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Peekskill Artist, ArtsWestchester Winner, Gets Crafty

Performance artist Marcy B. Freedman lives in Croton, and has a studio in Peekskill.
Performance artist Marcy B. Freedman lives in Croton, and has a studio in Peekskill. Photo Credit: Gene Panzcenko

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. — Marcy B. Freedman has been an artist a long time, with works included in more than 300 exhibitions across the country. Yet, being recognized "at home" has been among the most gratifying.

Freedman, a longtime Croton-on-Hudson resident who has worked in a variety of mediums — from painting and drawing to photography and video art — is among the 50 winners of the "50 for 50" Awards granted in late March by White Plains-based ArtsWestchester. (See previous Daily Voice story here .)

"I can only explain the feeling by referring to  'family matters,'" she said. "I think most people want to be appreciated by members of their family. For me, the arts community of Westchester is like a family."

The performance artist/art historian/speaker, who has a studio in Peekskill, has pretty much done it all, from teaching art history at area venues such as Pace University, Marymount College, and Westchester Community College, to lecturing at a host of museums and private venues. She has also exhibited her work in a number of local galleries, allowing her to work professionally within the art world – without, as she said, "schlepping in to Manhattan."

Westchester has also been important to her development as an artist – and as a person.

"I've had the good fortune of meeting a diverse bunch of artists here," said Freedman. "I find it incredibly important to nourish my own creativity by exposure to other creative people."

For the last decade, her work has been focused on performance art, working in two manners: Scripted monologues and one-on-one interactive performances.

With the former, she tends to address topics that are dear to her heart, i.e. the role of women in the world.

With interactive encounters, she meets with members of the public in a variety of venues and, she said, "we chat!"  She has presented this work in museums and galleries, as well as in coffee shops, bookstores, bakeries, and on street corners.

The interactive encounters have become her "signature." Sample topics include "For the Love of Dogs, First Kiss Remembered, and I Will Buy You a Beer If . . ."

She creates these works as an antidote to society's growing reliance upon “virtual forms of communication,” such as email and texting. " I feel strongly that it's important to spend real time with real people in real spaces," she said.

Check out her interactive performance at the Peekskill Coffee House, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where Freedman will chat with members of the public about their individual relationship to the natural world.

Or, for another option, her painting performance group, EYE will perform "Impulsive Behaviors" May 16, at 8 p.m.. at the Talking Arts Foundation , 2481 Evergreen St., Yorktown Heights, (914)-245-5554.

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