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The Patent Trader, April 10, 2003
  Forty artists, one exhibit in Yorktown Museum
(Original publication: April 10, 2003)

YORKTOWN The new art exhibit in town features work as eclectic as the minds responsible for it. The exhibit is a place where pastels, photographs and sculptures provoke thought and humor among the audience.

The exhibit, "Made in Yorktown: 40 Artists of Quality," opened April 6 and runs until June 7. The artwork is on display at the Yorktown Museum, at the Yorktown Community and Cultural Center and the John C. Hart Memorial Library in Shrub Oak.

Civil War and Sept. 11

Since he was a child, Paul Martin III was fascinated with art and American history. For the exhibit, he has several works on display.

"So Gallantly Streaming" is a World War II-inspired piece. Depicted is the USS Shaw, which was destroyed when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The painting is a before-and-after-the-bombing montage. What's remarkable about the Shaw piece is the flag that flew on the carrier, Martin said. Though it was tattered and had holes torn through it, the flag survived the bombing.

Martin is also displaying portraits of Civil War commanders Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Joshua Chamberlain. Martin based his paintings of Jackson, of the South, and Chamberlain, of the North, on photographs of that era.

Martin said he's always considered Southern commanders equally important from historic and artistic points of view, even though they were on the losing side.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Martin painted the United States flag during the Civil War. He called it "Old Glory."

The flag then had 34 stars. "Although the Southern states seceded, they were still considered part of the United States and they were still represented by a star in the US flag, throughout the war. 'Old Glory' symbolizes the feeling of unity re-defined after the Civil War and expressed those same feelings of unity felt throughout the United States after September 11. We rose from the ashes of our own Civil War to become the strong and united country that we are today."

Martin has lived in Yorktown since 1987. He's an art teacher at Pearl River High School. Martin said historical art was always an intellectual complement to history books and oral histories. His father served during Korea, and his father-in-law fought in WWII. He has long had an affinity for people who defend freedom, he said. It's why he supports the United States' action in Iraq. Martin said he has some artistic ideas regarding Iraq and may create portraits based on photographs he received from a former student who's fighting in the Middle East.

"I grew up with a great respect for veterans and what our country has done to preserve the ideals of America, like freedom and liberty and to spread those ideals around the world.

Martin said he was honored to be asked to participate in the exhibit. "There's some great artwork on display."

Michael Liebman of Yorktown Heights, left, speaks with artist PAUL R. MARTIN III about Martin's historical military art during the artists' reception.

Museum Curator Stuart Friedman said this is the first exhibit that features the work of so many Yorktown artists. The opening was attended by over 300 people.

Friedman said putting together the exhibit was the most challenging and rewarding responsibility he's ever had as curator. He said the artists of the exhibit, and any Yorktown artist for that matter, are the town's hidden treasures. "I have never worked with a better group of people," he said. "I naturally hope that this show will pave the way ... for a large beautiful structure where people of all ages can learn, make art and just exercise the gray matter."

If you go

The museum's hours are Tuesday, noon to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and by appointment. The library's hours are Monday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The exhibit runs through June 7, 2003.

Copyright 2003 The Journal News, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper serving Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties in New York. Reprinted with permission.

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