Arts & EntertainmentThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Top Artists Honor Women’s History Month at Peekskill’s Field Library

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[Editor’s Note: This story was updated on 3/24/23 at 4:30 p.m. to add the missing name of a featured artist.]

Celebrating Women’s History Month is the notable and engaging work by women artists at Peekskill’s Field Library Art Gallery.

Entitled “The Creative Journey,” the show includes work by 18 professional and known women artists who are members of the Women in the Arts Foundation (WIA). WIA is known for its intrepid battle over the last half-century to promote women artists to be equally recognized in the art world. It is the quintessential organization to present this show.

“The Creative Journey refers to the journeys of the individual artists in producing their work, a summing up of their experiences,” explained Helaine Soller, executive coordinator of WIA. “We are an egalitarian organization and we selected work from WIA members who applied to be in the show. We encourage all artists regardless of their stage of development.”

The exhibit in the well-lit mezzanine library gallery assembles a unique group of genres including expressionist, representational and abstract work. Media includes painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, photography, sculpture, fiber art and mixed media.

WIA member Michele Benjamin curated the show and put out a call for work to the organization’s nationwide membership.

“Artists in the show are mostly from the Northeast,” said Benjamin. “We received a lot of submissions and there was a lot of cooperation and coordination among the members to make the show happen.”

Having shown her work before at the library, Peekskill artist Deborah Beck, a longtime WIA member, approached Barbara DeMartini Smith, the library gallery curator about exhibiting the work of the organization’s members.

“I thought a show of WIA artists would work well in the library,” said Beck, one of two Westchester artists in the show. Martha Nicolson, a Tarrytown resident, is the other.

The work is expertly placed with enough space for visitors to take in and appropriately contemplate each piece. At the far end is a display case with items from various successful WIA campaigns geared toward placing women’s art in major museums and cultural institutions.

Some of the work focuses on nature and conservation. The painting “Two Butterflies,” created by Beck in 2020, deeply immerses the visitor in a verdant scene where two butterflies hover over splayed, shimmering leaves. “Beckoning to Earth’s Garden,” a 2019 oil and crayon painting by Margo Mead, is a celestial swirl of energy around a darkened human figure holding crimson tulips, suggesting all gardens hold an eternal life force.

More abstract work included “Red Scene” by Karen Kirshner, a jaunty cityscape with buoyant slices of life zig-zagging on a vibrant canvas, and “Demeter Chloe” by Amy Supton, a dense, multilayered work of fiber art that ebbs and flows with cascades of tightened weaves and gritty shags.

Benjamin’s two small, deftly-crafted bronze sculptures, “Elegant Elephant” and “Sun Bear,” have soft folds that capture the essence of the animals’ movement.

Other featured artists are Kyra Belan, Alli Berman, Erin Butler, Linda Butti, Deborah Dorsey, Liz Ehrlichman, Marilyn Herbst, Jacqueline Sferra Rada, Marie Schepis, Helaine Soller, Tobey Soller and Judith Van Camp.

“The opening reception in the beginning of March had standing room only,” Smith, the gallery curator, said of the Mar. 4 event. “It was packed. We are delighted to have this professional show honoring Women’s History Month.”

“The Creative Journey” will be on display through Mar. 29. All work is for sale and 15 percent of the proceeds go to the Field Library.

The Field Library is located at 4 Nelson Ave. in Peekskill. For more information, visit 914-737-1212 or visit

To learn more about the Women in the Arts Foundation, visit




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