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Vivian Bergenthal

Personal Statement

            After more than 20 years of teaching art in the New York City school system, I began my retirement with a “painting fellowship” to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY (summer of 2002).  Teaching art and forging relationships with my students afforded me the opportunity to learn alongside them.

            Enamored of the landscape as subject matter, my reactions can be likened to a dance.  The formula for each dance lies in the following symbiosis:  the give and take of rhythms, the sense of contrasts in color, shape and texture and the compositions seen through the naked eye in combination with that of a camera lens.  The ability to work successfully with mixed media has enabled me to achieve a kind of immediacy in my work, which I find extremely, rewarding.  That I have been able to translate my initial responses to whatever images inspired me, to my handling of a variety of appropriate techniques has brought me great satisfaction.        

Oftentimes, I find the world with all its' uncertainties encroaching insistently upon the peaceful aura of a special moment in time, that I am enjoying.  Responding with my innermost being, an overwhelming desire to avenge injustice takes precedence over the concept of “beauty for beauty's sake.”

            As I see it, being involved in the arts is a blessing, for within the very process of creating art, transformation on various levels for both the artist and onlooker must occur.  To be an open conduit for inspiration has always been my primary goal.  The words of Ralph Waldo Emerson continue to resonate within me: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared with what lies within us.”

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