The Queen of Collage

Ann Ladd is known around our digs as the Queen of Collage.  That’s because she trolls her White Plains neighborhood for what she calls “bits and pieces” that she turns into works of art. Recently, her work was on view at my local Chappaqua Library, in a show curated by artist Larry D’Amico who keeps our library in the groove with the work of contemporary artists. At the show, I was particularly taken with a grouping of women’s heads, all of which had this triangular shape. “So what’s the story?” I asked. Turns out Ann sees treasure in things that other people see as junk. In her travels, she picked up an old sled on her street and kept it around for about ten years.  One day, she thought she saw the face of Miss Clavel, the nun in the Madeline story, in the sled, which started her on a series of sled heads of women of all nationalities.

Then came the bed post women, made out of remnants gathered at the White Plains “Take It or Leave It” recycle shed.  Sleds and beds give some idea of the whimsical humor in Ann’s artistic vocabulary, which she shares with kids of all ages at art classes in her home and at the Rye Arts Center. On April 28, she will be at ArtsWestchester teaching a scrapbook and collage class. The gigs she likes the best are the residencies she does in Yonkers and Mount Vernon schools as an ArtsWestchester teaching artist. “It’s my best work,” she says, “but the world never sees it.” Ah, but the parents do.

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