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The Rye Arts Center
Release Date: January 03, 2007

Reserve a seating-time with the artist and go home with a custom-made portrait!

Silhouette artist Deborah O’Connor will produce detailed portraits in profile of adults and children, using scissors and black paper, during The Rye Arts Center’s opening reception of the gallery exhibition “Cutting Across Cultures: The Art of Paper-cutting, Then and Now,” on Jan. 7, 2007, 3-6pm.

Ms. O’Connor has been creating silhouettes from paper for almost 30 years, and she is able to complete a life-like portrait in approximately 5 minutes working freehand, relying solely on her dexterity and sharp eye for detail. No drawing or tracing is necessary.

Silhouettes were a popular form of portraiture in America and England for centuries, an inexpensive alternative to painted or pastel portraits and a clever way to “capture” the essence of the sitter long before photography was invented. Silhouettes continue to be treasured for their simple beauty and exactitude and are passed down as family heirlooms from one generation to the next.

The charge for each silhouette is $25. Each portrait is mounted on archival paper with dry-adhesive glue; an oval matte may be purchased for an additional $7. Copies can be created by folding the paper one or more times; each copy costs $10. Advance reservations are necessary in order to accommodate everyone in a short period of time.

Please call The Rye Arts Center’s Arts Coordinator, (914) 976-0700, Ext. 33, to make your Jan.7 reservation and to receive a seating time between 3-6pm. The Rye Arts Center is located at 51 Milton Road in Rye; the Gallery is on Level 1. For more information:

Cutting Across Cultures: The Art of Papercutting, Then and Now

January 7 – February 17, 2007

The Rye Arts Center will unveil a new exhibit, Cutting Across Cultures: The Art of Papercutting, Then and Now, from January 7 through February 17, 2007. The show will present more than 30 works of art by more than a dozen traditional and contemporary paper cutting artists from across the country. A free opening reception featuring paper cutting demonstrations, food and music and an opportunity to meet some of the exhibiting artists will be held January 7 from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. There will also be a silhouette artist on-site to cut personalized portraits for a small fee.


While the exquisitely detailed medium of cut paper reigns as a premier art form in cultural traditions for many around the globe, this exhibit selects several cultures - Chinese, Mexican, Jewish and Polish-- whose lore is particularly rich in the use of cut paper. In contrast to the culturally-focused pieces, steeped in tradition telling stories thousands of years old, CUTTING ACROSS CULTURES also includes dynamic contemporary cut paper works by artists who have certainly carved their names in the art world today.


Watch for an exciting outdoor piece created especially for this exhibit by New York artist, Swoon, who currently has work on view at MOMA.  From awe-inspiring framed works to dimensional pieces and thoroughly entertaining installation art, CUTTING ACROSS CULTURES: The Art of Paper Cutting, Then and Now promises to be a fascinating family experience.


The exhibition is being curated by Maureen Amaturo and Eileen Neiman, both Gallery Committee members at The Rye Arts Center.  Consulting on the exhibition is cut paper expert and artist, Mary Ting. This exhibition has been generously sponsored, in part, by the Dhruv Narain Family, Sotheby’s International Realty, the New York State Council for the Arts and the Westchester Arts Council.


For more information about the exhibit or limited-time-only cut paper workshops for your school please contact Arts Program Coordinator for The Rye Arts Center at (914) 967-0700 x 33,  The Rye Arts Center is located at 51 Milton Rd., Rye, New York.

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