Strength and Grace, a 2012 Summer Olympic Tribute in Art. Opens in NY on May 11

Strength and Grace at NY Art Gallery Elisa Contemporary Art honors the athletic prowess and beauty of two Olympic sports. Featuring Equestrian artwork: Ken Peloke, Sheona Hamilton-Grant, Donna Bernstein Swimmers by Carol Bennett, Jeffrey Palladini.
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2012 Summer Olympics
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Elisa Contemporary Art


Riverdale - New York - US


May 10, 2012 - PRLog -- Elisa Contemporary Art presents Strength and Grace, a 2012 Summer Olympic Tribute. The exhibit opens May 11th, 2012.  It will run through late August. 

Strength and Grace
honors the athletic prowess and beauty of two Summer Olympic sports – Swimming and Equestrian Riding and Jumping.

Several of our featured artists have an Olympic connection.  For Graphite Artist, Sheona Hamilton-Grant, her first muse and start of her artistic career, was equine Superstar, Rembrandt Borbet,.  She met “Remmi” when she worked for 1988 and 1992 Olympic Gold medalist, Nicole Uphoff, the German Dressage rider.

The exhibit will also feature, one of her portrait’s of the legendary sire Florestan I. He has made breeding history. His bloodline having marked and shaped the German warmblood horse.  Many horses performing in the London 2012  Summer Olympics will be of Florestan decent.

Hawaii artist, Carol Bennett, first started painting swimmers when she was living in Los Angeles and swimming at the LA Athletic Club. According to Carol, “The floor beneath the pool, with its ethereal skylight was an underwater observation room...used by Olympic coaches in the 1920's. I would feel like a voyeur, watching the swimmer's private time and drawing in their beauty.”  It was here she learned to capture their movement, reflections and grace.

The exhibit will feature the Equestrian artwork of three, stylistically different artists.  Each brings the majestic and powerful animals to life and into action:

■ Arizona Mixed Media Realist, Ken Peloke
■ European Graphite Artist, Sheona Hamilton-Grant
■ Expressionistic Idaho Artist, Donna Bernstein

It will also feature the Swimmers of:
■ Hawaii Artist, Carol Bennett
■ San Francisco Minimalist, Jeffrey Palladini.

What: Strength and Grace at Elisa Contemporary Art
When: May 11, 2012 through August 12, 2012
Special Events:  Visit for upcoming special events
Where: Elisa Contemporary Art, 5622 Mosholu Avenue (near 256th Street), Riverdale NY 10471.
Hours: Friday/Saturday 10 am – 6 pm and by Appointment

Meet the Artists:

Ken Peloke
Ken Peloke’s photorealistic mixed media horse paintings were inspired by the time he spent with his wife’s horses. Ken discovered their beauty, their athleticism, and their innocence. His bold, large-scale pieces capture the pure essence of each horse – the beauty, nobility and power. His multimedia approach creates depth and incredible realism to his pieces that give them a one of a kind contemporary appeal. According to Ken, “There is such an honesty and purity that is felt while spending time with our horse, as an artist I feel compelled to try to relay those same emotions to the viewers through my work.” 

Although born in rural New York, Ken has lived in Arizona since he was 9.   Ken’s work is in public and private collections throughout the US.

Sheona Hamilton-Grant
Graphite Artist, Sheona Hamilton-Grant was born in Scotland, grew up in Holland, France and Belgium (where she now lives). “Animals have always been a big part of my life, as long as I can remember” says Sheona. For 10 years she worked with horses professionally, as a groom and rider, with half that time spent working for an Olympic gold medalist in dressage. Working in the heart of the European equestrian world gave Sheona a unique opportunity to fully discover the beauty and mesmerizing presence of world-class horses.

Sheona has exhibited throughout the world and is in public collections including the Westphalian Horse Museum in Munster Germany, as well as in over 230 private collections Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Italy, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Donna Bernstein
As a child, Expressionistic artist, Donna Bernstein would visit her neighbor’s horses and sit an entire day and watch, day after day. She started to notice every slight ripple in a muscle; how they would flick the flies with their ears as they grazed, how they would jump for joy when the feeling arose. She studied their physiology, their bones, their illnesses and cures.  According to Donna, “I often say I don’t paint horses; I paint how horses make me feel.”

Donna Bernstein was born in New York.  Largely self-taught, she studied privately with artist Robert Dash, and later studies in Japanese ink work and brush techniques. In 1998 Donna and her husband moved to McCall, Idaho where she now has her studio.  Donna has exhibited throughout the US and her work is in public and private collections worldwide.

Carol Bennett
Carol Bennett has lived and painted on the island of Kauai for the last 20 years. After graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara (College of Creative Studies) and the Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles), Carol became a scenic artist, painting stage sets for theater, film and TV. It was this experience that has driven Carol’s continuous exploration into texture, layering and the use of new and innovative materials.   According to Carol, ““I have a free-wheeling approach to technique and materials: hypothesis, experiment and conclusion…I am intrigued by the innate nature of different types of material… the nature of things”

Carol's work has been featured in many solo and group exhibits. Carol has created several public art projects including “Water as a Point of Departure” for the Nawiiwili Harbor in Oahu and a 48' x 8' photovoltaic glass canopy for the Hawai'i State Art Museum Sculpture Garden. Her work is in numerous public and private collections including The Contemporary Museum of Art (Hawaii) and The Persis Collection of Contemporary Art.

Jeffrey Palladini
Jeffrey Palladini’s unconventional portraits evoke feelings of sensuality and euphoria. While the San Francisco-based artist studied at California State University, it was in Florence that his true creative spirit was pulled forth from the beauty that surrounded him.

Now his modern figure paintings breathe life with vibrant colors and flowing brush strokes. Unlike many portrait paintings, Jeffrey minimizes the amount of detail and information allowing the viewer to gain intense suggestions of emotions in an instant.“  As in memory, all is viewed in snapshots, in glimpses. Complex narratives, transformative events, entire lifetimes, boiled down to these singular points in time.” The simplicity is reminiscent of Alex Katz.

Jeffrey Palladini has exhibited his work around the United States for nearly twenty years.  His work is included in numerous private and corporate collections.

About Elisa Contemporary Art
Elisa Contemporary Art represents a portfolio of both emerging and established contemporary artists, many of whom have work in the permanent collections of major museums and corporations.
Founded in 2007 by Lisa Cooper, Elisa Contemporary Art is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and collection of art as a way to enrich and heal our lives, our communities, and the world. The Riverdale gallery opened in September 2008. Elisa Contemporary Art has participated in high end art fairs in New York, Miami and the Hamptons, and curated public art exhibits in Manhattan, private spaces within the Tri-State area, as well as an online exhibit for 2011 CurateNYC.  Owner Lisa Cooper also provides art consulting services.

A portion of every sale is donated to philanthropic organizations that help children and families within underserved communities heal and grow through their experience with art. Free Arts NYC, Arts to Grow and Creative Arts Workshops for Kids are supported.

For more information, visit the website at or contact Lisa Cooper at or 212.729.4974. The Riverdale Gallery is located at 5622 Mosholu Avenue, Riverdale NY 10471
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