Julie Andrews once said, “Feed the body food and drink, it will survive today. Feed the soul art and music, it will live forever.”
On September 19, art and music will come together thanks to “Tempo,” a show at Chroma Fine Art Gallery featuring local artists Andy Hammerstein and Julie Rosenberg. Gallery owner Rita Baunok says she combined Hammerstein, an artist and a musician, and Rosenberg, a musician and an artist, because their art and their personalities pair well together.
“They both create work that features time and music,” Baunok explains. “The show will feature the music of colors and demonstrate how music impacts their work.”
Hammerstein, who was the featured artist in our July/August 2022 issue, and Rosenberg, who was the featured artist in our September/October 2022 issue, both grew up heavily influenced by music and art. For them, the two elements have always gone together.
Hammerstein, a descendant of Rodgers & Hammerstein, spent his childhood attending Broadway shows and art classes, while Rosenberg is the daughter of artist Dyan Rosenberg and first picked up a guitar at nine years old.
Hammerstein’s series Tempo Clash will be on display; it’s inspired by his love of piano, which he plays every morning before he begins painting. He says these paintings are the visual representation of music.
“I grew up in the 70s and 80s, where there was a lot of fusion that worked with odd tempos,” he explains. “I always wondered what it would look like to try to capture those odd tempos visually. These paintings are rhythmic. Imagine your eye moves from the left edge to the right edge – this can be seen as a unit of time. I divide that time, top and bottom, into equal units and then divide the space, often using just two colors. If a drummer did this, the audience would probably bolt for the door. But as an image, these works have a certain beauty and balance.”
Rosenberg painted her first two guitars in 1987, immediately after graduating from Ithaca College.
“But at that time, there wasn’t the same kind of environment for making custom guitars, and it wasn’t easy to find what I needed,” Rosenberg explains.
She found a Strat-style body that was going in the dumpster and then another metal-style body. After painting them, she stored them away to pursue a career as a physical therapist. When she came across the guitars about 30 years later, they inspired her to resume painting and designing electric guitars.
Rosenberg’s guitars, which begin as unfinished wood bodies and necks, feature geometric shapes she tapes and paints freehand. She selects the guitar’s hardware and electronics and customizes the design, including the types of bridges, tuners, knobs, etc. to complete her vision of how the guitar should look, sound and feel.
“What’s very interesting is that when you see the artists’ works together, they use very similar colors,” says Baunok.
The show will feature about a dozen of Rosenberg’s guitars and seven large works from Hammerstein’s series. In addition to displaying their artwork, Rosenberg will meet potential buyers at the gallery for private demo sessions (reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested). Plus she, along with her band Reservoir Road and other special guests, will hold intimate concerts and demonstrations at Chroma during the show.
“I am very excited to show my guitars at Chroma along with Andy Hammerstein’s work,” says Rosenberg. “As a player and a guitar designer, it’s an incredible honor to show my work in an art gallery where it will be viewed, heard and played by others.”
“I feel so fortunate to have an opportunity to exhibit my paintings at Chroma alongside an artist such as Julie Rosenberg,” Hammerstein adds. “Both of us appreciate the synesthetic nature of each other’s work.”
Tempo will be on display from September 19 through October 15 at Chroma Fine Art Gallery in Katonah. The opening reception will be during the September 23rd Art Walk, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
This article was published in the September/October edition of Katonah Connect.