Ellis Sotheby's International Realty -

Life and Art in Rockland County

Rockland County might be the smallest county by area in New York State outside of the five counties that comprise New York City, but when it comes to art, we are home to some of the finest talent anywhere in the country.

Sean-Scully_Front-Small2I recently was made aware of just how gifted this area is when I had the pleasure of attending an event featuring the renowned artist and Palisades, New York, resident Sean Scully. “Sean Scully in Conversation with Ken Carbone” was held on Oct. 11 as part of the award-winning Palisades People Sunday Symposia series, presented by the Palisades Free Library.

The event was the library’s 27th, and our very own Marjorie Galen helped organize it. Past honorees include author Toni Morrison and ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, both Rockland County residents.

It was an honor to see Mr. Scully, one of the world’s leading abstract painters, who I first met when I sold him his home in the area almost three years ago. He is the recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and twice was nominated for the Turner Prize. His work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the Tate Modern.

Sean Scully

For those who live here, it is no surprise that Mr. Scully and many other notable artists– including Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Henry Varnum Poor and Jasper Cropsey– chose to make a home in Rockland County. Peaceful and bucolic, the county undoubtedly is an inspiration for their work. Thanks to my affiliation with the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand, art is part of the air my agents and I breathe. While that relationship keeps us connected with the art world on a global basis, we enjoy deepening our connections with our local art community. Here are some of my favorite local organizations dedicated to Rockland County art:

  • The Arts Council of Rockland: This nonprofit institution provides grant opportunities, technical assistance and information to artists and arts organizations.
  • The Edward Hopper House Art Center: Located in Nyack (next door to my office), this is the birthplace of renowned American artist Edward Hopper. Since 1971, the Edward Hopper House has been a nonprofit art center. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • ARTSROCK: This nonprofit organization’s mission is to provide increased access to professional arts and multicultural programs for an underserved, diverse audience, in and around Rockland County.
  • The Art Students League of New York- League Residency at Vyt: Founded in 1875 by artists, the Art Students League of New York has been instrumental in shaping America’s legacy in the fine arts. Many renowned artists have honed their skills at this institution, which is dedicated to sustaining the great tradition of training artists. Today, more than 2,500 students of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels, study at the League each month.
  • Rockland Center for the Arts: This multiarts center is dedicated to creating and promoting art through its School for The Arts, exhibitions, workshops, literary and performing-arts events, Summer Arts Day Camp and outreach programs.


I encourage you to learn more about these fine organizations, and if you are able, offer your support. To learn more about the arts in Rockland County, click here.

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