Martucci Gallery & Program Room

April 2023 Art Exhibit

In the Martucci Gallery at the Irvington Library


Octopus Portraits: Sessions Under Patmos

by Jeff Eyrich


Artist’s Statement

Every year I travel to Greece, to the island of Patmos, to interact with and photograph octopus in their natural environment. This is a show of my latest work, photos made in September/October 2022 on my most recent trip to Patmos. My intention is to bring us up close to these incredibly intelligent, perceptive and curious beings. My interactions with octopus are by far the most emotionally rewarding and unforgettable experiences I’ve had.

I’m looking forward to sharing my insights about these beautiful creatures in person, Saturday April 8 at 3:00 in the Martucci Gallery at the Library. All are invited.


View a preview of the exhibit below, then visit the full gallery in person at the Irvington Public Library!

Be sure to check our event calendar or call to ensure the gallery is open at the time of your visit.


Researchers consider octopuses to be the most intelligent invertebrates —

maybe as intelligent as a house cat.



An Octopus has eight tentacles, each covered in an array of powerful suckers. Tentacles are used for locomotion and gathering food.

Although octopuses can swim, their preferred locomotion is to crawl along the seabed.


Octopuses have large optic lobes, areas of the brain dedicated to vision. Octopuses appear to be able to recognize individuals outside of their own species, including human faces.



Octopuses are probably the world’s most skilled camouflage artists. They can change colour in an instant.

In addition, they have tiny areas of skin that they can expand or retract to rapidly change the texture of their skin to match their surroundings.


Octopuses have blue blood, three hearts and nine brains.


Octopus can see everything that is going on in their environment. They have no blind spot.

They also have many more photoreceptors than vertebrates which means that their vision is much better than that of any human.



The octopus level of astuteness — problem-solving — and even self-expression — places them not only at the top of all mollusks

but also among the top tier of animal intelligence in general.  In some cases, even above many mammals.


Although it has excellent eyesight, an octopus uses touch and smell to find food — thousands of chemical receptors and millions of texture receptors line the rims of its suckers.

It scours the sandy seafloor to flush out small prey, or crawls in and out of rocky areas to hunt crabs and shrimp.



If an Octopus senses danger, it can jet away quickly. They also use their ink as a defense mechanism to escape from prey when feeling threatened.



With only a cursory look at an octopus’s eyes, you can sense the vibe of the individual octopus.

Much like looking into the eyes of a person, a dog or a cat, the eyes of an octopus exude a sense of being — a palpable form of self-consciousness.





Among invertebrates, only octopuses and a few insects are known to use tools.


Art Exhibit Archive

To view previous virtual exhibits and exhibit previews, please see our Art Gallery Archive linked here.

Attention Artists

The library strongly encourages local artists to apply for exhibit space.

Please download a copy of our exhibition policy and an exhibit application, or call Rosemarie Gatzek, the Library’s Director, at (914) 591-7840. You may view the room floor plan here as well.

If you are interested in having a reception, you will need to contact Rosemarie Gatzek directly to schedule a date and time.

Attention non-profit groups

Our program room is available to non-profit community-based organizations for special programs. Rental fees, security deposits and proof of insurance are required. Read our Program Room Policy by clicking here. Download an application for use of the Program Room here. For more information call Rosemarie Gatzek, the Library’s Director, at (914) 591-7840.