CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Hudson Valley Hospital Center will hold an opening reception for a special new exhibit on April 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the hospital's main lobby.
The exhibit, titled “The Natural World Around Us,” features the works of four local artists, including photography, paintings, pastels, watercolor, and pen and ink drawings.
Hospital spokesperson Victoria Hochman said one of the highlights of the display will be the works of Richard “Dick” Sammel, a Yorktown resident who has been a volunteer in the hospital’s emergency department for the past 15 years.
"He's very well known here, so this is very exciting for him," Hochman said. "He just turned 80, and this is one of his major to-do-list things, to become an artist."
Sammel began as an artist after retiring from the food service industry, she said.
"He took some courses at Westchester Community College, and the rest is history," she said.
Sammel has several landscapes in watercolor and pen and ink drawings of lighthouses on display around the Hospital, and his work has been featured in exhibits across the Hudson Valley.
Other artists taking part in the exhibit are Vince Ferraro of Mahopac, a retired heavy equipment operator; Robert Uricchio of Cortlandt, a retired New York City police officer; and Michelle Gage of Pound Ridge, a math professor.
Hochman said the management has made art a big part of the hospital through its Art for Health program, which consists of 13 fine art galleries throughout the hospital, which are managed by the hospital's curator, Suzanne Ashley, who also manages a gallery in Carmel.
Art for Health now has more than 350 pieces of fine art on display, including signed photographs from Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Much of it is donated by the community.
The hospital's “The Natural World Around Us” display is already up around the hospital and will be on display for the next few months.