New World Stages Gallery to Offer Rosie O'Donnell's Solace

By Andrew Gans
05 Oct 2007

Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell

The Gallery at New World Stages — the Off-Broadway entertainment complex that houses Altar Boyz and Celia—The Musical, among others — will present the art of actress-comedian and Broadway lover Rosie O'Donnell beginning Oct. 9.

The collection of O'Donnell works is titled Solace and features paintings the much-in-the-news celebrity created during 2003-2005. The exhibition will be on display through Dec. 2.

In a statement New World Stages executive director Beverley D. Mac Keen said, "It is always thrilling to showcase a new and exciting artist. But it is even more exhilarating when that artist is crossing over from another medium of expression for which he/she is well known. There are 60,000 square feet here at New World Stages, and frankly I wish we had more room to show the unbelievable development of Rosie O'Donnell from 'hobby collage maker' to stunning visual artist. To me, her work, her compositions and materials, explore so many levels simultaneously: she balances anger and inspiration, hope and hurt, isolation and inclusion to ultimately poise on the wonderful point of solace."

O'Donnell began painting in earnest after the events of September 11. In her blog, the actress writes:

"9/11 happened –
something cracked open inside of me
i bought canvas
i bought all they had in the store



i had never felt that i was a real artist
deserving of a canvas

my art was my journal
ripped paper - glue and tape
headlines and photos
crayons & magic markers

a soulquake
the tremendous toxins
released during 9/11
spilled out of me
onto the blank stretched whiteness

the revelation that
we are not only hunters
but now - the hunted as well

we are forced to look at ourselves as americans
who we r
what do we stand for

what came out
my unbearable sadness

how could it be
i was raising children in a war
as i was raised during a war
i was going to have to explain it to my children
and the truth is
it had never been explained to me

war does not make sense
especially this bogus one

9/11 changed the consciousness of america
a shift in perspective

the new rhetoric of r nation
blame and shame

evildoers
fight em there or fight em here
terrorists

it was unreal 2 me
it still is
i did not know what to do about it

so i threw some paint around
here r some of the many
i did
after that horrible tuesday in September”

Rosie O'Donnell was most recently on Broadway in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. The actress made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease!, and she played a limited engagement as the Cat in the Hat in the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical. The performer also spent some time on the other side of the footlights as producer of the Broadway version of Boy George's Taboo. O'Donnell rose to fame as a stand-up comic before landing roles in such films as "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "The Flintsones" and "Exit to Eden." Her Emmy-winning talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," ran from 1996 to 2001, and her more recent TV credits include appearances on "Will & Grace" and "Queer as Folk" as well as the made-for-television movie "Riding the Bus with My Sister." The actress also spent a year as a co-host of "The View." O'Donnell is married to Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell; the couple have four children. O'Donnell's autobiography is titled "Find Me"; her newest book is "Celebrity Detox."

The Gallery at New World Stages will be open Monday-Saturday, 11 AM-6 PM. The Gallery entrance is located at 343 West 49th Street. For more information call (646) 871-1730.