The Larchmont Arts Committee is partnering with Autumn Community Day for a three part happening on Saturday September 26. Larchmont Avenue will be closed from the Boston Post Road to Cherry Avenue from noon to 3 pm, allowing residents to move freely between the arts festival in Constitution Park, Truck Day at the Larchmont Library and Public Safety Day with the Larchmont Police and Fire Departments. (Arts festival rain date: October 3, noon – 3 pm). The festival will include art, crafts, food, refreshments, and live music by Twist of Fate and Tony Hoylen, as well as a special hands-on “Art Garden” project for kids.
This year’s featured artist, Larchmont resident Tinka Denenberg, is a woman of many talents. Her works include oil painting, watercolor, collage, sculpture, printmaking and textiles. A former teacher at the Museum of Modern Art, she now devotes herself fulltime to her art. Every morning, she heads off to her studio in the Mamaroneck Flats, which is crammed to the rafters with her ever-expanding body of work. By lunchtime, she’s already put in five productive hours.
No doubt, Ms. Denenberg loves what she does. You can see it in the glow that lights up her face whenever she talks about making art. “Since day one,” she confides, “back when I was making crayon drawings of Cinderella—I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Ms. Denenberg has studied art and design in such diverse places as The Columbus Art Museum, The Walker Art Center, The Escola Belas Artes in Rio, Brazil and Rhode Island School of Design. After graduating as a fine arts major from the University of Minnesota, she got her Masters in Education at Harvard. Her first art studio was in a building on Main Street in New Rochelle, where she rented an upstairs space with an added benefit—an empty storefront in which to exhibit. “People that would never go to museums would stop to see what’s in the windows. That was just fun,” she recalled.
We met over coffee at Auray, one late summer morning. Sporting a straw sun hat, a T-shirt quoting a tongue-in-cheek artist’s manifesto and a rainbow-colored watch from the Portland Museum, (where her son is head curator), Ms. Denenberg looked every inch the bohemian. Creativity runs in her family. Her husband, a former interior designer for Knoll, also paints, while her other son works in music production in Mamaroneck.
When asked what inspires her, she replied matter of factly, “It just happens.” She prefers not to over-analyze what to her is an intuitive process. It starts with an idea that comes to her and she sees where it takes her. “I change things as I get into it,” she said. The whole thing is a dialogue, a conversation with color, with form—whether it’s a brush stroke or an abstract triangle, the work speaks to you.”
Her most recent series, an exploration of flight, was ignited when she came across a photograph taken in 1911 by her grandfather, a postmaster general. That picture, of the first airplane ever to land in Marshall, Michigan, got her thinking about aviation and “this whole explosion of technology that has evolved since that time. It’s pretty phenomenal,” she said. As a result, Ms. Denenberg began making collages of words and images taken from a U.S. government airport handbook. Recently, the flight theme has taken a new form: a set of small color studies in which the notion of traversing from day into night is reflected in contrasting brights and darks.
As a long time participant at the Larchmont Arts Festival, Ms. Denenberg looks forward to coming back on September 26th. “Its fun to do. I get to be part of a community of people who feel it’s important to make things. It fulfills a need to communicate in some way,” she said.
Look for Ms. Denenberg’s “Aviation” image on the Arts Festival’s poster, designed by Caroline deLasa and featured all over Larchmont.
Local art lovers are urged to mark Autumn Community Day on their calendars—and to bring a checkbook for unique finds at direct-from-the-source-prices.
LAST CALL FOR ARTISTS:
To exhibit your art or craft, register online at www.villageofLarchmont.org