You just walked through her door. Have a nice stroll.
The main theme of Oppenheim's work is primarily to render personal responses to the female form singularly or reflected in nature. The plurality of her work focuses on range: bronze figurative nude sculptures, drawings, encaustics, paintings, ceramics, print and mixed media and photography. The process of creating is her joy, an outlet to express herself.
Oppenheim loves to learn and experiment. She does not have permanent creativity. It comes to her when she feels the need to say something with her hands. The work reflects who she is in the moment she makes it. She cannot control it, does not plan it. It just happens: a tension that transforms into freedom and joy as the self disappears and something is created from nothing. There is no distinction between now and then or now and later. It is effortless, inner bliss. Oppenheim is just the instrument.
For Oppenheim, the path to human flourishing is much like the flowers that she photographs or the flowers and food that she grows herself organically. Treasure begins with seeds. It is inside our homes in our children and outside our homes in the ground. Though it can be covered in dirt, it is treasure: to watch one's efforts develop into something beautiful. Wealth is the reality of life, the fulfillment of being ourselves without the chains of the ego or the dictates of our culture. We do not know what we do not know. This is where the magic happens.
One cannot fully understand an artist or her work and development without seeing it in relation to the history of the individual's life. As life is unpredictable, Oppenheim lost her studio and art community in 2014 in the end of her marriage, an error of youth for believing a liar, a cheat and a thief. Finally vaulting off wiser into something new and better, a fantastic studio is almost built. Prior, she studied at The Art Students League in Manhattan. Her formal education began at Bowdoin College where she has exhibited. Oppenheim has also studied at MECA (Maine College of Art), The Art School at Old Church in Demarest, New Jersey with sculptor Janice Mauro and the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York. Sculptures are bronzed at local foundries, including New Foundry New York, Inc., Stewart Sculpture Casting and Polich Tallix, a full service foundry that caters to sculptors such as Tom Otterness and Frank Stella.
Oppenheim was an Artist Member of the Edward Hopper House Art Center, and a former Associate member of The National Sculpture Society and The Art School of Old Church. She previously served on the Development Committee at The Edward Hopper House Art Center. Oppenheim was also a member of Fine Arts, Fine Art Professionals and Collectors, The Art Students League of New York, and participates at the Modern Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art programming.
Oppenheim has shown work at The Edward Hopper House, The Art School of Old Church, The Clay Art Center in Port Chester, The Gene Reed Gallery, Maria Luisa of Nyack, Bowdoin College, Rockland Center for the Arts, The All Souls Church in Suffern, and Johnnycakes of Nyack. Her work is on permanent exhibition at 8 North Broadway and Johnnycakes on Main Street in Nyack, New York
Oppenheim is a Mainer whose upbringing fostered a respect for the ocean, the mountains, the woodlands and lakes, the value of a home cooked meal with family, and all the glorious people she has met during her adventures along the way. You cannot make old friends when you are old. As her children tenderly say to her, "It wasn't nature, mom, it was nurture. It was you." These are the sweetest words that she has ever heard.
Oppenheim loves sports, especially with friends. Her need for quiet space takes her into her gardens or tending to her bees. She has summited Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft.), the highest peak in Africa; the Salkantay route (20,574 ft.), the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range and part of the Peruvian Andes ending in Machu Picchu; Mt. Katahdin (5,287 ft.), the highest mountain in Maine; San Gabriel Mountains, Henninger Flats in the Angeles National Forest (2,600 ft.) and climbed into the Khumba Icefall but did not summit Mt. Everest, the Earth's highest mountain dubbed the "Stairway to Heaven," a path many a great adventurer has journeyed along one of the world's most beautiful and challenging routes (17,598 ft. at Everest Base Camp). It is not one skill but a true quantum leap that leaves no part untouched. With no exception, a person's level of commitment reflects an understanding of what one is willing to achieve. The ultimate expression of being human--that an individual does something that they did not have to do. For Oppenheim, it was just the beauty of the exercise and the difficulty of it that made it worthwhile and incredibly pleasurable.
George Washington once said, "Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."
a reverence for peace
the scarcity of justice
incensed by violence
Journalist David Brinkley wrote, "A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at them."
for the people who have bullied me
look at what you have created
look at the glory
not for your adoration
you cannot dim the sun...
What it means to be sensitive: this single trait is the essence of all this creativity. It is a consciousness, empathy, intuition, appreciation for quietness--still and minute, imagination, awareness of the living, breathing, and the pain it carries--a passion for much of it. What hurts so much is from loving so much. What one absorbs from what one sees. The vehicle to connect to oneself at one's core as we all move somewhat entwined to that same end. Strength is in the showing. Maybe art is just an attempt to make pretty the parts of life that are not. Maybe the process of the making does the same in that day. And maybe on other days it speaks to all that is already beautiful.
In her sadness, she would walk deep into the woods behind her home photographing the stillness, hoping the comfort of the sounds, smells and silence would have something to spare to help her through the difficulty. The pathway, the leaves of green, gray, brown...sweet, wet, dark, peaceful, the chill of that time. What human does not wish to build a family with others...She knew even then the situation was not sustainable, that the trees would bend more so than she ever could. She just knew. It was raw. Mike Tyson said it best, "Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the face." There are times when one's commitment is proved even when you are suffering. She was in the weeds, pushed into the extreme corner, laying on the floor passed-out, unable to breathe. She let it all go--all of it. F**k the comfort pillow. Defiance...
Failure introduces you to a situation that you do not ever want to return to. She became allergic to narcissists. What punishments are not gifts...To make her trek on Mt. Everest more meaningful, Oppenheim raised awareness and funds and sent a woman and mother who is a victim of domestic abuse to a highly sought after empowerment retreat to work with peak-performance experts to help her create necessary, life-changing results. Violence against women does not have to ruin a woman's life. We should not be complicit or silently accept that intimidation, physical, psychological, emotional and financial abuse quietly hides in our communities. The statistics are sobering: every day, on average, three or more women are killed in the U.S. by either their husbands or boyfriends. Observing misery doesn't help anyone. What helps is action. For Oppenheim, more fulfilling than standing on Mt. Everest is the ability to change a victim of domestic abuse's life for the better, especially a single mother whose children are living in her home. If we cannot respect and allow especially the abused the opportunity to have respect in their life, they and their children will not believe that the world is kind and good. They will be disengaged everywhere they go, and it will follow them in their lives.
Women have an innate desire to be taken care of, to be treasured, and to feel safe. Men should provide that. For any woman experiencing abuse, take back your power, your authority, and your territory. Institute peace within your walls so that you can prosper. Ask yourself these thorny questions: how, if at all, is violence against women different from other types of violence? What shifts in thinking about this issue is necessary to finally eradicate it? How does the toleration of domestic violence shape people's expectations and sense of entitlements? Ask the questions. Become an activist. It feeds you. Oppenheim has been asked to speak about the issues of domestic abuse.
Though fundraising is done and goals have been achieved, please have a look at Oppenheim's "gofundme" page to learn what has been accomplished.
If you are lost. If you are unhappy. If you dawdle. Colors can fade, music can become discordant when something is neglected, when one struggles with the path out of the woods, best not to hold it too tightly, to stand in its natural way. If it comes, let it. If it goes, let it. Sometimes you have to subtract before you can add. The end is never an end. Whether you know it at the time or not, it's the beginning and your freedom.
Take the gift.
Do something that matters.
You have nothing to lose.