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Rye Artist Returns to Her Roots

RYE, N.Y. – It’s not unusual for talented and accomplished American artists like Tova Snyder to relocate to Europe for inspiration. After all, when it comes to art, Port Chester and Rye really can’t compete with Italian villages - or can they?

Snyder, who was born in raised in Rye, moved to Pigna, Italy after graduating from both Yale and Temple’s prestigious Tyler School of Art. Though she still owns property in the small Italian village, a visit home to Westchester in 2002 to see her parents was when she realized there is really no place like your own hometown.

During her visit, Tova discovered the MTA, ArtsforTransit was looking for an artist to help renovate some of its facilities and applied for the job. Six months later she found herself on a helicopter overlooking Purchase Street in downtown Rye, an experience she described as exhilarating.

She has since turned that image, along with many others, into art that hangs in the Harrison Train Station. However, the image of Rye she fondly recalls sits on an easel in her studio.

“After the MTA I kept getting approached for work,” Snyder said shrugging, “The longer I stayed the more my opportunities began to abound.”

Snyder began working on numerous projects in Westchester county and New York City and she got so busy that she rented a studio in White Plains. Some of her more notable work includes painting a two-story, 200-foot-long community mural in Harlem.

Snyder has also worked extensively with children in both Port Chester and the greater Westchester area.

“I really love working with children,” Snyder said, “I try to impart to them art as not being extra, but as something you can integrate and emphasize into all aspects of your life.”

One of Snyder’s current projects includes the creation of the painted windows on the Waterfront on South Main Street in downtown Port Chester. Snyder originally envisioned the project to “incorporate the rich cultural history of Port Chester.”

Snyder, who recently completed a permanent studio move to Port Chester, currently has more than 20 paintings depicting images of her other home half a world away on display at the Schoolhouse gallery in Croton Falls. The paintings will be on display at the gallery through the new year.

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