Times Square As You’ve Never Seen It
The Port Authority Bus Terminal and Chashama present an exhibition of large, colorful paintings by Thelma Appel featuring imaginative representations of Times Square in the “Project Find” space located at 9th Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. From September 6, 2019 through January 6, 2020, Appel’s exhibit Times Square As You’ve Never Seen It will be on view 24 hours a day.
The idea to create a series of works about Times Square had been in the back of Thelma Appel’s mind for years. It became reality when she started thinking about the concept of time. That prompted her to contemplate New York City, where she lived more than 30 years ago. However, at that time, she was painting landscapes, and her mind was still in Vermont, where she had lived years earlier. But now that she had left New York, she was ready to paint it, as she had not been when she lived here. That was when she asked herself, “What is the most emblematic thing that I remember about my time in New York City? And the answer was, without equivocation, Times Square, which was only blocks away from where she lived. Coincidentally, Thelma had just completed a very different series, an expressionistic, almost surreal group of works that involved traveling in time and space. So once again, she found herself time traveling. Times Square, as a place as well as a time in her life, became the theme of this series of paintings inspired by her memories of this vibrant city.
Raised in Darjeeling, India and London, England, Thelma earned a Diploma of Art and Design from what is now Central St. Martins in London, followed by an Art Teacher’s Certification from Hornsey College of Art, London. She married and raised a family, and in 1966 they moved to the United States, settling in Bennington, Vermont. When she arrived in the United States, Thelma experienced a culture shock—and a creative revelation. She felt born again as an artist. The huge expanse of land and its extensive variety inspired her to become a Romantic Landscape painter—not recording mimetically what lay before her, but expressing the excitement she felt in response to nature. Her work was shown and well-received in various venues in New England, and later in New York City. With the late Carol Haerer, Thelma co-founded The Bennington College Summer Painting Workshop where many distinguished painters were invited to conduct master classes. During the school year, Thelma taught at Parsons and Southern Vermont College, commuting weekly from Vermont to New York City.
Today, Thelma is over 80 years old and has been painting and teaching art at the high school, university and professional level for more than six decades. Her serious commitment to her art has never faltered, in spite of not having physical gallery representation since she left Manhattan in the 1980s, 2019 sees Thelma’s work exhibited not only in the Project Find space, but also in her first career survey, at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Vermont, opening October 4 through February 2020. Thelma is thrilled to exhibit works from the Times Square series in New York, sharing this piece of her life’s work with younger generations of artists, residents and visitors, as well as her own contemporaries; her love of this city has endured to this day.
Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov