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Art League of Long Island

Photo by Adrienne Lauren Catanese

In collaboration with the Suffolk County Council VFW, the Art League of Long Island, 107 Deer Park Road, Dix Hills will host a community fundraiser event known internationally as Empty Bowls on Sunday, Nov. 10 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

Empty Bowls began almost 30 years ago as a charitable event by artists and students to raise funds to end hunger and food insecurity. What began in one local community in Michigan became a grassroots movement happening in communities throughout the world. 

The concept is simple; guests who pay a $20 donation will select a handcrafted ceramic bowl to take home as a reminder of those who have been less fortunate. Soup and salad will be provided with the $20 donation (disposable ware provided). Proceeds from this collaborative fundraiser will be donated to the Suffolk County Council VFW.

SCCVFW is a 501(c) Veteran Service Organization that helps veterans and their families in need in Suffolk County. SCCVFW supports programs and raises funds to help feed veterans, provide cars, build homes and provide grants for veterans and their families in need on a local, national and international level. All donations to SCCVFW are tax except.

Guest who wish to donate in advance can call 631- 462-5400, ext. 222, or visit www.artleagueli.org.

‘Boy Drinking From Water Fountain’ by John Goldstein of Stony Brook is one of 51 photos chosen for the Art League of Long Island’s latest exhibit. Photo courtesy of Art League of LI

By Melissa Arnold

 You’ve probably heard the old adage that laughter is the best medicine. As it turns out, it’s more than just pithy wisdom. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter stimulates the heart and muscles, releases feel-good endorphins, reduces tension and can even lower blood pressure. 

Inspired by the belief that we could all use a good laugh, the Art League of Long Island invited amateur and professional photographers from the tristate area to submit photographic images “capturing smile provoking images of humor, laughter, and all things silly with their camera lens” for its 7th annual juried photography exhibit, Laughing Out Loud, which opens June 29. 

‘French Art is Not PG’ by Gemma Saylor

“We all need a break from the seriousness of life and to share a little joy with one another,” said Susan Peragallo, gallery coordinator and curator for the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery in Dix Hills. “Everybody on the exhibition committee latched onto the idea and they really loved it. We were so pleased with the submissions and were literally laughing out loud.”

More than 200 photos were submitted for juror Alex Ferrone, owner of the Alex Ferrone Gallery in Cutchogue, to review. She ultimately narrowed the field to 51 of her favorites. 

“I was looking for an immediate response that made me laugh or chuckle because of what was happening in each scene. Along with that, I considered the structure of the image and the technical execution including composition, use of color, balance, and mood,” Ferrone explained. 

“Jurying is never easy, and it was an honor to be asked to work with the Art League on this fun exhibition. I believe this exhibit will make people feel good inside, and maybe just keep that feeling to pass along to the next person they meet,” she added.

Gemma Saylor of Centerport quickly had the perfect photo in mind when she heard about this year’s theme. Her submission, titled “French Art Is Not PG,” features her young daughter bashfully covering her eyes in front of a revealing painting at a French museum.

‘The ULTIMATE Movie Experience’ by Alissa Rosenberg

“Reading the news every day is just depressing, and I loved the idea of getting people to laugh no matter how bad things are,” said Saylor, who works as a dietitian while also running her photography business, Leela Bleu Photography. “It’s good to have a laugh and appreciate that small things in life can make us smile.”

Alissa Rosenberg of Commack chose her photo “The Ultimate Movie Experience” for the exhibit, which depicts her husband posing before a billboard of moviegoers as if he were one of them. The photo is part of Rosenberg’s ongoing Manhattan billboard project, where her subjects alter or enhance the meaning of the billboards with their poses.

“I’m very excited to be a part of this exhibit because I love the community that the Art League provides, and the gallery is beautiful. I also really respect Alex Ferrone’s work,” said Rosenberg, a speech pathologist and owner of Alissa Beth Photography. “Everybody wants to find things that make them smile and feel good, and it’s nice to create art that evokes those feelings.”

Laughing Out Loud will be on view from June 29 through Aug. 4 at the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, 107 East Deer Park Road, Dix Hills. Winners of the juried exhibit will be announced at an artist reception on Sunday, June 30 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. followed by a Gallery Talk led by Alex Ferrone on Thursday, July 11 at 7 p.m.  

The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for major holidays. Admission is free. For further information, visit www.artleagueli.net or call 631-462-5400.

Update:

Six Long Island Photographers Win Awards at “Laughing Out Loud” Juried Photography Exhibition

Local photographers came together at the June 30 reception honoring the photographers selected for “Laughing Out Loud”, the Art League of Long Island’s 7th annual juried photography exhibition.  The photographers were challenged to submit photographic works that captured the essence of humor. Of those who were selected to participate, exhibition juror Alex Ferrone singled out six photographers for the following awards:

Awards of Excellence: Anna Fredericks, Spin Me Again, Digital image capture; Edward Hansen, Woman at Mermaid Parade, Digital image capture; Eric Smalkin, Fun in the Mud, Digital image capture

Honorable Mentions:  John Michaels, Who Does Your Hair?, Digital image capture; Denis A. Ostrovsky, Brighton Beach, Digital image capture; Alissa Rosenberg, The ULTIMATE Movie Experience Billboards Around the City series, Digital image capture on archival Hahemühle Torchon paper.

For the full list of exhibiting photographers visit www.artleagueli.org.

Stan Brodsky in his studio. Photo by Peter Scheer

By Melissa Arnold

For Stan Brodsky, painting was so much more than just a skill or even a career. It was a language, a love affair, a truly sensual experience. The artist shared those feelings openly with students over the course of a renowned teaching career that spanned more than 50 years. 

Several months ago, the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills began to prepare Stan Brodsky and Friends, a springtime exhibit celebrating Brodsky’s work along with nearly 30 of his dearest friends, many of whom were former students and mentees.

‘Woman in a Car,’ oil/acrylic on canvas by Doug Reina

On March 30, just two weeks before the exhibit’s scheduled opening, Stan Brodsky passed away at the age of 94. He had continued to work and teach until the final weeks of his life, just as he wanted it. Brodsky’s students noted that the World War II veteran tried to retire a few years ago, but he couldn’t stand being away from doing what he loved. 

The Art League is moving forward with the show as planned, with the exhibit running from April 13 to 28. A reception on April 14 at 3:30 p.m. will allow the artists and those who loved Brodsky to honor his life and legacy.

Participating artists include Ennid Berger, Susan Bird, Susan Canin, Denise DiGiovanna, Simon Fenster, Stuart Friedman, Peter Galasso, Lenore Ann Hanson, Ginger Balizer-Hendler, Caroline Isacsson, Vincent Joseph, Deborah Katz, Marceil Kazickas, Denise Kramer, Barbara Miller, Catherine Morris, Pamela Long Nolan, Dianne Parker, Alicia R. Peterson, Doug Reina, Fran Roberts, Susan M. Rostan, Ellen Hallie Schiff, Laura Powers-Swiggett, Janice Sztabnik, Lois Walker and Hiroko Yoshida.

Stan has touched so many lives, inspiring them to pursue their passions,” said Susan Peragallo, coordinator and curator of the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery. “The exhibit will be a chance for everyone to celebrate him — the 27 artists in the show are only a small segment of those who were influenced by him over the years.”

A master abstract expressionist, Brodsky studied photojournalism and fine art before receiving a doctorate in art education from Columbia University in 1959. Originally from Greenwich Village, he moved to Huntington in 1965. Most of his teaching years were spent at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus in Brookville, and a collection of his notes and sketches from 1951 to 2004 can be found at the Smithsonian Institution.

‘Superficial Information,’ oil on canvas by Marceil Kazickas

Brodsky’s relationship with the Art League began in the late ’90s when he became an instructor. The classes were small in the beginning, with just five students enrolled in 1994, but grew rapidly, and eventually people had to be turned away from lack of space. “It’s not so much that he was popular, but he was inspiring and generous in his critiques, and people really responded to that,” Peragallo said.

Peter Galasso of Setauket remembers that Brodsky could often be found in the same way over the years as students arrived for class — sitting at his desk, usually eating an egg sandwich, always poring over an art history text.

“He had a contagious passion, and was constantly reading and continuing to study,” said Galasso, who began studies under Brodsky 20 years ago, eventually becoming a friend and traveling companion. “He was always looking to travel somewhere new or different. He wanted to be inspired by the local color of a place.”

Susan Rostan of Woodbury remembers entering Brodsky’s classroom for the first time while pursuing a master’s in fine art. Brodsky arranged the students in a circle and asked each one to introduce themselves. When it was her turn, Rostan simply told him, “I’ve heard I’m either going to love you or hate you, but I’m cautiously optimistic.”

‘She Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve …,’ mixed media by Susan Canin

Many years later, Rostan was sitting in a different class of Brodsky’s, this one at the Art League. But she was stunned by the striking realization that nothing had changed: He still wore the same striped sweaters and paint-splattered jeans. She painted a full-length portrait of him that day that will appear in the exhibit.

“He taught us as much about ourselves as he did about painting,” said Rostan, who is now working on a biography of Brodsky. “He was an unusual teacher in that he approached his students as equals and opened himself up to be vulnerable and form friendships with them, which allowed him to encourage them particularly well.”

Brodsky’s friendship and deep encouragement were beloved by so many of his students, said Doug Reina of Setauket. In fact, some of them continued to take his classes for decades just to spend more time with him.

“Stan had this ability to make you feel special. He was genuinely curious about you, and that means a lot,” Reina said. “In the old days before taking his classes, I would look at a scene and just try to copy it. But through him I learned to paint in a way that also expresses how I feel about the subject and the sensuousness of the paint itself. Stan painted with his own language and created something truly unique for the world.”

Stan Brodsky and Friends will be on view at the Art League of Long Island’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, 107 E. Deer Park Road, Dix Hills. Admission is free. For more information, call 631-462-5400 or visit www.artleagueli.net

“Ironing Out the Details” by Nicholas Alberti

The Art League of Long Island recently announced the winners of its 59th Long Island Artists Exhibition. Sixty artists were picked from among the 228 artists who submitted 721 works of art to be considered for selection in this highly competitive juried exhibition. Of those, eight winners were chosen.

The selections were chosen by exhibition juror Tim Newton who is the founder and curator of American Masters, an annual exhibition and sale at the famed Salmagundi Club in New York City.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE:
‘Jazz is Jazz’ by Alisa Shea of Northport

Awards of Excellence were given to Nicholas Alberti of Wantagh for  his acrylic painting titled “Ironing Out the Details”; Daniel van Benthuysen of Huntington for his oil painting, “The House Down the Street”; Island Park’s Paul Mele for his photograph “Home Sweet Home”; and Alisa Shea of Northport for her watercolor, “Jazz is Jazz.” 

 Honorable Mentions were awarded to Cold Spring Harbor’s Jeffrey Hollman for “Jacob Wrestles the Angel,” wood sculpture; Dix Hill’s Joseph Peragallo for  “The Apprentice Baker, After Vermeer,” photograph; Coram’s Mac Titmus for “To Dream a New Dream,” photograph; and Uniondale’s Marcel Toussaint, “Haitian Slave Revolt Ceremony,” oil painting.

 The Art League is located at 107 East Deer Park Road, in Dix Hills. The 59th Long Island Artists Exhibtion will be on view at The Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery through Feb. 10. Hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.,  Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.   For more information visit www.artleagueli.org or call 631-462-5400.

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Front row, Gerson and Judith Leiber; back row, Art League of LI Executive Director Charlee Miller and Art League Board Chair Debbie Wells. Photo by Joseph Peragallo

Long Island’s iconic Judith and Gerson Leiber were honored for their contribution as art and fashion pioneers, spanning a career of more than 70 years, at a special reception at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills on Oct. 15. The event, which featured a talk by Ann Fristoe Stewart, collections manager of the Leiber Museum, coincided with the Art League’s September/October exhibit, Passion for Fashion: Of Purses & Paintings — The Gerson and Judith Leiber Collection.

Judith Leiber is known throughout the world for her innovative handbags and minaudières. Mamie Eisenhower was the first in a long line of First Ladies to carry a Judith Leiber purse, among many other celebrities and non-celebrities who are fans of her designs. Gerson Leiber, when not running the business end of the eponymous company with his wife, created modernist-style paintings, sketches and lithographs that have been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian, among other high-profile museums and galleries. The Leibers have housed a collection of their work in their own museum built on their property in East Hampton.

At the reception, Stewart gave a thoroughly engaging talk on the story behind the couple, going back to Judith Leiber’s origins as a Jewish girl in Budapest surviving the Holocaust, meeting the young American soldier who would become her husband, leaving Europe and setting down roots in New York, recounting the hard work and dedication that led to their success in the world of art and fashion.

The Art League of Long Island thanks Bridgehampton National Bank, Harlan & Olivia Fisher and Artful Circle for sponsorship. Special thanks to the Long Island Museum for sharing their research, graphic materials, and generous assistance which formed the basis of this exhibition. Champagne for the reception generously donated by Wine Doc of Elwood.

The Art League of Long Island is located at 107 East Deer Park Road in Dix Hills. The gallery is open to the public, free of charge, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.artleagueli.org or call 631-462-5400.

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'Blue in Green' by Peter Galasso

By Ellen Barcel

“You rarely see a show of all abstract art,” said artist Peter Galasso, of the Art League of Long Island’s new show, Long Island Abstraction: 2 Generations, on view at the league’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery now through April 15.

‘Accents Red’ by Frank Wimberley

Four artists, Stan Brodsky, Laura Powers-Swiggett, Frank Wimberley and Galasso have filled the gallery with approximately 50 of their abstract works. What else unites these four artists? They are all award-winning artists with strong ties to Long Island. Two, Galasso and Powers-Swiggett were influenced by their mentor, Brodsky. The fourth, Wimberley was added to the exhibit by Galasso.

“I’ve been showing for 25 years. I met Frank [Wimberley] about 10 years ago at a gallery show. I admired his work,” said Galassao in a recent interview. The two became friends and Galasso suggested his work for an exhibit held at the Art League about two years ago. When the concept for the current exhibit was broached, “I told him of my idea of two generations of abstract artists from Long Island …” The idea was very specific. “He could see how this would work.”

Where did the two generations come from? Both Brodsky and Wimberley are in their 90s, the senior members of the foursome. Powers-Swiggett and Galasso, the younger members, were both students of Brodsky. Brodsky was not only a mentor to these two, but many, many others as professor of art at C.W. Post College for over 30 years. In his artist’s statement, Brodsky noted, “I’ve been an exhibiting artist in New York City for more than 50 years — and my passion for painting is a strong now as ever.”

‘Descending Light 2’ by Stan Brodsky

Galasso described Wimberley’s work saying, “I admire his work — movement and color. He uses a lot of acrylic medium, a very thick mixture. It moves spontaneously across the canvas.”

Susan Peragallo, gallery coordinator, said that abstract art is nonrepresentational and “about expressing an idea or emotion using color, line and form.” But what inspires each of these four artists? In his artist’s statement Brodsky noted, “I have traveled extensively absorbing the colors and textures of new landscapes,” and Powers-Swiggett’s paintings are landscape-based abstractions exploring spatial and color relationships. Galasso’s works have been described as “an exploration of feeling, memory and a unique vision …”

Abstract art can be very freeing for both the artist and the viewer. The realist must represent the scene accurately, but the abstract artist uses a scene as inspiration. Said Wimberley in his artist statement, “The abstract painter can commence his drawing or canvas generally with only a preconceived notion, reflection or emotion … he has far less guarantees than perhaps the realist painter or photographer that the finished expression with extended from calculated reason or logic. This for me provides the excitement of taking the theme or feeling from the very first stroke, and following it to its own particular conclusion. It is very much like creating the controlled accident.”

‘Wawapek’ by Laura Powers-Swiggett

While each of the four artists decided which of their works were to be shown, it was Peragallo who decided which paintings would be hung together, making them, “flow together. That was my job. It was sort of like putting a puzzle together. You want the works to speak to each other but one shouldn’t overpower the other. They should gradually draw the viewer into the show.” “It’s a wonderful show, really beautiful,” said Peragallo. “People who don’t normally like abstract art come in and say ‘Wow.’ It’s a happy show, so colorful and uplifting,” she added.

Long Island Abstraction: 2 Generations will be on view at The Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery of the Art League of Long Island, 107 East Deer Park Road, Dix Hills through April 15. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For further information, call 631-462-5400 or go to www.artleagueli.org.

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‘Icarus’ by Pat Ralph

Featuring rarely seen works, including large figure paintings, monotypes and pastels, Pat Ralph: Under the Radar opens with a reception in the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery of the Art League of Long Island on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m., and continues through Nov. 1. A gallery tour, led by the artist, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Trained at the Art Students League in New York, Pat Ralph has lived on Long Island most of her life. She is a realist painter with a diverse body of work that includes landscapes, portraits, self-portraits and still life paintings. While Long Islanders know her mostly by her landscape paintings, this exhibit reveals a history of figurative work shown mainly in New York City and university galleries around the country.

Ralph has had solo exhibits at the Fine Arts Gallery at Southampton College, the Fine Arts Gallery of Suffolk Community College in Selden, Gallery East in East Hampton, Gallery North in Setauket, the Heckscher Museum at the Bryant Library in Roslyn and Noho Gallery in New York City. She also was given a solo exhibit as part of the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series, at Douglass College, New Brunswick, N.J., and another at Douglass, as it celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Ralph’s works have been included in group exhibitions at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, Silvermine Guild in New Canaan, the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, the Fine Arts Gallery at Southampton College, the Mason Gross Center for the Arts at Rutgers University, the Parrish Art Museum, the University of Delaware, San Jose State University in California and Pace University Gallery, Marymount Manhattan College and the National Academy of Design, all in New York City.

In 1985 Ralph had two paintings, both of which will appear in Under the Radar, in an exhibition titled RAPE, originating at the Hoyt Sherman Gallery of Ohio State University and traveling for three years to nine university galleries, plus the Philadelphia Arts Alliance. Most recently, her painting “Heading West” was featured in 75 @ 75: Treasures from the Collection at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook to commemorate its 75th anniversary.

Of Ralph’s paintings, Beryl Smith, in her Women Artists Series catalog essay, wrote, “The timelessness and crystalline quality of her landscapes reflect her interest in light and atmosphere.” Malcolm Preston, in Newsday, remarked, “Her work is in the new realist mode — cool, objective, sharply realized. There is about them a directness and forthrightness uncluttered by sentiment.” Of her work Pat Ralph has said, “In my paintings I seek a stunning image, expressed with clarity and augmented with hints of mystery or wit. My landscapes reflect an interest in light and atmosphere. I am particularly intrigued by the singular light of early morning or late afternoon or evening — the hours in which natural effects are most fleeting, which makes the attempt to capture the moment fraught with paradox.”

The Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery is open free of charge Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Art League is located at 107 East Deer Park Road in Dix Hills. For more information call 631-462-5400 or visit www.artleagueli.org.

Ward Hooper and Holly Gordon display similar pieces of art — from left, a painting and a photograph — both titled ‘The Boys of Summer.’ Photo by Talia Amorosano

By Talia Amorosano

When photographer Holly Gordon was asked to describe her relationship with painter Ward Hooper, she relayed a Hopi Native American tale about a paralyzed clown and a blind mudhead who are only able to flee their village when disaster strikes by individually compensating for what the other lacks: the mudhead provides mobility by carrying the clown on his back and the clown provides direction by acting as a set of eyes for the mudhead. “[Ward] was opening up my eyes, and I was using my camera to bring him the visions,” said Gordon. “There’s really such a synergy between us.”

For Hooper and Gordon, who met on Facebook through a mutual friend and typically get together once a week, the term “synergy” applies to both life and art, realms which, according to Gordon, are often indistinguishable from one another. Hooper plays the role of navigator for Gordon, who drives them both to diverse locations along the north shore of Long Island, including Huntington, Northport, Centerport, Kings Park and Cold Spring Harbor, some of which Hooper “hasn’t been to in 20 years.” The result is individual reinterpretations of the same settings made more complete by access to each others pre-existing work.

Sometimes Hooper’s paintings provide the initial inspiration, and other times Gordon’s photographs play this role. “That’s the beauty of our collaboration,” said Hooper. “Holly would show me something and challenge me to create something compatible with what she selected.”

“[When using Ward’s painting as the initial artistic reference] I knew that I was going to have to stretch my vision and stretch my technical skills to make my work even more fluid than it was previously,” said Gordon. “Art is usually a solitary thing, and among some artists you find a certain competition, but Ward and I have just been so supportive in sharing and helping each other grow and evolve and develop and create. It’s been an absolutely magical experience.”

52 of the artistic results of this experience — pairing the new photographic art of Gordon with the watercolor paintings of Hooper — will be on display at the Art League of Long Island’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, from Aug. 8 to 23, in an exhibit appropriately titled The Brush/Lens Project.

“We’re hoping that viewers will be inspired,” said Gordon, “that they will come to see and appreciate the beauty that is right here on Long Island [by viewing art that was largely created in and inspired by Long Island].”

The exhibit will highlight versatile pieces of art, arranged in 26 sets, which encompass all four seasons and a variety of subjects. “We overestimated the number of pieces [that we would be able to include in the exhibit],” said Hooper. “Between the two of us, we have nearly 100 years of art,” continued Gordon, “there’s a book here.”

Both Hooper and Gordon are grateful that they have been afforded the opportunity to work with one another and plan to continue to do so in the future: “When you put yourself out there and you’re not afraid to share and interact, there’s so much beneath the surface to discover,” said Gordon, on her rewarding decision to reach out to Hooper. “Art brought [Holly and me] together,” Hooper emphasized. “We think, on many levels, the same way.”

With Gordon in the driver’s seat and Hooper as navigator, there’s no telling where their artistic visions will lead them next. “There’s no end to this journey. There’s no road map,” said Hooper. “We’ll just see where it takes us.”

The Art League of Long Island is located at 107 E. Deer Park Road, Dix Hills. Hours are Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The community is invited to an art reception on Aug. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. The artists will take part in a Gallery Talk on Aug. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 631-462-5400 or visit www.artleagueli.net.