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Wreath Interpretations Celebrates Holidays with 30th Annual Exhibit at Arsenal Gallery thru 1/10

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Wreath Interpretations celebrates its 30th anniversary with more wreaths than ever before. A holiday custom at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, this show puts a contemporary spin on the traditional symbol that has roots in antiquity. The exhibition opened to the public on Thursday, December 13 and remains on display through January 10, 2013. Among the exhibitors are fine artists, designers, horticulturalists and other creative individuals.

This year's exhibition offers an eclectic collection of 42 wreath interpretations that veer away from traditional organics to more modern and quirky styles. Participants use the customary circular motif as a springboard to experiment with unusual materials, such as egg shells, cleaning supplies, bicycle tubes, and Chinese food containers, among others.

Artists have approached a number of different themes this year ranging from chickens on Randall's Island to the Ivory Trade. Leonora Retsas employs a repetitive pattern of whole almond shells that she collected from her grandparents' farm in Greece. George Choma's wreath is a montage of Christmas album covers dedicated to Baby Boomers. Cara Lynch's etching is inspired by Victorian hair wreaths, 19th century mourning keepsakes made of family members' hair. Several participants address the impact and recovery effort from Hurricane Sandy with cleaning supplies and discarded, damaged materials.

The individuals and groups who produced the pieces are: Brownsville Recreation Center, Victor Calise and Cindy Caruso, Angelyn Chandler, George Choma, Rita Coelho, Denise Corley, Amalia Drewes, Lee Everett, Terese Flores, Hollis Fox, Edward Gormley, Parks Department Grants Unit, GreenThumb, Kaitilin Griffin, Judith Hoffman Corwin, Geroge Kroenert, Alexandra Leff, Cara Lynch, Adrian Mangel, Charles McKinney, Robert Mitchell, Justin Nissley, Richard Porpiglia, Lovie Pignata, Wendy Popp, Randall's Island Park Alliance, Dennis Redmoon Darkeem, Leonora Retsas, Mary Rockcastle, Sabu, Ann Shostrom, Kim Sheridan, Sandra Sider and Ellen Pollan, Christina Stahr, Thea Stevens, Shira Toren, Barbara Wallace, Alexis Walsh, Louise Weinberg, Madeline Yanni, Audrey Zeidman and Deborah Zingale.

The exhibition was organized by Parks & Recreation's Public Art Coordinator Jennifer Lantzas. Many of the wreaths are for sale with a portion of the sales benefiting Parks programs.

The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the third floor of the Parks Department Headquarters, in Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday, Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the Arsenal Gallery, call 212-360-8163.

Photo Credit: Sabu, Mixed Media Wreath, bank deposit envelopes, scrap paper, ribbon and found materials, 2012, Photo courtesy of Materials for the Arts.

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