Founders


Livia and Marc Straus were named one of the "The Top 100 Collectors in America" by Art & Antiques Magazine, March 2002. They were also featured in "The House of Modern Art", February 2002 issue of Westchester Spotlight.

Livia and Marc Straus collect contemporary art and, both jointly and individually, lecture on the subject. They have participated in many symposia and in curating shows dealing with the topic of art and religion.

Dr. Livia Straus has lectured widely on art and spirituality. Professor Livia Selmanowitz Straus is Professor of Education and Jewish Religious Thought at The Academy for Jewish Religion and was Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fordham University. From 1994-1997, she was Adjunct Professor of Education at Hebrew Union College. Dr. Straus earned her Doctorate at New York University in Judaic Studies with a concentration in Medieval Jewish History.

Before returning to academia, Dr. Straus was director of Education at Bet Am Shalom, a Reconstructionist Congregation in White Plains, NY at Park Avenue Synagogue (Conservative) and at Central Synagogue (Reform) both in Manhattan. She has participated in various inter-religious dialogues, including the Valparaiso Project. In 1989, she was Program Chair for the CAJE Hofstra Conference and from 1987-1990, Chairperson of the Editorial Board of CAJE Jewish Education News. From 2004-2006, she was Chairman of the National Jewish Book Council Awards. Dr. Straus has lectured widely and published many articles as well as a text on Contemporary Jewish Medical Ethics.

Dr. Straus was on the Board of the Neuberger Museum in Purchase, New York, the Hebrew Union College Museum in Manhattan, and the Contemporary Acquisition Committee at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan.

Dr. Marc Straus was President of the Board and head of the Exhibition Committee of The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut during which time the museum garnered numerous grants and an international reputation for its groundbreaking school educational programs and its prescient exhibits of emerging artists. He has curated a number of museum and gallery exhibits, including 1994's "The Lineage of Eva Hesse" and he has written critical essays for several art publications.

Dr. Straus ran an oncology practice in White Plains, New York, and wrote the seminal textbook on lung cancer and is the author of many medical articles.

He is also a well-known poet who has written three books of poetry, Symmetry (2000), One Word (1994) and NOT GOD (2006), all published by TriQuarterly Books - Northwestern University Press. NOT GOD, a play in verse has been performed Off Broadway twice and was the basis of a museum exhibit at Lehigh University Zoellner Art Galleries 2004 (“The Bridge”) in collaboration with artist, Rick Levinson.

Dr. Straus was the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Award in poetry from Yale University. He is a regular contributor to Providence Art Review. Dr. Straus has published some 100 scientific papers on cancer medicine and edited three textbooks on lung cancer.



The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art opened to the public in June 2004. Founded by the Marc and Livia Straus family, the not-for-profit center is dedicated to the development and presentation of new art, exhibits and interdisciplinary programs that enrich our understanding of contemporary art, its contexts, and its relationships to societal issues.

The Center is committed to the enrichment of Peekskill, a multicultural community that has recreated itself as a major center for art and culture. HVCCA operates a 12,000 square foot exhibition space in Peekskill and is the primary sponsor of the Peekskill Project, an annual, city-wide exhibition of site-specific artwork.   Copyright © Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art