Category Archives: LeRoy Neiman
The internet radio show was recorded by Elizabeth Halverstam, Executive Director of Arts Horizons and Frank Basile, husband of our late Chairman, Celeste Holm, who talk about Arts Horizons and our 35th Anniversary Gala on Monday, October 22nd.
World renowned artist, LeRoy Neiman, was best known for his brilliantly colored, stunningly energetic images of sporting events and leisure activities. We knew him for his generosity, his passion for sharing the arts with the next generation, and for his commitment to supporting service in the arts within urban communities across America. It has been through Mr. Neiman’s extraordinary vision and on-going support that Arts Horizons was able to open the LeRoy Neiman Art Center in Harlem, providing children, schools, service organizations and the community-at-large with free and affordable visual arts programming and exhibition opportunities. Words cannot express our gratitude and affection towards him for making the LeRoy Neiman Art Center a reality and for continuing to nurture it so it could become a wonderful place where beautiful art is created within the Harlem Community. Mr. Neiman was not only a generous man, but a warm and caring spirit who brought his passion for creating art to everyone who knew him. We are deeply saddened by this loss, but honored to continue his legacy through the creative, cross-generational work we are doing here at the Neiman Center. Please join us in remembering and celebrating his life, everyday!
– Marline Martin
Director, Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center
By MELANIE WEST
Famed artist LeRoy Neiman drew his first prize-winning picture more than 80 years ago. As a child, he says, drawing was a passive classroom activity, and not something teachers or parents paid much attention.
“There was no glory,” says Mr. Neiman, now 90. “Nobody cared if you were a genius.”
But Mr. Neiman is determined to inspire genius in a generation of new artists. A few years ago, Mr. Neiman gave $1 million to Arts Horizons, a nonprofit arts education organization, to establish the LeRoy Neiman Art Center in central Harlem. He supports the organization annually and recently gave $150,000 to the organization to further the programming and provide scholarships to students at the center.
Arts Horizons, which is based in Englewood, N.J., primarily works to bring art, music, dance and theater to schools in the tristate area. The organization also has programs for senior and community centers and hospitals, ranging from African dance groups to songwriting to quilting.
The center in Harlem, at Frederick Douglass Boulevard near 148th Street, offers low-cost classes, taught by professionals, to all ages. About 600 people take classes annually.
“People of any age really have the chance to be transformed by the art and when they walk in the door they can leave the pressures of school and life behind and immerse themselves in the creative art that they’re doing,” says Elizabeth Halverstam, executive director of Arts Horizons. “We feel that’s a legacy that can stay with them the rest of their lives.”
During his career, Mr. Neiman often taught art classes and says that all young artists need to be amused in a classroom to maintain interest. A good artist can be often be identified by his sense of mischief and humor, says Mr. Neiman. Bravado is an important element, too. “Showing off is a big thing,” he says.
Inside Mr. Neiman’s art studio in the Hotel des Artistes on the Upper West Side, the walls are filled with a lifetime of artwork. A painting of Frank Sinatra leaning against the bar at Rao’s Restaurant features prominently. There is a painting of jazz greats that fills a wall and a drawing of a dancer in Vegas. His colorful images have appeared in galleries, hundreds of magazine and newspapers articles and in his book. His paintings of athletes and sporting events are well known.
Mr. Neiman recalls that when he was a young artist he knew he was talented, but what separated him from his competition was a drive to be successful. He sees that in some of the students who attend the Harlem center.
“I was a kid from the streets and being from the streets you knew a lot of things the other kids didn’t know. Mostly mischief,” he says. “So these elements you put to work in your art and your subject matter is rich.”
For Melanie West’s article in the Wall Street Journal:
Renowned Artist Seeks to Inspire New Generation