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Beth Giacummo

By Heidi Sutton

First-place winner – ‘The McDivits’ by Cliff Miller ‘‘Amazing skill and humor make this piece our 1st place winner; technically gorgeous, with surprise subject matter; the expressions on both gator and golfer show these two thinking as one.’

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook unveiled its annual juried art competition last Friday to rave reviews.

Designed to complement one of the museum’s current exhibits, Walt Whitman’s Arcadia: Long Island Through the Eyes of a Poet & Painters, this year’s theme encouraged amateur and professional artists to take inspiration from the written word — whether it be a poem, a quote, a song or a passage in a book, and turn it into something visual. The resulting exhibit is a wonder to behold.

Titled I Sing the Body Electric after a poem by Walt Whitman from his 1855 collection, “Leaves of Grass,” the show features 78 exquisite pieces of art in a variety of mediums including watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic, sculpture, mixed media and photography, all beautifully displayed in the museum’s Visitors Center.

 

The exhibit was judged by Ripe Art Gallery President Cherie Rexer; Jessica Valentin, artist and owner of Muñecca Arthouse; and artist Beth Giacummo. The winners were announced at an opening reception.

Second-place winner –
‘Orion’s Sapphire’ by Marsha Solomon
‘Color and composition rightfully inspired by the cosmos; the swirls and droplets are a fitting homage to the beauty of space. Striking! Exciting in its simplicity.’

“I’ve been [at this museum] six years and this is the best juried art show I’ve seen here and I’m so proud to be a part of it,” gushed Neil Watson, executive director at the LIM.

“From the start we all felt this [exhibit] was going to be something really spectacular,” added Lisa Unander, director of education at the LIM, before sharing the judges’ comments and presenting the awards.

Cliff Miller of Seaford captured first place with his oil on gesso panel piece titled “The McDivits,” which was inspired by Anthony Robbins’ quote, “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” Second place was awarded to Marsha Solomon of Baldwin for her acrylic on canvas piece titled “Orion’s Sapphire.” Melissa Imossi of Madison, Connecticut, won third place for “Shadowlands,” an oil painting on aluminum, which was inspired by the film of the same name about the relationship between C.S. Lewis and poet Joy Davidman. (See the judges’ comments under each image.)

In addition, each juror individually selected a piece for honorable mention. Giacummo’s choice was “Passerine,” a diorama by Ellen Wiener of Southold. “The main element perched like a passerine reminds the viewer that our relationship with art can strengthen our stance,” she explained. Rexer chose Helena Weber of Bay Shore’s “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” created in soft pastels. “I love it because it feels like it could belong in the Long Island Museum’s collection,” she said.

Third-place winner – ‘Shadowlands’
by Melissa Imossi
‘Epitome of Long Island light — a palette of delightful color. Stunning light captured; amazing technique and feels very local to Stony Brook; the blur and light in this landscape won me over.’

Valentin selected James Keller of St. James’ delicate abstract photograph “Sinuous,” which was inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s quote, “Moonlight is sculpture …” 

“This work … spoke to me so strongly. The mood and light are stunning. I’m in love,” she said.

While the artists were inspired by the written word, visitors to this exhibit are sure to be inspired by their achievements. Don’t miss this wonderful show.

WHEN TO GO: The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook will present I Sing the Body Electric through July 7. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 adults, $7 seniors and $5 students ages 6 to 17. Children under 6 and members are admitted for free. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Art reception photos by Julie Diamond/Long Island Museum

'Man of La Boca' by Virginia Khuri

The Huntington Arts Council, celebrating its 55th year, recently unveiled its latest exhibit at its Main Street Gallery. Titled 12 × 12, the juried show features artwork inspired by the LP Record Jacket and will be on display until May 26. The winners, selected by juror Beth Giacummo, were announced at an opening reception on May 4. 

‘Bound,’ Honorable Mention by Shreya Krishnan

“It was a pleasure to juror the Huntington Arts Council 12×12 open call,” said Giacummo in a recent press release. An artist, curator and educator, Giacummo currently serves as the gallery director for Farmingdale State College and is the executive director of the Patchogue Arts Council. “I’d like to thank all the artists who took the time to submit work for consideration, there was a fantastic response and it made the final decisions difficult. I’d also like to thank the HAC for the invitation to be a guest juror. I enjoyed seeing so much new work,” she added. 

The idea of the 12-inch LP has been a concurrent image in popular culture since the first one was pressed in 1903. The images on the cover grew from signage and marketing to works of art that represented the music and the culture in which both were and currently are being created. The album cover quickly emerged as a way to feature the work of talented artists. Its iconic format still maintains the visual representation for the auditory message enclosed within. 

‘The Rain King,’ Honorable Mention by Patty Eljaiek

Thirty-six artists were accepted as finalists including Detlef Aderhold, Patrick Aievoli, Beth Atkinson, Quinn Blackburn, Winifred Boyd, Mary Brodersen, Terry Canavan, Wendy Curtis, Dawn Daisley, Grainne de Buitlear, Doris Diamond, James Dima, Patty Eljaiek, Terry Finch, Nicole Franz, William Grabowski, Jan Guarino, Rodee Hansen, Dan Hittleman, Melissa Johnides, Amy Kasindorf, Kate Kelly, Virginia Khuri, Karen Lynne Kirshner, Myungja Koh, Shreya Krishnan, Anny Lamsifer, Jacques LeBlanc, Ellen Liebenthal, John Micheals, Kasmira Mohanty, Michael Ricigliano, Toxic/Nature Studios By Scott Schneider, Roya Shamsdiba, Meredith Smith and Stephen Wyler.

Best in Show was awarded to Virginia Khuri for “Man of La Boca,” with honorable mentions handed to Shreya Krishnan for  “Bound,” Patrick Aievoli for “Patsy and the Kisco Kids v1” and Patty Eljaiek for “The Rain King.” Congratulations!

‘Patsy and the Kisco Kids v1,’ Honorable Mention by Patrick Aievoli

“We are excited to feature this small works show inspired by artistic impact of the record jacket,” said Marc Courtade, executive director of the HAC. “This concept crosses so many generations of artists, particularly now with the resurgence in the popularity of the LP. Its just one example of how we are working to provide a broader range of creative options for artist to show their work. Please stop by the gallery to see this show.” 

The Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery is located at 213 Main St., Huntington. The gallery is open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 631-271-8423 or visit www.huntingtonarts.org.

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