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Bronx Garden Becomes 'Winter Workspace' for Local Artists

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Some artists are taking up space at the Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, creating masterpieces inspired by their surroundings. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center is doing more than just giving artists studio space. It's allowing them to take what they need from the natural landscape to create new works of art.

"The 'Winter Workspace' program is a great way for an artist to come here and work onsite, and they are inspired by our gardens and our beautiful landscape, and the plants in our collection and the greenhouses," said Curator Gabriel de Guzman.

All of the artists are inspired by the nature around them but for some it's more literal.

"I was looking at the invasive plants growing inside the garden, kind of at the edges of the property kind of creeping in. So I was taking photographs of them, the trees of heaven kind of cutting it up and playing with it," said Artist Whitney Artell.

There are six artists in this year's "Winter Workspace" program, including Shanti Grumbine, who applies organic forms to newspaper. Some look like snowflakes, others like trees.

"So images of Syria, I'm actually literally carving branches. First I draw the branches into the image, then I carve away with the X-Acto knife to sort of bring together my world and what's going on abroad," Grumbine said.

This might seem like an unusual time of year to visit a public garden but folks at Wave Hill say for many people, winter is their favorite time to come.

"First of all, we have 28 acres of gardens and woodlands. When it snows, there's no better place to be than Wave Hill. We have beautiful views of the Palisades, you can come inside, you can see our greenhouses, which have incredible succulents, cactuses, tropical plants," De Guzman said.

The artists will open their studios to the public on March 30 to show their finished work and they will hold free art making workshops throughout March.

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