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Caroline Church is hosting an exhibit exploring the early history of the church, the Three Village area and the country, Oct. 7 through 9. Photo from Beverly C. Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

A new exhibit, “The 1800s, Growth and Change: The Church, The Community, The Country,” will be open to the public  Oct. 7 through  9 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the history center of  Caroline  Church of Brookhaven, located at 1 Dyke Road, Setauket.

The exhibit details how Caroline Church recovered and prospered following the decades after the Revolutionary War. It also features the 1887 Caroline Church carriage shed which is one of the structures listed along with the church on the National Register of Historic Places in America and is currently being restored to its original state.

Caroline Church at the turn of the 20th century. Photo from Beverly C. Tyler

The exhibit section on the community illustrates, on various panels, how the Three Village area moved from an agricultural base to an industrial community with shipbuilding, a piano factory, a rubber factory and other industries. Featured photographs in the exhibit include two 4-foot long overlapping images of the Setauket area photographed on site in 1878 by George Bradford Brainerd (1845-1887). The photos, taken when there were few trees to hide the view, show the entire area from the Setauket Mill Pond to Route 25A. A series of questions then asks the viewer to identify various structures. Barbara Russell, Brookhaven Town historian and a member of the Caroline Church Historical Commission said, “We thought it would be more interesting to give a background on the photos, and then let the viewer find things, rather than point everything out.”

The section on the country features women’s work in both home and community, some of the local effects of the Civil War, the expansion of the public school system and other events that defined community life in the 19th century.

The exhibit opening is scheduled as part of  New York State’s Path Through History weekends, when many events are scheduled to celebrate the state’s rich heritage. In addition to the exhibit at the  1729 Caroline Church, the Three Village Historical Society walking tour “Abraham Woodhull: Farmer and Revolutionary War Spy” will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, starting at 2 p.m. from the Caroline Church front parking lot. The tour will include locations where the Revolutionary War Culper Spy Ring operated.

Beverly Tyler is Three Village Historical Society historian and author of books available from the society at 93 North Country Road, Setauket. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.tvhs.org.

‘Gone Fishin,’ 1994, oil on canvas, by Gary Erbe, on loan from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cusenza

Trompe l’oeil /trômp ‘loi/ — noun — visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object. Fr., deceiving the eye.

By Ed Blair

Artists have attempted to beguile the eyes of viewers with clever techniques for centuries. While the actual phrase originated in the Baroque period, when it referred to perspectival illusionism, trompe l’oeil dates much further back. It was, and still is, often employed in murals. It was used in Greek and Roman times, as famously illustrated in the ruins of Pompeii. There was widespread fascination with this type of perspective drawing during the Renaissance, and it enjoyed a renaissance of its own in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Visitors to the Heckscher Museum of Art  in Huntington will have the opportunity to enjoy this artistic style in an exhibition opening Saturday, May 21, where the work of Gary Erbe will be on display. Combining trompe l’oeil realism with modernist tendencies, Erbe has created captivating illusions that are entrancingly intricate and hypnotically absorbing. Titled Master of Illusion: The Magical Art of Gary Erbe, the exhibit spotlights the engaging oil paintings of the artist who coined the term “levitational realism” to describe his work.

‘Those Amazin’ Mets,’ 2006, oil on canvas, by Gary Erbe, on loan from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cusenza
‘Those Amazin’ Mets,’ 2006, oil on canvas, by Gary Erbe, on loan from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cusenza

A native of Union City, New Jersey, Erbe has been painting professionally for over 40 years. Originally working as an engraver, he made the decision while in his mid-twenties to pursue painting full time. The museum’s exhibition traces the career of the self-taught artist from his early trompe l’oeil works to his more recent paintings that focus on juxtaposed objects and the dynamics of composition, form and structure.

Erbe explained levitational realism as an illusionistic depiction of objects where they seem to hover in space. “I studied the nineteenth century trompe l’oeil works of artists like [William] Harnett and [John F.] Peto,” he said, “but I wanted to be original. I wanted to create an atmosphere surrounding subject matter where it seemed to be floating in space, but at one point I realized that trompe l’oeil had its limitations. I wanted to add new elements of abstraction. I wanted the work to be about ideas, about something I envisioned that was familiar but did not exist in reality.”

Erbe’s subjects are inspired by popular culture and range from nostalgic images of childhood pursuits and national pastimes to American jazz and the golden age of 1950s radio, television and film, to American history, nationalism and contemporary social issues. “The rules of trompe l’oeil do not allow for human figures,” he said. “You can’t fool the eye if a person is in the work. So I occasionally will use silhouettes to give the feeling of a human presence.”

‘The Big Splash,’ 2001, oil on canvas, by Gary Erbe, on loan from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cusenza
‘The Big Splash,’ 2001, oil on canvas, by Gary Erbe, on loan from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Cusenza

Lisa Chalif, the Heckscher Museum’s curator, noted that “Mr. Erbe’s impeccable skill imbues familiar objects with a heightened realism that evokes the pristine, otherworldly clarity of surrealism. Painted from carefully crafted constructions of objects belonging to our shared American experience, Erbe’s work is at once aesthetically complex and profoundly engaging to all.” She added, “I have come to admire the artist’s gracious and generous spirit as much as his remarkable work. The museum is sincerely grateful to the private and institutional collectors who have entrusted us with their paintings, sculptures and constructions. Mr. Erbe’s collectors are passionate about his art, and we are honored to share their works with a larger audience.”

Via extensive solo exhibitions, Erbe’s work has been presented throughout the United States, and he has garnered numerous honors and awards. He has exhibited internationally and participated in a group show, American Art on the Brink of the 21st Century, organized by Meridian International in Washington, D.C., that traveled for two years in the Far East. Erbe’s works hang in a number of museums across the country and can be found in many public and private collections throughout the world. He currently maintains a studio in Nutley, New Jersey.

The Heckscher Museum of Art, located at 2 Prime Ave. in Huntington, will present Master of Illusion: The Magical Art of Gary Erbe through Aug. 28. Meet the artist on Sunday, May 22, from 3 to 4 p.m. as he leads a gallery tour exploring his artwork and creative process. Registration is recommended.

For further information, call 631-351-3250, or visit the museum website at  www.heckscher.org.

‘The 50’s,’ 1991, oil on canvas, by Gary Erbe, from the collection of Ira W. Kent
‘The 50’s,’ 1991, oil on canvas, by Gary Erbe, from the collection of Ira W. Kent

‘Ziggy Flame Crest,’ oil on board, by Laura Westlake

By Ellen Barcel

Gallery North in Setauket will open Still Life on May 13, an exhibit by nearly two dozen artists both local and farther afield, many from New York City. While some feel that still lifes are static, they’re really not. There’s always the question, “What’s going to happen next?” said Judith Levy, executive director of Gallery North, with “the implied action to follow.”

‘Sunflowers’ by Robert Jessel
‘Sunflowers’ by Robert Jessel

Artist Bruce Lieberman, a member of the Artists Advisory Council of the gallery, said the idea for the show came about when he met Lennart Anderson, an old mentor and friend at an opening.

“He is a great painter and I thought it would be wonderful to show him and the circle of artists, ex-students and friends, those associated with him,” said Lieberman. “Sadly, Lennart passed away and his work became unavailable to us, but the idea remained, morphed and drifted away from Lennart as the driving force. But not really. He still lingers and lingered in the back of my mind throughout the process.”

Added Lieberman, “The director’s vision is to return to the idea of exhibiting the best, most interesting work she can … Judith had a major role in curating the show but the painters I picked are artists I know or whose work I have known and/or been impressed by.”

Some of Lieberman’s works will be shown, including “Blue Eggs and Ham,” “Green Pineapple Shell and Blueberry” and “Cat on an Ocean Table.” He said, “My work is … based on perception but in no way is meant as a mere depiction of reality … I’m interested in how paint lays down and how paintings are constructed — the abstraction inside the work. They usually begin with or contain some symbolism, a story, an idea. Embedded into the still life, this personal symbolism, or narrative falls away as I work.”

'Blue Eggs and Ham’ by Bruce Lieberman
‘Blue Eggs and Ham’ by Bruce Lieberman

Pieces in the show range in size from tiny to quite large. Liz Kolligs of Old Field, known especially for her paintings of horses, has some tiny still lifes just “six to seven inches. They’re of desserts — you want to eat every one of them,” said Levy.

Looking at contemporary artist Robert Franca’s “Bananas,” one a half-eaten banana and a skin, the other a whole piece of fruit, asks the question: ‘Who’s going to eat the second one?’

But there are interesting backstories as well. Franca, who also has two other paintings in the show, “Cantaloupe” and “Apples,” said, “I began the series of fruits/vegetables/food simply enough around 10 years ago. Looking down at the breakfast table one morning, I was suddenly struck by the way the half eaten banana was left on the plate, and the quality of the light, and the fact that I couldn’t have ‘arranged’ it better. When I brought it up to the studio to paint, it looked even better.”

Franca noted the challenge of time imposed by a “perishable subject emphasized the need for economy and expediency in my approach.” He added that at the time of year he was painting, the days were long. “I found I could start painting by 8 a.m. and finish a painting by 5 or 6 p.m. ‘Perception’ is my touchstone. The visual pleasure, the experience of seeing beauty and why it is often fleeting is a mystery worth exploring to me.”

Local artist Eleanor Meier will have two of her watercolors in the show, “Dutch Plate and Tulips” and “Hydrangeas from the Garden.” They have an interesting backstory as well. “The two watercolors that Judith selected,” Meier said, “are of a blue glass water pitcher — a gift from my grandson. They are both about reflections and family memories, because of the objects included.”

‘Bananas’ by Robert Franca
‘Bananas’ by Robert Franca

Meier noted, “they are painted from life, using layers of glazes to deepen the color and yet to emphasize the transparency of the paint. My style revolves around doing the underlying drawing (my passion) carefully and accurately. Then the painting is sheer fun.”

Abstract expressionist Robert De Niro Sr. (1922-1993) will be represented in the show as well. The father of actor Robert De Niro, he married artist Virginia Admiral and moved to a loft in New York’s Greenwich Village, a mecca for artists and writers of the time. In addition to solo exhibits, De Niro’s work is in a number of museums and private collections.

Other artists in the exhibit include Amy Weiskopf, Angela Stratton, Christian White, Don Perlis, Fred Badalamenti, Jacqueline Lima, Joseph Podlesnik, Laura Westlake, Lois Dodd, Mel Pekarsky, Nancy Bueti Randall, Oscar Santiago, Paul Resiki, Randall Rosenthal, Robert Jessel, Robert Kogge, Stephen Brown and Susan Jane Walp.

“Local artists are happy to be in the exhibit … people from the city are happy to be showing in new areas. It’s an exchange. The whole idea is a group of artists from various places … new artists, new techniques,” said Levy, adding that in addition to paintings there will be work from a photographer as well as a three-dimensional sculptor. This is a sharing of “new ideas and new techniques.”

Still Life will run from May 13 through June 19. The opening reception, to which all are invited, will be held on Friday, May 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. An ArTalk will be held on Saturday, May 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. during which some of the artists will be on hand to discuss their work. Both events are free and open to the public, but donations are always welcome.

Gallery North is located at 90 North Country Road in Setauket. For further information, please call 631-751-2676 or go to www.gallerynorth.org.

This version adds the rescheduled date of the ArTalk at Gallery North.

‘Rescue Dory’ by Leo Revi is one of 18 paintings in the exhibit.

By Ellen Barcel

A new exhibit has opened at the Long Island Museum based on the idea that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The exhibit, The Brush Is My Pen: Art That Tells Stories, explores the themes of work, satire, drama and hope. Paintings, prints and photographs are represented.

The exhibit spans much of American history beginning with a number of paintings from Setauket’s own 19th century genre artist William Sydney Mount. “The exhibition is pulled primarily from the museum’s collection and helps to show the breadth of art the museum owns,” noted Julie Diamond, director of communications for the museum, adding “Each piece demonstrates how the artist sought to tell a story with a picture, just as a writer would with words.”

“We consider it to be a fine range of figurative and genre works from our collection over the past two centuries,” said Joshua Ruff, director of collections. “People often know our collection for its strengths in landscape painting, but this gives a window into some of our other holdings, with works from William Sidney Mount, Frank Myers Boggs, Winslow Homer, and contemporary artists such as Margery Caggiano, Leo Revi and Joseph Reboli.”

‘Fall Pool’ by Joseph Reboli will be on view at the LIM through July 30.
‘Fall Pool’ by Joseph Reboli will be on view at the LIM through July 30.

Chronologically, Mount’s paintings are the first. Five are on view including “School Boys Quarrel.” This painting also raises questions as well as tells a story. Why were the boys fighting? for example. Other Mount paintings include “California News, 1850,” the reaction to the news of gold being discovered, and “Loss and Gain, 1847.”

Edward Lamson Henry was born in South Carolina, moved to New York City and studied painting in Paris, returning to the U.S. during the American Civil War. His “Home Again,” painted in 1908, expresses longing for an America that was rapidly fading. Interestingly, this theme could easily express feelings in America after World War II or even now, with the rapid development of technology.

Twentieth century painter Joseph Reboli’s work is represented by “Fall Pool, 1998.” Reboli was born in Port Jefferson and worked much of his life in Stony Brook. A local artist, he is known for his interpretation of everyday scenes, much in the way that Mount did.

Margery Caggiano, who passed away this past December, noted in her artist’s statement that “I’ve sometimes regretted the lack of a formal art education … But, I like to think that I’ve been primarily influenced by paintings I’ve seen in galleries, museums and books rather than a teacher and other students.” Caggiano, with over 300 works in private and public collections, is represented in the LIM’s exhibit with “Michael as Don Manuel Osorio de Zuniga,” a 1978 work.

As technology has changed in the world overall, so has it changed in the art world, with photographs playing a larger and larger role in art. Photographer N. Jay Jaffee’s “Coney Island Polar Bears, 1951” is part of the current exhibit.

‘Bleaching Laundry,” c. 1875, oil on canvas, by William Moore Davis.
‘Bleaching Laundry,” c. 1875, oil on canvas, by William Moore Davis.

Other artists on display include, Mort Künstler, Robert Gwathmey, Craig Robins, Luigi Lucioni, Samuel Rothbort and William Moore Davis.

Noted Diamond, “The exhibition was chosen as a companion exhibit for the Mort Künstler show. In fact, there is a Künstler piece in the exhibit.” The Künstler show, which runs through May 30, features approximately 100 paintings and ephemera of the Oyster Bay artist.

Ruff noted, “We decided to put this exhibition together to pair with the Mort Künstler exhibition, which is largely an illustrative narrative art exhibition.  The thought was that an exhibit which looked at story-telling in art from our collection would provide the perfect complement to the larger exhibition.”

The Brush Is My Pen, was curated by Joshua Ruff and Lauren Cesiro (assistant director of education) and will be on display through July 30. Two special events related to the exhibit are scheduled.

On May 10 from 10 a.m. to noon the museum will hold its Senior Tuesday program. Seniors 62 and older are invited for a free, self-guided tour of The Brush Is My Pen. No reservations are required and groups are welcome. On May 15 from 2 to 3:30 pm, Cesiro will lead a guided tour of the exhibit. The program is free with regular museum admission.

In addition, mothers and grandmothers are invited to tour the museum for free on Mother’s Day, May 8. Other exhibits on display include, Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure and Hooked@the LIM.

The Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages is located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook.  The museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For further information, call 631-751-0066 or go to www.longislandmuseum.org.

‘The Three Graces’ by Lois Youmans will be on view at fotofoto gallery through May 28.

By Rita J. Egan

Spring is here and flowers are blooming all over the island. Yet, whether found in a garden or a vase, the beauty of a flower is fleeting, unless a photographer captures the image of a bloom. Then, not only can its beauty live eternally, but also every nuance can be seen, and the image may even inspire one to see the flower in a new way.

To celebrate the fine art of floral photography, fotofoto gallery in Huntington will present photographer Holly Gordon’s exhibit, FLORAbundance, through May 28. To complement her solo show, Floral Bouquet, with works from individual gallery artists, will be on display as well.

Gordon said that fotofoto gallery, which was founded almost 15 years ago by a group of Long Island-based photographers, is the oldest fine art photography collective gallery in the area that provides a space for professional contemporary photographers to display their work. Each month a group member has a chance to feature his or her art, and Gordon chose the month of May.

Lawrence Chatterton’s photograph, ‘Astilbe Chinensis’ will be on display at fotofoto’s latest exhibit.
Lawrence Chatterton’s photograph, ‘Astilbe Chinensis’ will be on display at fotofoto’s latest exhibit.

The photographer, who explained her work starts out as photographs but grows into something different in the digital “darkroom,” said May is the perfect time of year for her to display her floral images. Gordon said while a young mother she would plant vegetables and flowers and then take photos of her garden. “A lot of my evolution as an artist has evolved from the garden, and I thought May would be a perfect time to let my gallery space explode with the color and profusion of these wonderful blooms after a cold, gray season,” she said.

Gordon said she uses a 35mm Canon EOS 5D camera with a Tamron 28-300 zoom lens or a Sony RX1 with a fixed lens, and she varies her techniques when photographing subjects. She sometimes shoots with a shallow depth of field so the background blends in, and other times sets her camera out of focus so she can capture a more impressionistic view of what is in front of her. She said everything is manual because she feels, “it’s not the camera, it’s the person who is using the camera. I do not want a little box making decisions for me.”

At times, Gordon will take one shot in focus, and then, without moving or changing the focus or depth of field, she’ll keep taking photos. Once she has the photos on her computer, she uses Photoshop to layer them over each other and changes the opacity to make it look almost like cellophane to create an image that is recognizable yet at the same time represents her vision. Many times her photographs have been compared to a painting, which is no surprise since Gordon has a background in that art form, too.

“I’m always looking for creating my own vision, because you can set up a zillion cameras, and let the camera make all the decisions, and all you do is snap the picture, but I want to have a more personal response and reaction to what it is that I am looking at,” she said.

The photographer said she calls the paired exhibits at fotofoto The Focus Is Flowers, and the name of hers, FLORAbundance, is a play on the words floral and abundance. Gordon has 10 of her prints on display, and in Floral Bouquet 10 gallery artists are participating: Patricia Beary, Sandra Carrion, Lawrence Chatterton, Patricia Colombraro, Susan Dooley, Rosalie Frost, Andrea M. Gordon, Kristin Holcomb, Seth Kalmowitz and Lois Youmans.

Gordon said photographers will each have one piece on display in the group exhibit, and their signature styles inspired the title Floral Bouquet. “Because each artist in the gallery has his and her own unique vision, that’s why it has become a floral bouquet. That’s what’s so fascinating, and it’s absolutely wonderful, because it just shows so many different approaches to photographing flowers,” she said.

The photographer hopes that visitors to the gallery will look at flowers differently after viewing the exhibit and that serious photographers may even be inspired to share their work with art lovers at fotofoto gallery. “I hope that it expands the way they see. That they look at the world much more sensitively and as a natural work of art, and that it might inspire them to see differently when they use their camera . . . not just to rely on the technology of the camera to snap something, but to be a more active player in choosing what to take and to realize that being an artist is a rare and special gift,” she said.

‘Iris,’ a photographic print by Holly Gordon, will be on display at fotofoto’s latest exhibit.
‘Iris,’ a photographic print by Holly Gordon, will be on display at fotofoto’s latest exhibit.

Gordon said she once read something that Monet said to the effect of “look beyond the bloom.” “What I took that to mean, and maybe that’s something that I would like people to take away from seeing my work, what he was saying, ‘look beyond the bloom,’ see it for more than the fact that it’s a tulip, or a rhododendron, or a rose or a daisy,” she said. “See it as colors and shapes and patterns, and how those colors and shapes and patterns and textures play with all the other colors and patterns and textures around it. And, that’s how I view the world; I see it as art elements.”

The exhibit is the first of a number of events for Gordon in the next few months. The photographer is scheduled to display her FLORAbundance pieces at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library from June 1 through 30 and will also present a slide show based on the artwork at the library on June 13. Another slide show with Gordon, presented by the Long Island Horticulture Society, is scheduled for Sunday, June 28, at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay.

In addition to her solo work, the photographer is currently working with watercolor painter Ward Hooper on the artistic endeavor, The Brush/Lens Project, which compares Long Island landscapes in both a photograph and painting to show how the brush and lens relate. The Long Island MacArthur Airport Gallery will host an exhibit by The Brush/Lens Project with Gordon’s photographs as well as Hooper’s paintings from July 1 through August 12.

Gordon said an artist reception at fotofoto will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., and the gallery will also be part of Huntington Village’s first Art Walk taking place on Saturday, May 14. “I certainly hope that people will tiptoe through the streets of Huntington and come back to fotofoto gallery because I’m going to be there, too,” she said.

FLORAbundance by Holly Gordon and Floral Bouquet by fotofoto gallery artists will run through May 28. The gallery is located at 14 W. Carver St. in Huntington and admission is free. For more information on the exhibit, visit www.fotofotogallery.org or call 631-549-0448. To discover more about Gordon’s photography, visit www.hollygordonphotographer.com.

By Melissa Arnold

For more than 25 years, the volunteers of Welcome INN have gathered week after week to prepare meals for local people in need.

Volunteers from Welcome INN divide their time between four different churches five days a week. Photo from Marge Tumilowicz
Volunteers from Welcome INN divide their time between four different churches five days a week. Photo from Marge Tumilowicz

They’ve never sought out the spotlight for their work — all of them are unassuming folks who just want to lend a helping hand, says the organization’s president Marge Tumilowicz.

But this week, the Port Jefferson Village Center will unveil a photo exhibit to showcase and honor their commitment to service in the community.

Soup kitchens have been a constant presence in the Port Jefferson area since the 1970s, when members of local religious groups saw countless families struggle during a recession. Over time, these independent groups determined they could do the most good under the umbrella of a larger organization.

In 1989, four area soup kitchens joined the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN), which feeds and houses people throughout Long Island. Today, Welcome INN serves up to 100 people per meal, five nights a week.

It takes a village
Tumilowicz says it truly takes a village to pull off a meal that large on a weekly basis, but volunteers are never hard to come by. Over 200 people play a part at the INN’s kitchens, helping with setup, cooking, cleaning and anything in between. They are a well-oiled machine.

“Early in the morning, cars will go to the local supermarket for pickups, then bring them back to the [kitchen] for sorting. Whatever supplemental food is needed gets picked up by the coordinator. Then, in the afternoon, the cooks and setup people arrive. By 5:30 [p.m.], our servers are in place and the doors are opened,” Tumilowicz explains.

Guests are given appetizers immediately when they arrive, says Susan Davis, coordinator of Friday night dinners at First Presbyterian Church in Port Jefferson. “We want to make sure our guests have something to eat right away because some of them come to us as their only meal for the day and they’re very hungry.”

Then comes a from-scratch soup, fresh salad, a main course with a protein, starch and veggie and dessert. Guests are also sent home with a sandwich or leftovers.

Coordinator Terri Arrigon oversees Monday night meals at Christ Church Episcopal in Port Jefferson. She noted that many of the guests that frequent Welcome INN are not homeless. Some are unemployed or underemployed, and others are simply looking for camaraderie.

“We want to respect their privacy so we don’t really ask personal questions, but sometimes guests will open up about their situation,” says Arrigon, a volunteer for the past three years. “Working with the INN has really opened my eyes to the diversity of communities here on Long Island.”

Volunteers from Welcome INN divide their time between four different churches five days a week. Photo from Marge Tumilowicz
Volunteers from Welcome INN divide their time between four different churches five days a week. Photo from Marge Tumilowicz

The value of volunteers
As for the photo exhibit, Tumilowicz jokes that there’s an unusual backstory: Last fall, Welcome INN was given the Humanitarian of the Year Award by Jefferson’s Ferry, a retirement community in South Setauket. With the INN’s volunteers scattered all over Long Island, Tumilowicz approached the Port Jefferson Village Center about displaying the award there for all to see.

They offered her something even better — why not display an entire collection of photos from over the years?

Tumilowicz reached out to Welcome INN’s graphic designer Karen Loomis, and the result compiles shots of all four soup kitchens in action along with inspirational quotes.

“It’s demanding work — we’re on the go the whole time and many of us do not have young bodies — but we’re there because we want to be there and we love it,” Arrigon says. “I’m delighted that we’re getting this opportunity to recognize the value of our volunteers, to show them how much we appreciate them. And it’s a great way to let the community know that we’re out there.”

The Welcome INN exhibit is on display for the rest of this month on the third floor of the Village Center, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson.

To learn more about Welcome INN, including meal times and volunteer information, visit http://the-inn.org/programs/soup-kitchens/welcomeinn.

 

Welcome INN operates out of the following locations:

St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 309 Patchogue Road (Rte. 112), Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776
Hours of operation: Serves lunch Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. and dinner Wednesdays from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

Christ United Methodist Church, 545 Old Town Road, Port Jefferson Station, NY 11776
Hours of Operation: Serves dinner Tuesdays, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

Christ Episcopal Church, 127 Barnum Avenue, Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Hours of operation: Serves dinner Mondays, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church, Corner of Main and South Street, Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Hours of operation: Serves dinner Fridays, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m.

‘Boothbay Harbor,’ watercolor by Ward Hooper. Photo from Northport Historical Society

By Rita J. Egan

Ward Hooper and his wife Dolly, who passed away in 2012, were a rare couple because both were exceptionally talented and accomplished. To celebrate decades of the couple’s creative contributions to the Village of Northport as well as their involvement in the community, the Northport Historical Society is currently running the exhibit, Sharing a Creative Life: Dolly and Ward Hooper.

Terry Reid, collection consultant and member of the exhibit committee at the historical society, said, “It’s sort of a retrospective celebration of Dolly and Ward’s creative life. It’s a thank you from Northport for all of their years of creativity and community service.”

The exhibit is what Reid calls a “full-circle moment” for her. When she started out at the historical society, she was fortunate to work with both Dolly and Ward, who were board members and curators for 35 years. She was happy once again to work with Ward on this show. “I learned from Ward and Dolly when I started 10 or 12 years ago. They taught me what I know now,” she said.

‘Renaissance Lady’ by Dolly Hooper. Photo from Northport Historical Society
‘Renaissance Lady’ by Dolly Hooper. Photo from Northport Historical Society

The exhibit displays the couple’s individual as well as joint achievements and demonstrates how they integrated their creativity into Northport, according to the consultant. On one side, the cabinets feature Ward’s achievements, which include graphic designs for many well-known brands, and features on the other side are Dolly’s dress designs and dolls she created. In the middle, the displays show what the couple accomplished together, including their work at the society.

Ward’s watercolors

The pieces on display come from the Hoopers’ personal collection, and the exhibit includes 24 of Ward’s watercolor paintings, too. In addition to being a former graphic designer, Ward is a watercolor painter who taught at the Art League of Long Island for 12 years. He is currently collaborating with photographer Holly Gordon on a new artistic venture called the Brush/Lens Project.

Also featured in the exhibit is the society’s dollhouse, which is a permanent fixture at the museum due to Dolly’s involvement in decorating the house with furnishings and miniature dolls.

Reid said Dolly, who began her career dressing store windows along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, loved designing and collecting dolls, even though growing up during the Depression she never had one of her own. Among her creations on display are ones she made out of Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup bottles. The figures inspired the company to create a calendar featuring the dolls, which turned out to be one of their most successful advertising campaigns, according to the consultant.

Ward and Dolly were avid antique collectors, and the designer in the ‘70s opened the Trolley Tracks Antique Shop in Northport, according to Reid. She also created many one-of-a-kind bridal gowns and especially loved Victorian dresses. “She could really bring a dress to life,” the consultant said.

Reid said Ward and Dolly not only contributed culturally to the village but also were actively involved in the community. In addition to working with the historical society as curators from 1974 to 2009, they were also involved with the Northport Architectural Review Board as well as the village’s chamber of commerce. Ward even designed the chamber’s logo. In addition, Dolly helped make wreaths that were displayed along Main Street during the Christmas season and started the Miss Northport Pageant in the ‘80s.

Ward Hooper photo from Northport Historical Society
Ward Hooper photo from Northport Historical Society

Ward, who attended the exhibit’s opening reception on April 3, was appreciative of all his friends who attended the event. “This is really rewarding to see so many people turn out here today. Dolly passed away four years ago, and she would have truly loved it,” he said.

The artist was especially pleased to see Bill O’Brien, a former director of the Northport Historical Society, and Dick Simpson, also a former director as well as the museum’s founder. Ward said he not only worked with the two during his days on the board at the society but also with Dick in Manhattan early in their careers, and the two along with Dolly were curators together for many of the early exhibits at the society’s museum.

Creative power

The artist said when Simpson told the couple “to come out to the North Shore” to visit him, they liked what they saw and in 1969 moved from the city and bought a converted barn in Northport. The couple, who had met in the early ‘50s at Willoughby’s Camera Store, was married since 1953.

Simpson, who traveled from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to attend the opening reception, said he hopes that everyone who visits the museum will see “the creative power these two people had.

“If you are creative, you can go in all different directions. That’s what so wonderful about the creative person and these two were very creative,” Simpson said.

O’Brien remembered visiting the Hoopers at their home and said Dolly was always working on a project. “She was a very creative woman and she was always on the go,” he said.

The former director was pleased with how the exhibit turned out. “I think the exhibit was aptly named because even though they were married, they each pursued their own creative abilities on their own stage, and then they always supported each other,” O’Brien said.

Ward and Dolly’s daughter Laura Jean Wilson was also on hand for the reception and loved that both her mother’s designs and father’s artwork were on display together. “To see everything here is beautiful. It’s well done; a lot of good memories,” Wilson said.

When it comes to what she hopes exhibit goers will discover during a visit to the museum, Wilson said, “Just how creative they were, the talent, how they worked so well together, had a lot of similar interests, and how they loved Northport. Just to see the different collaborations between the two … they loved what they did.”

Sharing a Creative Life: Dolly and Ward Hooper will be on exhibit at the Northport Historical Society, 215 Main Street, Northport, through Aug. 31. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.northporthistorical.org or call 631-757-9859. To find out more about the Brush/Lens Project, visit www.brushlensproject.com.

‘A Stone’s Throw,’ watercolor, by Jeanne Salucci

By Rita J. Egan

Visitors to the Port Jefferson Village Center can view an eclectic collection of artwork from the South Shore-based Wet Paints Studio Group in the center’s gallery. Until April 30, the venue will be hosting the exhibit “From the Heart of the Artist.”

Susan Orifici, head of graphic, archival and special projects at the Village Center, said the exhibit includes approximately 100 pieces from the local artists.

“I love the combination of different things. It’s everything from pencil drawings to acrylics and mixed media,” she said.

Orifici said she’s delighted the center is offering the exhibit, and with the majority of the artists from the South Shore, also providing a venue for the group to share their work with art lovers who may be unfamiliar with Wet Paints.

“It gives their membership the opportunity to give a show where they can reach out,” she said.

‘Port Jefferson Village,’ oil, by June Long-Schuman
‘Port Jefferson Village,’ oil, by June Long-Schuman

Doug Broadhurst, president of the Wet Paints Studio Group, agreed that the Village Center provides the organization a great opportunity to show their work on the North Shore. The artist, who has two portraits in the show, “Lydia” and “Nancy: A Moment in Time,” said when he visited the center in the past to view exhibits, he was always pleased with what he saw.

“It’s a beautiful venue to show at,” he said.

Broadhurst said the group, with approximately 200 members, has been in existence for 67 years and meets every Tuesday in Sayville at the Gillette House. He explained that the first Tuesday is a business meeting, while the second and fourth weeks are dedicated to sketching live portrait models. On the third Tuesday of the month, the group hosts artists’ demonstrations.

Carol Corbett, vice president of the Wet Paints Studio Group, has been a member for almost 15 years. She said she discovered the organization when her sister came to visit and asked her if she belonged to any art groups. The sisters found Wet Paints while searching online and decided to check out a meeting with sketch pads and pencils in hand.

“It was such a nice group. It was just so good that I never left,” she said.

The group president and vice-president said new artists are always welcome, and Broadhurst explained that sometimes non-artists attend demonstrations or art talks. Corbett said she loves the range of experience in the organization.

An artist reception for ‘From the Heart of the Artist’ will be held on Saturday, April 2, from 3 to 5 p.m.

“You have the whole scope of professional to really, really amateur, and everybody is fine with it, they get along well. The ones who know more teach; the other ones are open to listening. And, sometimes you learn from the ones who are starting out as well,” said Corbett.

While the majority of members live on the South Shore, portrait artist and group membership chairman, Terry McManus, has been making the trip from his Mount Sinai home to the Sayville meetings for 20 years now. Like Corbett, he has found his fellow members to be very welcoming and encouraging.

“They’re very supportive. It’s a wonderful group to be with,” McManus said.

‘Portrait of Lydia,’ graphics, by Doug Broadhurst
‘Portrait of Lydia,’ graphics, by Doug Broadhurst

For the exhibit, Broadhurst said instead of a theme, the artists simply picked their favorite works of art from their collections or created a new piece. Visitors to the exhibit will find pictures in acrylic, oil paint, pencil, watercolor and more. He said the exhibit artwork also runs the gamut from portraits, landscapes, abstracts and mixed media.

“Anyone who looks at it will find something that they will like.”

Corbett said she saw a number of pieces she thought were wonderful being delivered to the venue while she was there to drop off her two oil seascapes, “Mysterious” and “A Passing Storm.” She said the exhibit, with its various styles, is an example of how the members create art they love. “We’re trying to show our hearts through our art,” Corbett said.

McManus, who has two pastel portraits in the exhibit, “Teenager” and “Puppy Love,” said he finds it amazing to see so many different approaches to art in the exhibit. He explained that various artists can all look at the same landscape or portrait and have a different approach to it. He said the variety of artists present a diversity of styles for art lovers to enjoy at the exhibit.

“I think it’s a talented group. So I think anybody can really enjoy the show,” the artist said.

Corbett hopes the exhibit may inspire some visitors to try an art class or increase their appreciation of art: “Hopefully their hearts will be blessed by viewing it.”

The Port Jefferson Gallery at the Village Center, 101-A East Broadway, Port Jefferson, will host “From the Heart of the Artist” until April 30. A reception will be held on Saturday, April 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. and is open to the public. The building is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and admission is free. For more information on the exhibit, visit the Facilities section of www.portjeff.com or call 631-802-2160. For more information on the Wet Paints Studio Group, visit www.wetpaintsgroup.com.

An illustration by artist John Rhein is part of the church’s new exhibit. Photo from Barbara Russell

By Barbara M. Russell

The Caroline Church of Brookhaven (Episcopal), One Dyke Road, Setauket, recently unveiled a new exhibit in its History Center.

Titled “Caroline Church in the 1700s,” it is the third exhibit curated by the Historical and Cultural Arts Commission. A self-guided tour takes the visitor through five areas illustrating the church and the community in the 18th century: Settler, Missionary, Clergy, Builder and Patriot/Loyalist. The narrative and artifacts presented in each area assist the viewer to understand the church’s role in a new and growing community.

A feature of the exhibit is a whimsical frog, which greets visitors at the start, and reappears, in colorful illustrations by artist John Rhein.

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts brought Anglican missionaries to Long Island and by 1723, a congregation was formed in Setauket. Five clergy are highlighted in the exhibit; those who led the congregation from its inception, to the building of the church in 1729, through the American Revolution, and into the next century. Some architectural artifacts are on display including a round-top door and early nails.

The Patriot/Loyalist section includes biographies of two parishioners, Dr. George Muirson and his son, Heathcote. Dr Muirson, a local physician, was an ardent Loyalist, and his son, a Patriot. Also featured within the Patriot/Loyalist section is local resident, Benjamin Floyd. The viewer can decide which “side” he favored.

Two permanent exhibits, a timeline of Caroline Church and the Rector’s Gallery can also be seen.

The History Center is located in the lower level of the Parish House and is open Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon. Arrangements can be made to view the exhibit at other times by calling the Parish Office at 631-941-4245.

Miriam Schapiro’s ‘Berthe Morisot & Me,’ early 1970s

By Melissa Arnold

For the past 95 years, the Heckscher Museum in Huntington has worked to exhibit its varied permanent collection in new and interesting ways.

Audrey Flack’s ‘Lady Madonna,’ 1972
Audrey Flack’s ‘Lady Madonna,’ 1972

For the next few months, the museum is highlighting the contributions of female artists in an exhibit entitled You Go Girl! Celebrating Women Artists. Selected from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibit will feature 50 women artists from the 19th century through today.

The theme is the latest dreamed up by museum curator Lisa Chalif.

“We wanted to select a group of art that showcases women artists in particular,” Chalif said. “We have art from more than 100 women artists at the museum, but they are only a small percentage of the overall collection.”

Chalif added that many women have faced “significant obstacles” to their success in the visual arts, including getting into galleries.

Museum visitors will have the chance to explore art in a variety of mediums, including print, photography, painting, sculpture and mixed media. The majority of the selections are contemporary and 20th century works and are split into two rooms — one for representational art and the other for abstract art.

Chalif noted that while the exhibit focuses on women’s art, it is not a feminist exhibit. The artists explored subjects of all kinds. “We have a lot of landscape-based work — I think that’s really characteristic of our collection as a whole, and I think that has a lot to do with our location,” she said. “People that live on Long Island are often drawn to the landscape here. There are a lot of abstract styles as well. There is something here that will appeal to everyone.”

Among Chalif’s favorites are works from feminist artist Miriam Schapiro, who founded one of the first feminist art schools in the 1970s, and super-realist painter Audrey Flack’s “Lady Madonna.” “It’s nice to have [a Madonna in the exhibit] because it refers to the most recognized woman in history,” Chalif said.

Elaine de Kooning’s ‘Black Mountain #6,’ 1948
Elaine de Kooning’s ‘Black Mountain #6,’ 1948

Many of the artists in the exhibit lived on Long Island or are still in the area today, including Emma Stebbins, Jane Wilson, Barbara Roux, Janet Culbertson and Berenice Abbott. “We were able to have [some of the living artists] come out for the opening,” Chalif said. “They have expressed how thrilled they are to be featured along with artists they’ve had as mentors or personal favorites. It’s gratifying for them and for me.”

Other artists include Elaine de Kooning, Dorothy Dehner, Audrey Flack, Jane Hammond, Mary Nimmo Moran, Georgia O’Keeffe, Betty Parsons, Miriam Schapiro and Esphyr Slobodkina.   

The Heckscher Museum is also displaying two simultaneous exhibits. The first, entitled Men at Work, focuses on depictions of men doing all kinds of jobs, from construction to academia and religious life. William Merritt Chase, Thomas Eakins, George Grosz, John Rogers, Emma Stebbins and John Sloan are among the featured artists.

The other, called Street Life, depicts life in New York City — its work-a-day life, shopping avenues and iconic transportation system in photographs. Featured artists include Berenice Abbott, N. Jay Jaffee, Martin Lewis, John Sloan, Garry Winogrand, among others.

You Go Girl! will be on display through April 3, while Men at Work and Street Life will be displayed through March 27.

The Heckscher Museum of Art is located at 2 Prime Ave., Huntington. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call 631-351-3250 or visit www.heckscher.org.