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Judith Levy

Jim Molloy explores imaginative new subjects and styles in solo exhibit

'Primary Colors'

By Melissa Arnold

Artist Jim Molloy of Miller Place has earned a reputation as a nautical and landscape painter, and it’s easy to see why. His oil-on-canvas masterpieces of lighthouses in Maine, the local harbors of Stony Brook, Port Jefferson and Mount Sinai, or the intricate components of a sailboat will transport you to another place. His award-winning work has been showcased up and down the East Coast.

These days, though, Molloy is exploring something completely different. And it all started with a trip to the antique store.

‘Entropy’

“I found some [children’s] blocks and thought they would make a nice still life,” said Molloy, 53. “From there I started working with Tinker Toys, LEGOs, things like that, anything I could find.”

The new focus on what he calls “abstract realism” has given Molloy a surge of fresh ideas, and he’s ready to share them with the world. His first solo exhibit, entitled Primary Colors, will debut at Gallery North in Setauket on Aug. 30.

 

Art has always been a part of Molloy’s life, and he worked for decades using his talents wherever he could — as an illustrator for technical manuals, in the advertising industry, making 3-D models, doing custom airbrush work on vehicles and the list goes on. His real passion was for painting, however, and 12 years ago he left the workforce to paint full time.

It was easy to keep up his old rhythm of waking up and getting to work, said Molloy, who paints daily in his home studio. Self-taught, he honed his skills through hours of reading and study.

“After I quit my job, I visited museums and read every book I could get my hands on [about painting],” he said, adding he is especially inspired by Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer.

There are also the artists that encouraged and collaborated with him along the way. Among them are Irene Ruddock, president of Setauket Artists, who met Molloy at an art festival years ago. He began to exhibit with the group, and in 2015, they named him their Honored Artist.

“People are attracted to Jim’s paintings, not just because of his skillful techniques, but because of their soulfulness,” Ruddock said. “His work contains that special quality that tugs a bit at your heart, where you know that you are not just looking at something — you are feeling something that is warm and rare. In short, his paintings become memorable.”

‘Square Meal’

The journey to Primary Colors began last year at Gallery North, when Molloy was featured in a group exhibit titled The Art of Eating. Each work in the show focused on food, and Molloy’s contribution was a whimsical painting of children’s blocks arranged to resemble a plate of sushi with a pair of chopsticks.

The painting, an oil-on-panel work titled “Square Meal,” captured the attention of Gallery North Executive Director Judith Levy.

“I was amused by it. It was unique, interesting and fun,” said Levy in a recent phone interview. “When Jim approached me about an exhibit, I told him I would love to focus on that painting. It’s important for us to show a range of different ideas, and I’m very excited.” The show will also be on view during the gallery’s 2018 Outdoor Art Show and Music Festival on Sept. 8 and 9.

The process of creating each painting is a true labor of love for Molloy. Once he finds a subject that interests him, he’ll take it home and set it up in the studio. But before the painting begins, Molloy takes a photo of the subject that he can work from as time goes on. Getting the perfect angle and lighting is painstaking, and Molloy often shoots 100 photos or more before getting it just right.

‘Express’

In total, 32 works of art will be showcased during Primary Colors, many of them created within the past year with the exhibit in mind. The title hints at a common theme — each painting features the three primary colors — red, yellow and blue — in a prominent way. The paintings vary in size, from 6-by-12 inches to 3-by-5 feet, and all will be available for purchase.

“People in this area know me for my landscape art, so I’m honestly a little nervous about how they’ll respond to this exhibit,” Molloy admitted. “But I think it’s fun and colorful. In the beginning, when I first started painting [in this way], I never would have noticed the little details. But now I see everything differently. It’s a new perspective.”

Primary Colors will be on display from Aug. 30 to Sept. 21 at Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket. The public is invited to an opening reception on Aug. 30 from 5 to 7 p.m., and Molloy will be the featured artist at the gallery’s ArTalk series on Sept. 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, visit ​www.gallerynorth.org​ or call ​631-751-2676.

To see more of Jim Molloy’s artwork, visit ​www.molloyart.com.

Images courtesy of Gallery North

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Terence Netter with a painting of lavender from his French Perspectives series. File photo

By Rita J. Egan

The Three Village community is mourning the loss of a champion of the arts. Terence Netter, known by many as Terry, died June 27 at his home in Setauket. He was 89.

The professional artist, professor and once Jesuit priest was born Donald Terence Netter in New Rochelle April 12, 1929. He left the Jesuit order in 1968 and married Therese Franzese the same year. The couple moved to Setauket in 1979, and in later years divided their time between their homes on Long Island and in France.

Terence Netter with his painting ‘Sunrise at Low Tide’ File photo

Netter was the founding director of the Stony Brook University Fine Arts Center, now named the Staller Center, a position he began in 1979 and held for 18 years. In 1984, The Village Times named him Man of the Year in the Arts for his achievements at the center, which included bringing high-quality art, music, theater and well-known musicians to the community. He also helped to create the Friends of the Arts Center.

“Our programming is intelligent and aims for a standard of excellence,” Netter said in a 1984 interview. “We’re not Lincoln Center, but we are in the big leagues of higher education.”

According to his wife, Netter received an honorary degree from Stony Brook University in 2013 which was in addition to multiple degrees he had already earned. Netter had a bachelor’s in English and master’s in philosophy from Fordham University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in studio art from George Washington University.

Alan Inkles, current director of the Staller Center, said Netter gave him a job as theater manager at the arts center in 1983.

“I learned a lot from him,” Inkles said. “He was a great mentor and a great guy to work for, very supportive of everybody.”

Gene Sprouse, an SBU distinguished professor emeritus, met Netter at the university 40 years ago when he served on the board of the Friends of the Arts Center. He credited him with mentoring artists, musicians and art managers, and fostering the acquisition by SBU of the Pollock-Krasner House in East Hampton; Jackson Pollock and his wife Lee Krasner were both renowned artists.

“Terry Netter has left an indelible mark on the arts community in the Three Villages,” Sprouse said. “As founding director of the Fine Arts Center at Stony Brook, he was instrumental in growing and strengthening the arts in the area.”

Netter was also on the board of trustees at Gallery North in Setauket and was a past president of the gallery. His artwork has been showcased there several times through the years. In 2017 at its annual gala, the gallery named him a “community treasure.”

Gallery North director Judith Levy said Netter was a tremendous asset. “He’s one of the most intellectual people that I’ve ever met,” Levy said. “He was a great mentor, a serious person with kind of a twinkle in his eye and always a good joke or good story to tell.”

Levy said an exhibit of Netter’s work is slated for October at the gallery. She said although his artwork has many facets, while living in France the artist developed a love of the horizon line, and created many renditions of the vista.

Outside of the Three Village area, Netter’s work was exhibited at the Woodward Gallery in New York City, where he has been represented for many years, and galleries and museums in San Francisco, France and more, according to his wife.

Among his many career achievements, he was the director of the Paul Mellon Arts Center at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, and contributed to the study abroad program for the University of Southern Mississippi at Pontlevoy, France, in the later years of his career.

“Wherever he went he gravitated to any place that was serious about art,” Therese Netter said. “Once he made connections, people just loved him.”

State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) said he would remember Netter as an internationally accomplished artist who lived modestly amongst his fellow Setauket residents. The assemblyman met the artist more than 30 years ago, and for a few years Netter rented studio space in a building that Englebright’s family owns. “He lifted us all with his art and with his very strong sense of place and with his spirit,” Englebright said.

In a June 10, 2017, interview for TBR News Media’s Arts & Lifestyles section, Netter was asked what he wanted art lovers to feel or see when they viewed his paintings.

“I want the viewer’s mind and eye to take a walk beyond the here and now,” Netter said. “I hope that they experience that there is more beyond the horizon — the possibility of existence beyond the reach of our senses, even though we can’t see it. Most of all, I wish that they sense the deep peace that I am trying to evoke in my paintings.”

Netter is survived by his wife Therese, son Dylan and his beloved dog, Pip. A private Mass was held at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan.

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'Corn' by Bruce Lieberman

Setauket’s Gallery North unveiled its latest exhibition, Bruce Lieberman Recent Work 2014-2017, a solo art show featuring a series of landscape paintings that capture the varied and lush East End terrain that identifies the home of Lieberman and his family.

‘Birdy Icon with Flowers’ by Bruce Lieberman

Having lived there for many years, Lieberman loves to include every nuance of his garden, house and quality of light on every canvas. Looking at this exhibition, the viewer is invited in to experience the exuberance of his world. From large architectural canvases to a series of small drawings, Lieberman presents a body of work that is nuanced, energetic and colorful. With seasonal differences between winter, spring and summer, from snow-covered trees to glistening green leaves filling the space between branches, the viewer can enjoy the artist’s sense of color and light enhanced by rhythmically applied brush work.

The exhibit will run through May 26. The public is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, April 29 at 4 p.m., generously sponsored by Stephanie and Michael Gress. Additionally, mark your calendar for an ArTalk with the artist on Saturday, May 20 at 3 p.m. during which you will have the opportunity to hear Lieberman talk about his creative process and passion for painting. Reservations are requested.

Gallery North is located at 90 North Country Road in Setauket. For more information, call 631-751-2676 or visit www.gallerynorth.org.

‘Still Life with Peaches’ by Christian White. Photo courtesy of Gallery North

By Ellen Barcel

Gallery North will be presenting a new exhibit, one guaranteed to make the viewer both hungry and thirsty. Thirty artists will have their work on display in The Art of Eating opening Feb. 23 and running through Friday, March 17.

‘Mussels’ by Bruce Lieberman. Image courtesy of Gallery North

Judith Levy, executive director of the gallery, noted that the first time she curated The Art of Eating, six years ago, she had been reading food author M.F.K. Fisher’s collection of essays, “The Art of Eating,” when she got the idea to actually display paintings that focused on food.

In that first exhibit, an artist brought in five images of pizza, the last one showing only the leftover crust. “Some people had unique images,” she observed. This time, Levy said, some of the paintings would be “quirky, some extravagant, some really fun … Someone even did a painting of a wine cork. There’s a wide variety of paintings …. Hanging the show is so much fun seeing the pictures communicate with each other.”

Jackie Lima, one of the artists in the show, is currently in Asia. She was so interested in being in the show, she sent a painting, “Thali,” all the way from India when she heard about the upcoming exhibit. Thali, typical Indian fare, features various dishes served on a platter.

‘Carrots and Oranges’ by Denis Ponsot. Image courtesy of Gallery North

Three Village’s own Christian White will be showing two paintings including “Still Life With Peaches,” a tempting display of fruit and thick, crusty bread with beautiful flowers in the background. Setauket artist Eleanor Meier, well known for her still lifes, many with various food themes, will be showing three pieces, “Pepper Parade,” “Pears and a Blue Plate” and “Juicy Sweet.” Bruce Lieberman’s “Mussels” is so appropriate with Long Island’s seafaring history as is Joan Branca’s “Fish for Sale.” Then there’s Denis Ponsot’s “Carrots and Oranges,” and Tim Kennedy’s “Layer Cake,” the perfect ending to this visual meal.

Styles for the 30 artists vary as does the media from oils to acrylics and water colors as well as drawings and hand pulled prints. Expect realism as well as more abstract styles, all inspired by food and beverages.

There are two special events connected with The Art of Eating. An opening reception will be held on Feb. 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. to which the public is invited. In keeping with the theme of the exhibit, on March 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. the gallery plans to have a tasting menu, A Little Taste of France, prepared by renown chef Guy Reuge of Mirabelle Tavern at the Three Village Inn. Referred to as “France’s gift to Long Island,” the award-winning chef will have his new book, “A Chef’s Odyssey,” available for purchase at the event and will sign copies. The book, described as “an insider’s tour” of restaurants, also includes some of his favorite recipes. Cost of the tasting menu is $45 per person. Call the gallery or email info@gallerynorth.com to register (by March 8) and for further details.

Gallery North is located at 90 North Country Road in Setauket. It is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For further information, call 631-751-2676 or visit www.gallerynorth.org.

Over 100 exhibiting artists and artisans will be at Gallery North's 51st annual Outdoor Art and Music Festival this weekend. Photo courtesy of Gallery North
Exhibiting artists and artisans will offer a variety of art and crafts at this weekend's Outdoor Art and Music Festival. Photo courtesy of Gallery North
Exhibiting artists and artisans will offer a variety of art and crafts at this weekend’s Outdoor Art and Music Festival. Photo courtesy of Gallery North

They say some things just get better with age. This can surely be attributed to Gallery North’s annual Outdoor Art and Music Festival, which celebrates its 51st anniversary this year. Over 100 exhibiting artists and artisans, offering a variety of art and crafts such as painting (acrylic and oil), ceramics, jewelry, photography, fiber art, sculpture and mixed media work, will congregate on North Country Road in Setauket this Saturday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine.

The two-day event provides members of the community an opportunity to interact with artists, purchase finely made crafts, and enjoy a weekend full of exciting activities while searching for the perfect handmade gift for family and friends and to get a jump-start on holiday shopping.

Roberta Fabiano and Tony Montalbo will perform live during Gallery North's 51st annual Outdoor Art and Music Festival. Photo courtesy of Gallery North
Roberta Fabiano and Tony Montalbo will perform live during Gallery North’s 51st annual Outdoor Art and Music Festival. Photo courtesy of Gallery North

Throughout the weekend visitors will enjoy musical performances by Sybil Lefferts & Friends, Claudia Jacobs Band, Roberta Fabiano and Tony Montalbo and The Bobby Sexton Trio. All musical entertainment is sponsored by Bridgehampton National Bank.

In addition to enjoying the outdoor festivities, all are invited to stop by the gallery to view the current Printmaking exhibition. The Community Art Center will also be open on both Saturday and Sunday welcoming visitors to participate in the gallery’s Make Your Mark Tile Fundraiser. Adults, children, families, as well as professional artists are invited to paint their own six-inch ceramic tile, which will be used in the garden wall of the terrace of the new Community Art Center.

In honor of excellence in Fine Art and Craft, Gallery North’s Board of Trustees and Friends will sponsor prizes for outstanding work in the areas of jewelry, painting, crafts and mixed media, work on paper including watercolor, pastel and graphics and drawing, wood craft, photography, glass as well as best in show. This year’s judges will be Larissa Grass, Stephanie Gress and Dean Goelz. Prize sponsors include Sharon Cowles, Judy Gibbons, Robin and Doug Dahlgard, Ronne Cosel, Stephanie Gress, Nancy Goroff and Dina and Bill Weisberger.

Event schedule

Saturday, Sept. 10

◆ 10 am to 5 pm: Make Your Mark — Tile Fundraiser in the Community Art Center (CAC)

◆ 11 am to 1 pm.: Kids Art Table

◆ 12 to 2 pm: Sybil Lefferts & Friends in concert

◆ 2:30 to 4:30 pm: Claudia Jacobs Band in concert

Sunday, Sept. 11

◆ 10 am to 5 pm: Make Your Mark — Tile Fundraiser in the CAC

◆ 11 am to 1 pm: Kids Art Table

◆ 12 to 2 pm: Roberta Fabiano and Tony Montalbo, 9/11 Tribute

◆ 2:30 to 4:30 pm: The Bobby Sexton Trio in concert

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

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