Irvington Theater ‘Arts Incubator Series’ Presents Visual Artist and Educator Selene Smerling


November 5, 2020

through Paula Romanow Etzel—

The highly acclaimed Irvington Theater Arts Incubator Series returns this month with artists presenting original works in progress on Thursdays, November 5, 12 and 19. Accompanying #IrvingtonAnywhere, the theater’s fully virtual season of paid events, the The Arts Incubator series features new episodes on the theater’s YouTube channel and is available to stream anytime on demand for free (visit: or

On November 5, the series launches “Images Unfolding: Exploring the World Through the Eyes of a Lifelong Painter” with Irvington-based visual artist and educator, Selene Smerling, who introduces viewers to some of her past influences, her moving ideas. and his current projects in and out of the studio.

Oil on wood panel “Milke Weed 4” by Selene Smerling

Rhode Island native Smerling ( took courses in traditional painting at Boston University, then studied at the School of Visual Arts at Syracuse University, with additional courses in anatomy and printmaking. She also studied in London, where she exhibited her work. Smerling’s paintings were commissioned by architects and designers from New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, and his work has been featured in the Guild Source Book of Residential art. In 2015, she completed her graduate studies in art therapy. Having a particular and keen interest in the relationship between color and emotion, she entitled her thesis subject “Dialogues in color”.

Selene Smerling

“Some of my earlier work was to start with an object, like an antique pocket watch or a Windsor chair, and take a journey through color and form,” says Smerling. “The object reappears as a result of the process, rather than being the focal point. The simplest subject offers complex possibilities.

The Irvington Theater Arts Incubator series invites viewers into the creative process by welcoming comments and questions that can be submitted directly to each artist via email.

Playwright Samuel Harpes

On November 12, award-winning playwright and filmmaker Samuel Harps presents a new TV series based on an old project he dusted off and revised: During an environmental disaster in the near future, “Racing the Sun” examines what people are doing. think they are the most important things in life when their existence is threatened.

Last summer, Harps premiered two episodes of his evolving TV movie “Black and Blue” for the Arts Incubator series, which received high praise from viewers and reporters for its poignant and empowering portrayal of a police officer. African American from New York grappling with the complexities of work and family in the era of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Harps is the Artistic Director of the Shades Repertory Theater in Garnerville, New York ( He interned with New Dramatists of New York, studying with renowned playwrights August Wilson, John Patrick Shanley and Charles Oyamo Gordon, and was subsequently accepted into the prestigious playwright program of the Negro Ensemble Company. His first major production, Do not explain was staged at the famous Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in New York; the explosive drama about the death of trumpeter Lee Morgan received seven AUDELCO awards, including Best Play and Playwright. He also received the Rockland County Arts Council Executive Award for Literary Artist.

“The race for the sun”

Harps’ productions have been staged in venues across New York City including the Paul Robeson Theater, National Black Theater, Billie Holiday Theater, American Theater for Actors, Duality Playhouse and at Rutgers University, Riverspace Arts at Nyack, Irvington Theater and in venues in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

(Visit the Irvington Theater YouTube channel to see Black and Blue, Episode 1 and Episode 2.)

On November 19, playwrights Joy Ciarcia-Levy and Cyndi Scott will present a virtual reading of their new play, “The Review,” which follows the story of an emerging painter on the eve of his first solo gallery exhibition and critic. jaded art that reluctantly assists. Ciarcia-Levy and Scott are creative collaborators and longtime friends who met in the production department of ABC News. Jennie Berkson, Olivia Dei Cicchi, Keith Gilroy, Steve Mandel, Maxime Prissert and Martin Ripchick make up the cast of this first presentation of the piece in development.

Irvington Theater is home to a diverse range of innovative programs that entertain, enlighten and inspire, asserting itself over its 118-year history as the “cultural heart of the Rivertowns”. The theater continues its tradition with unprecedented reach with its all-virtual fall season, “Irvington Anywhere,” made possible by the generous support of Eric Bernstein of Compass, Dobbs Ferry.

Like all Irvington Theater virtual programming, the Arts Incubator series is designed to share creativity and connectivity when the audience cannot be together.

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