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Thinking Inside the Box

Life presents many junctures and times of decision. In the course of Monica Ostrow’s life, she followed a not-so-out-of-the-ordinary route. She graduated cum laude from Wilkes University  with a BA in English followed by graduate courses at Scranton University. Then she taught school in Port Jervis, Onteora, and Washingtonville while starting an advertising business with her husband. With him, she attended the School of Visual Art in NYC where she studied graphic design, oil painting, and television production. Gradually, she became more involved in art and formed Artists Alternative with eleven other artists.

Then came a turning point. In the 1980s, she took the challenge of an art contest to produce a work of art from recycled materials that were stored at an old airplane hangar at Stewart Airport. The result was a small shadowbox called "Leap of Faith." She became hooked. Coupled with her knowledge of and experience in art, she saw this as broadening her path in creating visual statements. She became obsessive filling boxes with string, wood, yarn, buttons, wire, paper, and metal while using oil, watercolor, and pencil techniques. Keeping with a concept, a strong design, and a complementary palette, her artworks evolved into an artistic fusion.

Over the years Ostrow has conceived of and made many shadowbox works on various thought-provoking topics. From January 4 through February 28, a display of her works will be on view in the Mindy Ross Gallery. "Thinking Inside the Box ~ collages and assemblages" offers an artistic look at ordinary, commonplace objects, abstracted or seemingly out-of-context.

Each piece contains a figure or face that interacts with the environment and is in fact, a metaphor for Ostrow’s own reactions to living, while interpreting her thoughts through color, line, structure, and texture. These artworks are a psychology of the soul that demonstrate her self-exploration and self-expression.

Gallery hours from Jan. 4-18 are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from Jan. 22-Feb. 28 hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.

A reception celebrating the artist through her art show will be held on Last Saturday, Jan. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. during which music will be provided by jazz guitarist Vern Lazaroff. The venue is the Mindy Ross Gallery and Foyer in Kaplan Hall. Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

The Mindy Ross Gallery is situated in the eastern section of the first floor of Kaplan Hall. Free, secure parking is available in the parking garage entered at 73 First St. Questions may be directed to Cultural Affairs at (845) 341-4891/9386 or

Information is available through the website at 

Event date, time and location.

Dorothy Szefc
Cultural Affairs