Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #307
Town & Village Logo
Thursday, January 24, 2013 
Rev. Tom Pike elected to board of Arts Club 

By Sabina Mollot  
Rev. Tom Pike

Former Calvary-St. George's rector Dr. Thomas F. Pike, who, just last week celebrated his 50th anniversary of life in priesthood, now has a new title: board of governors member at the National Arts Club. 

Pike was voted into the board unanimously at a meeting at the club last Thursday after another member, Hillary Weldon, stepped down.

Pike, who's been a member of the club for the past 40 years, has a long history in the art world, having been involved in development at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney, the Modern Museum and the Morgan Library. He was also the artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome and has taught American art history at Marymount College.

Dianne Bernhard, the president of NAC, said his appointment was just what the club has been looking for in new leadership - specifically people with backgrounds in the arts.  

Following the vote, Pike said, "The club is a national treasure and I want to do all I can to support it."  

Meanwhile, his new role is somewhat symbolic as Pike is also one of the Trustees of Gramercy Park and a member of board of the Gramercy Park Block Association and its Archivist. For years, both of those groups had an extremely contentious relationship with NAC, though tensions eased after the stepping down of the club's former president, O. Aldon James, in 2011.

Bernhard, however, said she hadn't even thought about the groups' past when nominees for the volunteer position were being discussed.

"We were looking at qualifications," she said, "and Tom's accomplishments in the arts were overwhelming. We want to fill these positions with art-minded, professional people."

Along with a history in the art field, Pike has also become well known citywide for his work on historic preservation.

His resume includes a 17-year stint as landmarks commissioner under three mayors: Dinkins, Giuliani and Bloomberg. He's also has won many preservation awards over the years, including Historic District Council Landmarks Lion and New York Landmarks Conservancy Pillar of New York State.

Fellow Gramercy Park Trustee Arlene Harrison, who's also the President of the Gramercy Park Block Association, cheered Pike's new appointment this week.

"We are delighted that Tom is becoming a member of the Board of Governors of The National Arts Club," said Harrison. "The future of the National Arts Club and its relationship to our community is very important to those of us who live here. After many years of a difficult relationship between the National Arts Club and the community, we couldn't have a better liaison than Tom to re-solidify this relationship. We are hopeful that we will now reestablish a time of harmony and mutual respect between the Trustees, the Block Association and the club."

In other club news, NAC has had a number of art exhibits running that are open to the community.

At this time, there are two exhibits running. "Nocturnes: Romancing the Light," a group show of paintings, opened on January 16 and will remain on view in the Grand Gallery through January 31. "Far from Utopia: Recent Paintings by Adam Miller" is also currently on view at the Maquis Gallery through the end of the month.

On February 1
, the club will exhibit paintings in the shows, "Jacob Collins: Star Realism," "Margaret Krug: I Need Water and Time" and "Herman Margulies: American Impressionist 1922-2004." The National Arts Club is located at 15 Gramercy Park South.