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Photo Blog: “Rescue Me” – A Benefit Event For The Humane Society Of Westchester

On Saturday, July 9th, transFORM hosted a fundraising event for the Humane Society of Westchester, bringing in over 100 guests to our New Rochelle Showroom and Gallery.


The opening reception “Rescue Me” featured 16 artists from across the region, plus a gal from Idaho. The animal themed show represented both wild and domestic animals,  from lions, tigers and bears, to cats, dogs and roosters – created in a variety of mediums.


Back in April, transFORM Gallery extended an open call to artists for animal themed artwork. After receiving dozens of applications, the transFORM Gallery committee made their selections for the upcoming show and were pleased  to welcome the new work of B.F. Sheperd, Nicole Molinari, Miriam Schulman, Susanne Reece, Bruce Withers, Laura Yager and Amelia Jones to our juried exhibition.


“Rescue Me” also featured artwork from transFORM Gallery’s standing artists, Alexander Rutsch, Paula Barragan, Jesse Sanchez, Kathy Rutsch, Alexa Grace and Anita Lobel.


B.A. D’Alessandro, Pasquale Miele and Lubomir Tomaszewski contributed to the sculpture portion of the show, while Gina Kingsley added four fused glass pieces.


In an effort to raise awareness for the compassionate care and treatment of animals, transFORM Gallery teamed up with the Humane Society of Westchester, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating living environments that are not just shelters, but a transitional home for stray, lost, abandoned, injured, and abused animals, until they can ultimately be placed in loving permanent homes. Through promotion of successful pet adoption, animal population control, and public education of animal welfare issues, HSW advances our belief that pet ownership is a lifetime commitment.


A big thank you to Beverly Royal, Keri Sershen and HSW volunteer Sheila, for bringing some furry friends to the opening reception. Guests of all ages enjoyed playing with foster kittens Yankee, Doodle and Grayce as well as Doggie Ambassadors, Lexie and Sweetums.


Local pups, Bandit and Cooper added to the great animal vibe of the event.


Art Gallery Director, Kara O’Neill started the artist’s talk by thanking everyone for coming out and supporting the artists, the gallery, and most importantly the Humane Society.


“10% of the proceeds from the sale of all the artwork, not just animal themed, will go to the Humane Society, along with money generated from the pony rides and carrot and dog biscuit sales.”


She then turned the floor over to our pony ride sponsors, Lower West Side Homecare and SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon.


The two companies worked together to provide $5 pony rides for guests throughout the day. Hillary Sheperd owns and operates SERVPRO of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon with her husband and exhibiting artist, Forrest (B.F.) Sheperd – “We do dirty jobs. We may have a super storm Sandy, a hurricane or a fire but typically we’re dealing with the children who put a “GI Joe” down the toilet of a 3rd floor town house and cause a top-down river rain throughout the home. On what could be the worst day of your life, we try to save your sentimental items, we take care of the things that matter most. We get you back in your home and back to your life.”


Lucia Pons of LWS Homecare explains her family owned business best, “We are a licensed home care company. We take care of newborns all the way up to the aging and elderly. We have physical therapists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, visiting nurses and aids that can assist you at home or in the community. We prevent people from going into a nursing home and get people out of the nursing home from New York City to Dutchess County.”


After learning more about our sponsors, Kara brought the focus back to our exhibiting artists by asking each of them to describe the inspiration behind their animal themed work …


Jesse Sanchez – “My cat is my inspiration, he was a rescue who opened up a whole new thing in my life. He’s a great pal, a great companion. I started looking at animals a lot differently. I started thinking more about animals and how valuable their lives are. My cat feels love, he feels pain and he’s my main inspiration for painting animals… plus I had mice so he helped with that too!”


Bruce Whiters – “I spent a lot of time working in Lancaster County, PA. I was fascinated by these animals that were all over the place and I realized that cows are really moving art, especially black and white cows. There are no two the same and they are a painting themselves.”


Forrest Sheperd – “It’s not that I love animals, it’s that I hate vegetables…kidding.  As far as the animals go, their ultimately home. Never in my life have I been without an animal in my family. Right now we have a small menagerie and at times a large menagerie. They have always been there. The image, the form, the undivided attention that animals provide – I have found my landing.”


Gina Kingsley – “I love animals and sometimes I think I may love animals more than humans. I’m the kind of person that cries over roadkill. I’m very passionate about animals… and glass!”


B.A. D’Alessandro – “I usually take some shapes, mostly triangles and I start putting them together and stuff happens and fortunately an owl occurred. That’s when I decided to submit my pieces to the show.”


Nicole Molinari – “My family’s always had pets, they’ve always been a part of my life so what better inspiration. I love realistic paintings.”


Amelia Jones – “I’m exhibiting in a style of chinese brush painting. There’s a whole genre within that style of bird and flower paintings, so one of my paintings is a bird and flower painting. One is a painting that I made for my cousin’s baby and it’s a homonym of her name, Mazie Bee. So, the corn and bees were created for her. The baby panda is more of a whimsy painting because I just like pandas.”


Anita Lobel- “All the paintings that are in this show are the exact same size as they appear in my books. I didn’t always like doing animals, I used to prefer doing people in costumes, but being a children’s book illustrator, I had to learn to like doing animals. I’m still not good at dogs but eventually my husband and I acquired cats. I then really learned the psychology of a cat. The cat I really love, hence my two cat books Nini Here and There and The Cat & The Cook. I also love drawing pigs. Pigs are easy, you can dress them up or dress them down. Horses not so much.”


In addition, Anita hosted a “Meet and Greet” book signing with a large selection of her children’s books, including Caldecott Honor Winner, “Taking Care of Mama Rabbit”. Guests really enjoyed speaking with her and having a personal message written in their Anita Lobel book.


Maria and Pasquale Miele, owners of Saccone’s Pizzeria – New Rochelle’s go-to place for specialty pizza, amazing soups and homemade Italian ices – generously donated catered food for the event.


Pasquale Miele is also one of the exhibiting artists showing fanciful wooden animal sculptures and oils on board and canvas.


More Photos:

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#TBT | Entrepreneurs Organization (NYC Chapter) + AIESEC at transFORM Gallery

On Thursday, June 16th, transFORM hosted an art show for the Entrepreneurs Organization of New York, a peer-to-peer network of influential business owners.


The Entrepreneurs Organization is a global business network of 11,000 + leading entrepreneurs in 157 chapters within 48 countries. The New York Chapter contains over 230 active members and nearly 10,000 employees.


As former members of the NY Chapter and Co-Founders of transFORM, Andreas Messis and Stuart Reisch, were excited to welcome many familiar faces to their NYDC showroom.


They even gave a brief introduction on their affiliation with the group.


Exhibiting artists Jean-Luc Mege and Rachelle Krieger also provided narratives for their beautiful artwork, which was on display for the opening reception of transFORM Gallery’s Summer art exhibit.


During the past twenty-five years, Krieger’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in over twenty cities throughout the United States, including the Susan Eley Fine Art gallery located on the Upper West Side.


Jean-Luc Mege began his career as a professional photographer in 1989. With an intense human sensitivity, he captures more than just photographs. When Jean-Luc takes his camera, it is to tell you a story… or to bring you in his particular universe.


Throughout the night, guests enjoyed wine and culinary treats while mingling with participating EO members.


A big transFORM thank you to EO’s, Sarah Endline (CEO & Chief Rioter) and Damon Gersh (President of the NYC Chapter) for their help in organizing the event.


Additionally, we’d like to thank their respectable spouses, Jean-luc and Rachelle, for adding vibrant color and powerful image to our gallery.

In the following week, transFORM hosted a Stakeholders Reception for the AIESEC US and AIESEC Life.


The non profit organization caught wind of our successful EO show and asked if they could hold their annual national board meeting at transFORM – of course we obliged!


The AIESEC is the world’s largest youth-led network, creating positive impacts through personal development and shared global experiences.


The organization brought in over 65 people, including AIESEC newcomers, alumni affiliates and multi-million dollar board members.


The group enjoyed tasty refreshments as they browsed through the gallery in-awe of Jean-luc’s photography and Rachelle’s oil paintings.


At transFORM, we open up our showroom to chambers, meet-ups and non-profit organizations as a way to network and build new connections within the community.  It exposes our showroom and gives people the chance to see, touch and feel what we do.


With that said, we’d like to thank Sarah for organizing another great event.

We are already looking forward to the next one!

Amelia Jones

Eats Shoots and Leaves

Eats Shoots and Leaves

Ink, watercolor, rice paper, mulberry paper
15” x 15”

Maize and Bees

Maize and Bees

Ink, watercolor, rice paper, mulberry paper
15” x 15”

Golden Flower of Unani

Golden Flower of Unani

Ink, watercolor, tea, rice paper, mulberry paper
15” x 21”

AmeliaHeadshot“I can’t remember a time before I began to express my creativity through the arts. I attended public school before the arts programs were decimated by budget cuts. In hindsight it seems as if the arts were all around us. We all participated in visual art, music–both choral and instrumental, creative writing and drama. My parents arranged for additional lessons in music and dance. We regularly sang in church. In my pursuit of higher education I was fortunate to attend a liberal arts college where I was able to explore other areas of artistic expression such as textile design, calligraphy and sculpture. As a young adult I found the martial arts which led to my 30+ year practice. Through the martial arts I discovered a passion for my current path of Chinese healing arts, and study of the Asian brush.

On a visit to the Anasazi Museum in Chaco Canyon, NM, I found the words of the Diné Blessingway ceremony, excerpted here, which continue to resonate,

“Today I will walk out, today everything evil will leave me, I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body. I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me. I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me. I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me. I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.  In beauty all day long may I walk. Through the returning seasons, may I walk. On the trail marked with pollen may I walk. With dew about my feet, may I walk. In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk. In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk. My words will be beautiful.”


​ ​

B.F. Shepperd

Baby Big Horns

Baby Big Horns

Oil on panel
12 x 7.5

The Arlington Cemetery Caisson Horses

The Arlington Cemetery Caisson Horses

Oil on panel
24 x 18

Donkey & Goat at Twilight

Donkey & Goat at Twilight

Oil on panel
17 x 11

Incense Burning

Incense Burning

Oil on panel
12 x 7.5

Polar Bears ~ Endangered

Polar Bears ~ Endangered

Oil on panel
13 x 8

Lion Call

Lion Call

Oil on panel
13 x 8

Lioness At Rest

Lioness At Rest

Oil on panel
Large Size : 18 x 28
Small Size : 13 x 8

Copy of 20160621_1621451Forrest Sheperd has studied as a fine artist since his teens. From High School, he attended evening and weekend classes with Cesare Borgia, the principal instructor at the Reilly League of Artists in White Plains, NY. Forrest’s figurative, American impressionist painting style is directly related to this early training Mr. Borgia founded the Reilly League, following the painting techniques of the late Frank Reilly, who was one of the most influential art teachers of his time at the Art Students League in New York. Forrest was a Reilly League member and student artist from 1980 until 1987, studying the traditional techniques of portraiture, figure painting and life drawing. These Reilly League techniques are also evident in Forrest’s composition and understanding of the science of light – an approach first promoted by the great impressionists. Forrest says that he was influenced by the full spectrum of talent among master painters, going back to Jan Van Eyck, who is considered the grandfather of oil painting.

“They were true craftsmen as well as artists,” Forrest says, adding that “The age old craft of art’ is of greater value, than adhering to any painting style, or historic period of art.”

For the past 32 years, Forrest pursued multiple degrees, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management at Syracuse University (SUNY College, ESF), and a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Sciences at Purdue University. Forrest was fascinated with anatomy and mammals of all species. He graduated with honors and pursued a career as an executive in Geographic Information Systems in California and the Washington, D.C. area, before returning to New York in 2009.
Today, Forrest and Hillary Sheperd own and operate the Servpro of Scarsdale/Mount Vernon in Westchester, NY, and he paints when he can. Forrest prefers working with oils on hardboard panels.

Forrest prepares each panel with a custom rabbit skin glue sizing – that is then gessoed with a traditional recipe of rabbit skin glue, gypsum and whiting. Because panels are impractical for larger paintings, Forrest switches to fine linen canvas.
“My job is to create paintings that tell a story, using the tools of composition, color and tone – and, light of course. This gives expression to visual melodies and harmonies that I find in the natural world. If I’m successful, you can share in the emotions inherent in art.”

Paula Barragan for “Rescue Me”

Mosca Mashpi

Mosca Mashpi

Adobe Illustrator Collage, Archival Print
44" x 38"

Desde el Canopi

Desde el Canopi

Adobe Illustrator Collage, Archival Print
43" x 51"

Jungla de Papel II

Jungla de Papel II

Adobe Illustrator Collage, Archival Print
43" x 51" (Artist Proof)
44" x 51" (Normal Size)

Geografía Marina

Geografía Marina

Adobe Illustrator Collage, Archival Print
Edition: 2/60
28" x 22"


“My first studies were in design and illustration and this has influenced all my further work. Together with my artistic vision I have developed a creative process expressed in all my projects, my etchings, drawings, and paintings. I proceed in distinct ways according to the work I wish to present. When I begin a graphic design project I must communicate a certain message. On the contrary, when I start an etching, a drawing or painting I prefer to let my intuition work.

I find it difficult to explain the way I work some of my art projects but perhaps the strongest reason is the profound pleasure I experience during the process of discovering things. Even though sometimes this brings tension and stress.

I love creating with my hands and I put the same energy into all types of art with out making distinction between crafts and design, drawing, or printing. Above all I find deep satisfaction in good, new discoveries and working hard at all aspects of my work.

I work on very different themes. These give me space to tell various situations and stories of life. I have the possibility to express emotions; shyness, delight, misfortune; through forms and lines, color and light. I draw my ideas and the lives of people, animals and actions taking place in different spaces inside paintings, prints or drawings. I enjoy profoundly the process of doing my work.”

Alexa Grace for “Rescue Me”

Bird On Tiptoes

Bird On Tiptoes

Ink Brush on Paper
12" x 9"



12" x 9"

Upon Meeting A Fox

Upon Meeting A Fox

Silkscreen Paint on Paper
16" x 16"

You're Not Totally Alone

You're Not Totally Alone

Ink, Drawing, Thread, Paper
5.5" x 9"

Boy With Wild Cat

Boy With Wild Cat

Silkscreen on Paper
13" x 18"

Sandy with a Glass Eye

Sandy with a Glass Eye

Sand Painting on Textured Paper

Screen-Shot-2015-08-11-at-3.44.00-PM“Alexa Grace received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She began illustrating for The Atlantic Monthly, Harpers, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, both Time and LIFE Magazines, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Detroit Free Press, L.A. Times, Mademoiselle, Dia Nappon Printing, etc.

She has four published books – Un Journey de Chien, Hachette, Paris, When Moma Retires, Knopf, The Baby Book, Running Press, Uncommon Wisdom, and Ariel Books. She is currently working on another children’s book for Gallimard, Paris.

Alexa artistically focuses on collage, assemblage, drawing, jewelry and ornament. Her porcelain work was first exhibited at The Graham Gallery along side Edward Gorey in 1976. She had a one-women exhibition of American Women Illustrators. She was included in The John Michael Kolar Center of Surrealist Art Exhibition.

She has lectured at Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Kansas, and has given an illustration workshop at The Walker Arts Center. She was awarded a grant from Art Park, Buffalo, NY.”