For protection”, Mr Letts pulls on the dorsal fin on the back, “they have serrated spines they can lock into position”.  A child whispers out loud, “Cool…”

An excited student yells out, “I will pay you for the fish so I can take it home so my mom can cook it.”  Mr Letts smiles mentioning the fish is for study and not for sale.

Seahorses swimming at the Hudson River Musem this past week

This past (spring break) week at the Hudson River Museum, R.A.R.E. in collaboration with ArtsWestchester was invited to participate in their SOSI program.  Museum attendees were invited to work on an arts and crafts project involving one of our local fish neighbors in the river, the seahorse.  The wonderful junior docents educated and inspired the attendees about the species which led into some meaningful craft making.  The craft was followed up with learning how we as individuals can make an impact in our local environment for the better.  As a result we have some wonderful schools of seahorse that will be swimming in ArtsWestchester “waters” that suggest ways in which we can make a difference.  Those who donated their seahorse can come search for their “pet creation” at the gallery.


Green Chimney’s Fish Tale

Meet Shirawani (it means sand tiger shark in Japanese).  She is still taking shape with her recycled material body and getting to know her new home at Green Chimneys.  Here, The Shark Finatics have an amazing tale to share about the sharks home in the Long Island Sound and it’s inhabitants.  This story can be viewed along with Shirawani at the Fish Tales exhibit.

This is their personal story.  The journey of the Shark Finatics began with unknown answers to one of this planet’s most extraordinary creatures. Through passion as well as compassion, we work hard to educate others. Our mission is to keep sharks in our oceans, where they belong.
Learning, Teaching, Saving is our motto. Through education, of ourselves and others, we hope to help ensure the continued existence of sharks in our oceans, an endangered species.
Support this inspiring team on Facebook.

Hudson River Fact of the week

Moon jellies turn the color of the food they eat.  Pink jellies eat mostly crustaceans, while orange jellies have been dining on brine shrimp.  They can be found in warm and temperate coastal waters; mainly along the estuaries during the summer months.  They are enjoyed by sea turtles, large fish and marine birds.  This brings up the major problem of plastic bags looking a lot like jellies.