Famous Artists™ Program 2014-2015 at The Rye Arts Center

Harper_OwlIrving Harper, a Rye resident and mid-century design genius, is The Rye Arts Center’s featured Famous Artist for Fall 2014. 

October 15th, 16th, 17th  Wednesday – Friday 

from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

with Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, Ph. D. and Katharine Dufault, Curators

Click HERE to Visit our Famous Artists™ Website

Known professionally for his iconic contributions to the George Nelson Office, including the 1949 Ball Clock and 1965 Marshmallow Sofa, Harper is little known for his own private sculptural works which he created primarily with paper and Elmer’s glue.  His intricate and whimsical works are informed by Modern masters such as Picasso, Calder, Rothko, David Smith and Louise Nevelson. Harper’s paper sculptures and wall hangings — which have never before been shared outside his home in such a fashion — make their debut in a solo retrospective exhibition in The Rye Arts Center’s Gallery Sept. 14th – ​Dec. 6th 

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 2/11/09 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.