The Schoolhouse Theater and Gallery will offer theatergoers and art enthusiasts alike a rare opportunity to view the works of two artists with studios in Croton Falls who present uniquely differing views of the world through their art. The work of Tom Christopher and Michael Mapes will be on exhibit March 7 through March 30 at The Schoolhouse, in conjunction with the stage production of Jon Robin Baitz' "Ten Unknowns," an explosive drama centered on an artist who rages against the commercialization of art.
Tom Christopher is an established artist who has exhibited in Europe, Asia and the United States. Christopher studied classical drawing and was influenced by Ward Kimball, the legendary Disney animator. After school, Tom went on to drawing portraits at Disneyland, automobiles for Motor Trend Magazine and creating posters for CBS Records. When he moved to New York in 1981, he was a courtroom artist for CBS News.
Christopher uses vibrant colors to portray the modern, urban scenes of Manhattan. Young people are particularly drawn to his work because it captures the pulse of the city. Doing his courtroom work, Christopher was tr ained to block out noise and to not listen to testimony as it was too distracting. Now, he takes the bits and pieces of conversations he overhears while sketching out his work to inspire him, often using those fragments as the titles of his work. All paintings on display at the Schoolhouse by Christopher are courtesy Greg Hubert Gallery, New York City. www.tomchristopher-art.com
Formally trained as a graphic designer, Michael Mapes worked for design studios in Chicago and New York City, moving to Croton Falls in 2010. In 1988, he formed the product development company MINC, where he created and produced conceptual T-shirts for retailers, direct mail catalogues and art museums.
In 2005, Mapes transitioned to studio art, and began creating work that reflects the intersection of art and entomological science. In much of his work, he dissects photographs of people and, using scientific materials such as insect pins, gelatin capsules and test tubes, constructs an artistic i nterpretation of the original subject. In each work, thousands of individual elements are contained in glass-faced wood boxes. According to Christopher Jobson of Slate, "The work exists in an uncanny area between photography and sculpture, functioning as both portraits and intricate scientific canvases that make you question the logic behind the organization of each piece."
Mapes is creating new work especially for the Croton Falls exhibit, including several pieces with human subjects connected to The Schoolhouse. He has upcoming exhibits in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and at Art Basel Switzerland.www.room62.com
Over the years, The New York Times has called The Schoolhouse Theater "Westchester's sole claim to consistent, professional theater, where people can see plays they are not likely to see elsewhere." The Schoolhouse is a regional Equity theater, dedicated to presenting professional theatrical performances by award-winning playwrights and to supporting and promoting oth er artistic and creative expression.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. through 3 p.m., evenings during theater performances, and by appointment. Tickets for "Ten Unknowns" are $33 for Thursday and Friday $35 for Saturday and Sunday performances and can be reserved by calling the box office at 914-277-8477. The Schoolhouse is located at 3 Owens Road, Croton Falls, NY, just off exit 8 on I-684. Visit the Schoolhouse on the web atwww.schoolhousetheater.org or "like" them on Facebook.