BRIO winners to headline free concert; Longwood Arts presents Linger

Velvet Ross, winner of the 2008 BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Individual Artist award for vocal performance will headline a free concert hosted by Bronx Council on the Arts at Christ Church Riverdale on June 7, at 3 pm in celebration of the council’s twentieth anniversary of its prestigious independent artist recognition program.

Ross is an accomplished singer, actress, award-winning playwright and activist. She has toured overseas to Japan, Spain, Argentina and Chile. She has graced the stage at various well-known venues around New York City, including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, BB Kings, Birdland, CBGB Gallery, and Sony Sound Stage.

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The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, presents Rock and Mineral Family Day from 1 to 4 pm on Sun., May 31. Held in association with the Stamford Mineralogical Society, the event features creative, hands-on activities for the entire family focusing on rocks and minerals. Activities include cracking open a geode with the Stamford Mineralogical Society (SMS), panning for agates and other minerals at the SMS Mini-Mine, and participating in Family Mineral Hunts through the Museum galleries. Visitors can learn how to polish amber with gem expert Kurtis Patzlaff and enjoy fashioning hand-made jewelry. At 3 pm, magician and educator Steve Okulewicz will present his Magic of Geology show. This lively geology program for students of all ages incorporates “magic” and “sleight of hand” to illustrate different geologic principles and concepts while explaining the role of geology in society today.

The Bruce Museum is located at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich, CT. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and free for children under five. Bruce Museum members are free.

For further information call (203) 869-0376.

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On Sat., June 20 Pelham Art Center will auction over $35,000 worth of unique goods and experiences at its 34th annual spring fundraiser at the Pelham Country Club. Art Matters is the Art Center’s major fundraiser, and benefits the art programs serving more than 15,000 people who attend its free gallery and public programs, affordable classes and workshops each year. Tickets are $80 and $120 and can be purchased by phone, mail, online, or at the door.

Auction items include a dinner party-to-go for 12; a cocktail party for 30 in a private home; a cooking party for youth; passes for Chelsea Piers; private tours of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; tickets to a rock concert; a week at a vacation home on the North Carolina coast, and much more. Original artwork by Tracy Miller will be displayed and for sale. She is the winner of the Alexander Rutsch Award, the Art Center’s bi-annual, juried national painting competition.

In addition to bidding on dozens of auction items, through the Robin’s Art + Giving Fund, guests may make contributions to directly fund five Art Center program areas. This year, the programs selected to receive dedicated funding include: student scholarships; gallery education; youth employee and counselor training; communication and information management; and studio furnishings and fixtures for student artists.

Small plate fare served from carving and pasta stations, as well dessert and coffee, will be served. Several crafts beers and a selection of fine wines will be offered at the bar. Live jazz and rock music will be performed by student ensembles from Elmsford-based Lagond Music School. Art inspired table-top decorations, including ceramic candy bowls, are creations of the benefit’s host committee members, art center instructor Donna Ross, and youth aged 5 – 10 enrolled in her Sculpture, Painting and Drawing class.

Claire and Geoffrey Allen; Andrea and Alex Bayer; Betsy and Grant Brady; Paula and Tom Canning; Heidi and Matt Carey; Nina and Dave Diefenbach; Jennifer Dunbar; Robert Fesjian and Ava Zydor; Diana and John Gilbert; David Grigg and Ellen Albert; Sharene and Matt Jones; Jennifer and Mike Masters; Elaine and Barry McCormick; Lavanya and Anup Misra; Debbie Myers; Robert Min and Sheri Saltzman; Missy and James Palmisciano; Ann and Ed Rial; Camille and Mauro Chris Romita; Francine and Mark Rookwood; Babu Shetty and Parbati Dasgupta; Kelly and Gerald Ulto; and Lorraine and Hank White.

The event will be held at the Pelham Country Club, 940 Wynnewood Road, Pelham, NY from 7 to 10 pm. Tickets are $80 and $120.

To purchase tickets call (914) 738-2525, ext. 154.

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The Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos, the contemporary art center of The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA), presents Linger, a multimedia installation by Bronx artist Melissa A. Calderon, curated by BRIO winner Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz. The opening reception takes place on June 3 from 5 to 9 pm in conjunction with BCA’s Bronx Culture Trolley. This special program includes a performance by the artist through the duration of the reception. The show will be on view through Aug. 6.

Calderon’s installation/performance Linger turns a reflexive lens on obsession and the blurred lines between maternal longing and art making. The objects themselves are the physical remains of both art conceptual and literal biological gestation.

Melissa A. Calderon, born in 1974, studied Art History at CUNY Lehman College. Born and raised in the Bronx, she continues to be an advocate and activist for arts revitalization in the South Bronx. Melissa founded the Mott Haven loft series CONVERSIONs and has co-founded organizations such as Haven Art Space and Coalition of Mott Haven Artists. Her works have been exhibited in El Museo del Barrio’s [S] Files Biennial in 2007, Affirmations Arts, and recently has been selected for The 2009 Portland Museum of Art Biennial. Calderon is a recent participant in The Artist in the Marketplace (AIM 29) program at the Bronx Museum. She lives and works in the Bronx and works for Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.

Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz is New York City based interdisciplinary artist and curator. She holds a Masters Degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey and an Associate Degree in Arts and Science from The Fashion Institute of Technology. Ortiz is a Skowhegan Fellow and has exhibited her works in a number of exhibitions including AIM 24 at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, SFiles at El Museo del Barrio and LFactor at Exit Art .

The Longwood Art Gallery is located on the campus of Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street, in Mott Haven. For further information call (718) 518-6728.

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