The Blue Door Art Center & Gallery: Yonkers’ Art Scene


@TheBDAC Part I
Executive Director & Co-Founder: Julie Cousens

Living in NYC will take a toll on anybody. Congested crowds, long commutes, subways and bus lines always messed up and running late, people often cranky, offensive mystery odors, unpredictable weather, irresponsible pet owners, endless traffic as a pedestrian, cyclist, driver, even on the subway – all of which can wreak havoc on the brain and body. A lot of this tension tends to kick my instincts straight into survival mode, to a headspace where I forget standing in line to order a ridiculously overpriced coffee is a self-contrived first world problem.

So why don’t I take more time to explore the outer cities? There are the LIRR, Metro North, Amtrak and NJT lines which lead me to all my neighboring states, away from the urban jungle and to spacey areas. What is it about our society and daily lives that limits our sense of adventure and exploration? I get it. We’re trying to balance self-care with that of spouses, children, parents, school, work, gym; we run ourselves ragged and forget to open our eyes, take that deep breath, and enjoy the present moment.

Less than thirty minutes from Grand Central Station lives a wonderful art gallery and creative community space, one I had the pleasure of visiting to see my best friend’s art exhibits. The Blue Door Art Center is a colorful little sanctuary, a five minute walk from the Yonkers train station, passing historical Haas murals, local shops and restaurants. It is not solely a gallery, but a community art space offering classes and workshops for various visual arts for children and adults alike. It’s a place for poets and sculptors, a safe space for all forms of expression, and a community who understands the value of a creative process.

One of the founders and Executive Directors was kind enough to sit down with me to talk about the ever evolving art scene. Julie Cousens welcomed me with a warm smile as I walked through the doors on a frigid, gloomy, rainy day. Off the bat, she gave me space to receive the experience as I wandered through the gallery, gazing at the many interesting pieces. There was no over-explaining the why’s or how’s, she simply allowed me to take my time as I wandered through and feel inspired by many emerging artists. Ms. Cousens knows them well; like a mama-bear, she spoke proudly of their achievements.

The space itself is small, but open and modular. It was rich with many types of art: threadwork, sculptures, jewelry, line drawings, photography, and the written word, to name a few. I could see this gallery takes pride in their precision for displays, ensuring all artists feel they are highlighted and appreciated.

Julie and I spoke about many wonderful things art and I ask you to come back to read all about that soon. For now, allow this to be a gentle reminder there are many calm spaces outside of our daily responsibilities that await you. Where are your favorite places to find peace and serenity? Do you cook? Camp? Swim? Run? Paint?


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