Art at Amalgamated

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 1:00pm to 6:00pm
Venue Name: 
Vladeck Hall
Venue Address: 
74 Van Cortlandt Park South, Bronx, NY, 10463

We are so excited to have our first art show this coming fall.  Our curator, Suzanne Hockstein, is bringing together a wide variety of local artists who work in many different mediums.  If you are an artist and would like to show your work, please contact us.

SUZANNE HOCKSTEIN has for decades been creating her own art, mixed media, paper collage and assemblage, and has had much success with local exhibits.  She currently serves as KRVC’s Curator for our cultural program. Suzanne worked for 15 years at Riverdale Nursery School and Family Center as the Music and Arts Specialist, and continues to spend her summers at Fieldston Outdoors, where she runs the Art Department and sings daily with the Quad Band. Also a singer-songwriter, on any given night you can find her fronting the NY-based band Seeing Voices, or playing acoustic gigs with her husband/guitar-god Richard. Suzanne came to the South Bronx area of NYC in 1980 to live in and help run, a free-volunteer ambulance service as part of the relief organization Plenty International. Falling deeply in love with all things NY, and specifically The Bronx, she settled here with her husband and they raised 2 children now grown, with spouses of their own. 

Here is a list of some of the artists, along with their bios. Their photos and samples of their work are below in alphabetical order.

SUZANNE AXELBANK has lived in the Bronx for most of her life. Born in the South Bronx, she and her husband have raised two children in Amalgamated / Park Reservoir alongside Van Cortlandt Park for more than 40 years. Always with a drive to be creative, Suzanne became a hairdresser and has worked almost exclusively on children for more than 25 years, including ten years as owner/operator of the very popular Someplace Special Haircuts and Toys for Kids on West 238th street. Working with hair is sculptural and she's honed those skills on the children of Riverdale and the surrounding areas. Their constant movement has taught her to think quickly and understand the nature of texture and proportions. A few years ago, Suzanne became very inspired by the textures and colors of life and began working on a series of canvases that she found very inspiring. The process has renewed her creative spirit and now she’s more prolific than ever. Texture is important to Suzanne’s work. She ties together mountains, valleys, bumps, and squiggles and surrounds them with colors, and sparkles, and fun. Suzanne has art degrees from the Fashion Institute of Technology and Lehman College. SuzieDDesigns

SANDRA AYALA was born and raised in the South Bronx where every day was an adventure. Using photography as a decompression tool she found a home in bold and colorful interpretations of her child like imagination; All the while creating stories that captivate the viewer. Having picked up her first Dslr in 2008 and not having a clue, the word self-taught took new meaning and there began her journey to learn as much as possible.  As a self-taught artist Sandra’s goal is to inspire others to seek art in any medium, as well as, show that it can be done. In summary, she’s just a Puerto Rican girl with an amazing husband and kids who is able to create stories that bring wonder to all.

BRENDA BERGMAN is a grateful student of the great Daniel Hauben's. She was born multi-talented which, she contends, has made her a "Jack of all trades, Master of none." Faced with the choice the HS of MUSIC and ART for voice or HS of ART and DESIGN for won out. She has had a long storied career as a singer, actress, comic, etc. Bergman got on the radar in "Women Behind Bars" and "Neon Woman" with the late, great DIVINE. Her Motown/Memphis style band Brenda and the Real Tones counted among her fans Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Peter Allen, The Clash, Debbie Harry and others. Bergman moved to New Orleans for 10 years where she worked in advertising, a perfect job for A.D.D and varied abilities, and returned with a husband and two kids. More show biz and raising the kids, but the desire to buckle down and study art pervaded. Danny saw some promise and became Brenda's mentor. He geared her toward the Art Students League where she studied for 2 years along with his 2 classes a week and two sculpture classes with Harriet Belag and Rochelle Aruti.

IVAN BRAUN - As an artist and woodturner I strive to create beautiful objects that honor and embellish the natural materials I start with.  I create utilitarian and decorative bowls, vases, hollow-forms and platters that are uplifting to look at, sensuous to hold and a pleasure to use. Much of my inspiration and almost all of my wood comes from trees salvaged from New York City’s urban forest.  Whether they are street trees that have succumbed to the rigors of city living, old growth trees that have survived in parks and green spaces or exotics brought to the city from around the world, they each have an inner beauty waiting to be released on the lathe. Website:

RIO ALICIA DAVIES - Everyone comes from somewhere. Southern artist Rio Davies has been living in the Kingsbridge area for two years. Originally from Valdosta, Georgia. She was brought up in a large family with strong musical and artisitc roots. She trained her self how to paint with acrylics and has kept with that medium for over 15 years. Her work is cartoon minded and inspired by love and curiosity. Rio is constantly experimentibg with comedy in her work and wants to evoke a smile in her viewers. She also has spent the last decade as a professional tattoo artist which influences several of her pieces. New York is the muse for now as well as her family, who is currently still back home. Hippie dippy gypsy mystery and the lucky number 22. See art on Instagram @RioRad

VALERIE DEAS - I am a native New Yorker. I have lived in the five boroughs. The Bronx is currently my home. I have lived here for more than thirty four years. I was an elementary school teacher for twenty nine years and have taught every grade in my school except for first grade. I am a mixed media/fiber artist I use different materials to create artwork. Working with children for so many years has had a tremendous impact on how I create. Children are very spontaneous and I feel this has rubbed off on me. Works that I have spontaneously created have been very pleasing to me.

ANNE GIBBONS is an award-winningg cartoonist and illustrator who has recently added painting and writing to her repertoire. Anne's cartoons appeared for 10 years in a King Features Syndicate cartoon panel entitled, "Six Chix" that was distributed worldwide. Lifetime Television featured her cartoons on its website; Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Cosmopolitan are among the many publications Anne's work has appeared in. Greeting card industry giant Recycled Paper Greetings (now Papyrus) has published Anne's greeting cards for decades. Anne's paintings and cartoons were on exhibit for the month of April this year at An Beal Bacht Cafe in the Bronx. Visit to learn more.

DEBORAH SCHREIER GRINBERG is a visual artist in New York City. Currently she works with porcelain to make sculptural objects that may or may not hold water. Fascinated by making repeating shapes and patterns, Deborah breaks the clay down into pieces and puts them back together in ways that invite the viewer to look and touch the pieces. Being in the studio doing highly repetitive tasks is her favorite way to spend the day. Deborah graduated from the University of Michigan School of Art with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking. In addition she earned a Masters in Art and Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. You can follow her on Instagram, @deborahgrinberg​.

DANIEL HAUBEN​ - Born, raised, and still living in the Bronx, Daniel Hauben's lifelong artistic focus has been the urban landscape. For nearly 40 years he has been painting on location along streets, in parks, from windows and rooftops of the city.  Hauben received a degree in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York and is an eight-time recipient of the BRIO Award from the Bronx Council on the Arts.  He has been awarded artistic residencies in Spain, Germany, Costa Rica, Virginia, Connecticut and California, and has had over thirty national and international solo exhibitions, including at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the American Embassy in Berlin.  His public art project AThe EL,@ commissioned by the New York MTA's Arts for Transit program, was acknowledged in 2008 as one of 40 notable works of public art nationwide by Americans for the Arts. In 2012, Hauben completed a portrait of The Bronx in twenty-two paintings commissioned for the new library on the campus of Bronx Community College. From 2013 – 2015, Hauben spearheaded the Bronx Artist Documentary Project, bringing together 130 Bronx based artists, photographers, and writers to shed light on the vibrant, but under-recognized artistic community of the Bronx. His work is also in corporate and public collections including at the Museum of the City of New York, the New-York Historical Society, the Library of Congress, the White House, Harvard University, and the New York Public Library. He has taught at the Pastel Society of America, the Art Students League and the CUNY Graduate Center, and currently teaches drawing at CCNY Spitzer School of Architecture, Bronx Community College, and The Riverdale YM-YWHA.

AMY KERWIN has been photographing musicians doing what they love for over 10 years now. "I feel that my art grasps the musicians emotion that the viewer can connect with, even in still art.   Whether they were present at an event or not, they can feel the moment as I did. My mother told me as a child that there is beauty in everything, we just need to take a moment to see and experience it. Breath. I am based just outside of NYC and have been very fortunate to be in the hub of such amazing talent."

KEITH McDERMOTT is a photographer, painter and musician.  He collects photographs from an array of different subjects, but mostly from urban and natural landscapes and musicians.  You can see more of his work at his website, through his various social media pages, and in his books of collected photographs.

IRA MERRITT - A native Bronx resident for 67 years, married with two grown children. He is recently retired from teaching photography for 33 years, the last 24 at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. Along with his teaching duties Ira built up the schools’ internship program to be one of the most successful high school internship programs in New York City. Before teaching he worked as a freelance photographer associate at the Dena Photography Agency in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and also as a videographer for the Health and Nursing Program at Lehman College in the Bronx. He has been a recipient of four individual artist awards in photography from the Bronx Council on the Arts and has received grants for photography projects including documenting the residents of the Amalgamated Cooperative (the oldest housing co-op in the nation) during their 85th anniversary year. Ira also participated as one of the photographers for the borough wide Bronx Artist Documentary Project which resulted in a traveling show and book. This year he was granted the first one -person show at Metropolitan College Bronx Campus for his series “Ephemeral,” which was photographed in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. He also curated the Bronx Photographer’s Collaborative project of: “Bronx Calling,” which was also on exhibit at the Metropolitan campus in the Bronx. He has recently returned from his first artist residence at the Homestead Monuments National Park in Nebraska.

JAY MOSS - After graduating from the High School of Art and Design and then being hospitalized in World War II with pneumonia, trench foot and malaria, Jay attended the Art Students League on the wonderful G.I. Bill of Rights. After a few routine art jobs, he was hired by the NBC-TV art department. After several years he left this position as it's head to form his own company: Museum Designs. That company was purchased by Westwood Industries, a large lighting company. This led Jay to design lighting products for many companies and also pursue my real interest: Sculpture! He is one of the artists featured in the recent book of the Bronx Artist Documentary Project. Jay has had two one-man shows: at the historic Wells Gallery in Lenox, MA in 2001 and the most recent was in 2014 at Manhattan College in Riverdale. The New York Times and The Riverdale Press covered that exhibit. And that time, his son, Jordan Moss, wrote about Jay in the art section of The Forward. (He has also been covered by Art News, In These Times, and The Advocate in Massachusetts.) He was accepted by CURATE NYC in 2011 and 2013.  He happily continues sculpting at his apartment in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. 

AYDE RAYAS is a local artist. Her artwork reflects the spontaneity, patterns and layers found in nature. Ayde is also a Licensed Creative Art Therapist and a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, MPS Art Therapy Program. She has been working as an art therapist with youth in New York City for the past 14 years, and passionately creates a safe space for adolescents to express themselves through art. She holds a private practice in Riverdale at Human-KindNYC on Johnson Ave. Ayde has exhibited artwork in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Ithaca, and France. Her bold, layered and whimsical body of work are reflections on nature and the human spirit, She is influenced by ferns, her Mexican roots and her grandmother's resourcefulness.

ARDINA SEWARD worked as a photojournalist for news. After decades in the trenches, she left the daily documentary grind and returned to her passion of Found Object Art, which she calls United Elements. The work is a fusion of many different discarded materials that form an end product which represents all of them. The materials are not re purposed. They are re visioned. Works can be seen at

KRISTINA THORSTENSON - Born and raised in Riverdale, Kristina is raising her own daughter, Victoria (16), there as well. Her passion for photography began at the age of 15 when she was placed in a darkroom class at John F. Kennedy High School in 1991. After beginning her Bachelor’s Degree in Photography over 20 years ago Kristina returned to Lehman College in 2014 to complete her degree. Kristina has previously had solo shows at An Beal Bocht Cafe in Riverdale (2013, "Gone But Not Forgotten") and at Indian Road Cafe in Inwood (2014, "Nature Blown Up") and has had her work featured in the Riverdale Press (September 12, 2013, "Haunting cemeteries seeking serene subjects"). In 2016 some of her newest work from "The Creepy Babies Project" was a part of a student show, "Scary", at the Lehman College Art Department. In March 2017, Kristina formed her own business, KVT Photography, LLC. In the YOHO artists studio building in Yonkers, New York where she has had a studio since July 2015. Currently Kristina is preparing for her upcoming show in October 2017 about pre-1930s composition dolls in black and white photography known as the Creepy Baby Project. At the same time she is also experimenting with various alternative processing techniques to produce unique images on wood, glass and fabric. @kvtphotographynyc

SYLVIA VIGLIANI is an artist/teacher living in the Bronx. She has worked in a multitude of media, ranging from relief sculpture, mixed media photography and still life painting. A graduate of Brandeis University, with advanced art degrees from NYU, Sylvia has combined her career as an art teacher and artist since its inception. Much of Sylvia’s work is informed by a love of cultures, past and present. Her work suggests ideal forms as they exist in nature, the human figure and the man-made world. In her sculptural forms and mixed media works, there is a strong sense of layering, of revealing images beneath the surface in a fascination with archeology as it suggests traces of previous life, and offers clues to our distant past. Sylvia’s education and teaching experience led her to developing a passion for  Classical art. As the daughter of immigrant parents from Italy, she had many experiences exploring her roots and connecting to themes and images in antiquity. In her professional career, she spent six years teaching in Italy, England and Germany. During that time, she was able to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Turin, and earned residencies in Pietrasanta and The Burren. Sylvia has exhibited in numerous shows in Europe and the US in solo and group exhibitions. Her work is part of private collections, and she has been exhibiting for over 20 years.