Famous Artist™ Program

Stuart Davis

Stuart Davis is The Rye Arts Center’s featured Famous Artist for Spring 2016

Thursday, March 10 & Wednesday, March 16
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Visit our Famous Artists™ Website>>

STUART DAVIS (1892-1964) was an American painter whose works demonstrate the change from realism to abstraction that characterized modern art in the early twentieth century and continues to govern much artistic expression today. Influenced by fellow artists at home and in Europe, he experimented with recent artistic experiments like Cubism, brought to the United States from Europe in the groundbreaking Armory Show in New York in 1913. It was the post-war Jazz Age that brought Davis to his signature style of bright, bold paintings that mimicked the rhythms of these new musical forms. During the 1930s, he painted murals for the Federal Art Project, using the same large swaths of color that also appeared in the commercial advertisements he designed and that presaged Pop Art by thirty years. Throughout his life, Davis took an active interest in street life and mass culture, and he strove successfully to endow mundane objects such as eggbeaters and matchbooks with artistic dignity, detached from their utilitarian context.

Excerpts from jazz performances will be included with docents’’ materials


Famous Artists™ is designed to develop visual literacy in school-age children. Created in 1986, it serves both public and independent schools throughout the area. Professional art educators and art historians train parent docents to deliver interactive classroom presentations that enable students to experience the wonders of artistic creation and provide tools for students to evaluate and interpret visual art.


Here is what some of our participants have said about our Famous Artist Program:

Rena Hecht, Famous Artists Chair/PTA Vice President, Harrison Avenue School:

  • A fantastic, yet affordable enrichment program and the parent presenters, as well as the students, get so much out of it.
  • The fact that you time your choice of artists to when their work is being exhibited in the New York metropolitan area is fantastic.  It gives families the opportunity to share in the students’ excitement about the artists by seeing the works in person.

Joanne O’Connor, Art Teacher, Chapel School & St. Joseph’s School Bronxville:

  • The Rye Arts Center’s docent program has been a wonderful way to have parents participate in the art education of their children.  The children enjoy having the parent docents come into their classrooms, and the excellent training provided by the Rye Arts Center makes it all possible.
  • The training includes valuable information about the featured artist, as well as literature and classroom support material.  We consider it a valuable part of our art curriculum!

Laurel Faintreny, Parent-Docent, French American School, Larchmont:

  • Every piece of information and training is very well prepared by the Famous Artists Team: from the inspiring meeting – well ahead of time, to the detailed material – focused equally on the docents and the students, everything is carefully prepared and thought of in order to provide a very interesting and enjoyable time for everyone!
  • The organizing team suggests that we work with a partner, another volunteer docent, which makes the whole preparation richer from the exchange you have with the other docent.

Posted on the Famous Artists  Blogsite by parent-docent, Osborn School:

  • The children looked at one work of art by each artist, Alexander (Sandy) Calder and Joan Miro, and shared their ideas about the paintings. Then the mom/facilitator read them “Sandy’s Circus” — a story about Calder, his wire circus animals , and his invention of the mobile. Afterwards the children made a mobile together.  Each child had the opportunity to pick his/her own animal stencil, draw it, cut it out, and decorate it. Now, the mobile is hanging in the classroom. Many of the children wanted to bring home duplicate cut-outs of the animal they chose. They did an amazing job and were all very excited about the project.