A Passion for the River…

6/5/2009:

A new gallery opens up this weekend at the Hoboken Historical Museum…

Paintings and Pastels by Bill Curran

Opens Sat., June 6 at the Hoboken Historical Museum

bill-curran-hobokenArtist Bill Curran was fascinated with the interplay between shapes, colors, and light on the Hudson River from the moment he laid eyes on it from a stunning new vantage point, the Stevens Institute of Technology campus overlook. “Within a week of moving to Hoboken, I went to Stevens to look out on the river, and it was love at first sight,” Curran says. That was 26 years ago, and now he hardly ever leaves the house without a sketchbook and pastels, and he’s quick to dash home to grab an easel and canvas when a sight moves him.

He’s been drawn back again and again to the view of Manhattan across the Hudson. He’s painted it in oils or drawn it in pastels many times over the years, following in the footsteps of one of his favorite Old Masters, Monet, who painted the Thames River and London’s Houses of Parliament from many angles at many different times of days and in various weather.

The resulting series, eight pastels on paper and eight paintings, will be on display in “A Passion for the River: Paintings and Pastels by Bill Curran” in the Upper Gallery of the Hoboken Historical Museum starting June 6 through July 18. Meet the artist at a free opening reception from 2 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 6. On other days, admission is $2. On view in the Main Gallery level through the end of the year is Up and Down the River: A History of the Hudson, 1609 – 2009, a celebration of the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s historic voyage, and the importance of the river to Hoboken’s history, with talks, tours and other events.

Raised on the South Shore of Long Island, Curran has always been fascinated by the water. His work is impressionistic, with shapes and colors dominating the canvas. He has been featured in several group shows in New York City, and one-man shows at the Empire State Building, the Hoboken Public Library, Barnes & Noble, and the Hoboken Historical Museum. One of his pastels, “Manhattan from Hoboken,” was selected for a 1995 show at the Bowery Art Gallery by artist Jane Freilicher.

Another inspiration over the years has been the Empire State Building, which he could see daily from his office window at Lord & Taylor, where he was Art Director and Illustrator for 16 years, and still features prominently in his Hudson River landscapes. He earned a degree in Advertising Design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, and has taken art courses at several New York art schools, including the Art Students League. He now teaches art lessons privately, in addition to working at the Museum. More of his work is on view at www.billcurran.net.

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