Among the 50 artists ArtsWestchester celebrated at its golden jubilee this past spring was Susan Manspeizer, and it’s easy to see why. Her painted bent wood sculptures convey enormous dynamism even as they distill emotion. The Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden captures “Facets” of her work in a solo exhibit on view through Sept. 12.
Manspeizer’s work has long explored themes of resilience and maturation. This exhibition centers on stages of growth in women’s lives – childhood, adulthood, motherhood, family, aging, loss. She treats identity shifts, joyful experiences and moments of sorrow with equal attention as fleeting, fragile moments fraught with imperfections that beg acceptance.
“Life is beautiful but filled with challenges,” the artist observes. “My work celebrates the fact that as we mature, we continue to grow, reinvent and transform ourselves.”
If you haven’t visited the Hammond, you are depriving yourself of a Zen experience in the midst of Westchester County’s horse country where East meets West. Stroll among the tall grasses and lotuses of its garden. Savor the Asian-infused cuisine of the Hammond’s new caterer, Nisa Lee. And don’t forget the “Moonviewing Concert” (midnight Aug. 29), begun in 1966 by founder Natalie Hays Hammond. The Stroll Garden, lit by paper lanterns, is a magical setting for this observance of the ancient Japanese custom, which brings together people and the traditions of East and West every August for a night of sake, music and lunar communing.
Exhibit hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. The museum is at 28 Deveau Road. 914-669-5033, hammondmuseum.org.
For more on Nisa Lee, check out Mary Shustack’s profile in WAG’s July “Passion Fruits” issue. And for more on ArtsWestchester’s “50 for 50,” click on to http://www.wagmag.com/tag/artswestchesters-50th-anniversary/.