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Lisa Unander

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

Winners honored at art reception on April 20

By Heidi Sutton

Wanderlust: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook kicked off its 2018 juried art competition, Wanderlust, with a standing room only artist reception on April 20. 

Amateur and professional artists were invited to submit up to three pieces using the desire to travel as their inspiration. 

Neil Watson, executive director of the LIM, opened the reception by congratulating the artists.“You deserve a huge hand. This is one of the strongest shows that I’ve seen in five years.” 

“I’ve been a museum director for many years in many different kinds of museums and artists are the core … Whether it’s a carriage that’s made by a group of artisans from the wheels to the fabric … or it’s a painting or a photograph, it’s a maker. I applaud all of you for being makers and continuing to do that and push it because I know it’s really hard.”

Watson went on to mention that the works of 39 members of the LIMarts, a collaborative arts group, were in the show and encouraged the other artists in the room to join. “This museum believes in makers,” he said. 

Museum staff members combed through more than 300 entries submitted to come up with 76 final entries. Debbie Wells, co-founder and partner of Artful Circle, served as juror and was tasked with selecting a first-, second-, and third-place winner along with two honorable mentions. Wells was also present at the reception, a first for a juried exhibit reception at the museum.

Before announcing the winners, Lisa Unander, director of education at the museum, encouraged all the visitors to browse the exhibit to see all of the artist’s works. “It’s a fantastic show. We are so happy for the turnout for [all the artists] tonight,” she said.

Smithtown resident Elizabeth Milward captured first place for her hauntingly beautiful black and white photo,  “All Aboard,” which was taken on the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania. “Just beaming with artistic talent” was a comment overhead from one of the visitors.

Barron Krody of Stony Brook nabbed second place for his oil on canvas painting, “Happiness Is …” depicting a young girl with a big smile sitting on a cloud with arms outstretched as if flying. “When I heard about the theme [for the show] the word that came to mind was exuberance,’’ said Krody at the reception. Mission accomplished Mr. Krody. 

Third place was awarded to Julianna Kirk of the hamlet of Brookhaven for her  colored pencil masterpiece, “Prague Street,” which featured a young girl in the foreground.

Two honorable mentions were awarded as well. The first was to Jovanna Hopkins of Dix Hills for her stunning digital photograph of Zabriskie Point in California’s Death Valley. The second was to Ronkonkoma’s Gabriella Grama for a vintage suitcase decorated with mosaic tile titled “Worldy Possessions.” The work of art is adorned with images of all the places she has visited, including Egypt. Said the mosaic artist, “I made this just for the show because I love to travel.”

Juror’s comments:

1stplace  

 Elizabeth Milward

All Aboard, Photography

“This photograph tells the story of wanderlust – the desire to journey. The composition of the two figures facing the tracks into the misty distance is very strong and quite moving. The atmospheric quality is enhanced by their vintage clothing and the soft landscape ahead of them.  Excellent monochromatic layering and use of photographic techniques makes it worthy of first prize.  It exemplifies the theme of the exhibition.”

2ndplace 

Baron Krody

Happiness is…,Oil on Canvas

“The perfect title for this whimsical take on the Wanderlust theme. Beautiful, painterly clouds float throughout the composition. Like a cherry on an ice cream sundae, the young girl is brave, happy and poised to embark on an adventure.  This piece is colorful and imaginative – the viewer does not know what is going to happen next, but there is much optimism for this girl!”

 3rdplace 

 Julianna Kirk

Prague Street, Pencil

“This storybook-style illustration was executed by an artist with superior skills in colored pencil techniques.  The perspective of the buildings and architectural landscape are charming and beautifully drawn.  By adding the red-headed woman in the foreground, it frames the composition so that the viewer is seeing the world as she sees it.  The color choices are interesting – a terracotta palette with touches of green give the piece an old world feel.  One wonders what this woman is dreaming about in this European courtyard scene.”

 Honorable Mentions

 Gabriella Grama

Worldly Possessions, Mosaic on Vintage Suitcase

“Most exhibitions feature art on the walls, but when a piece made of unusual materials is showcased, it always stands out.  This mixed media artwork is an unexpected combination of materials.  The form underneath is a suitcase, symbolizing travel and carrying one’s belongings from place to place.  By covering it with mosaics, it adds a sense of permanence because mosaics are not mobile. They historically, are adhered to walls and decorative objects. The juxtaposition of movement and stability is intriguing.  The travel stickers are both fanciful and well-created as they document the travel itinerary of the suitcase.”

Jovanna Hopkins

Zabriskie-Point, Death Valley, Ca.,Photography

“This photograph takes a vast landscape and reduces it to a viewpoint that is nearly abstract.  Between the intense colors and the varying textures of the rocks and shadows, the viewer must look at this scene for the beauty of the shapes, rather than its reality. The composition forces the eye round and round with just enough time to stop and appreciate nature at its finest. Sometimes ‘wanderlust’ means one wants to keep going, but there are also times where it is necessary to just sit and really look at where you are!”

Whether you’re a world traveler or just a dreamer, don’t miss this beautiful exhibit. The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook will present Wanderlust in the Visitors Center through June 3. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

By Heidi Sutton

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook kicked off its latest juried art competition, Animal Kingdom: From Tame to Wild, with an artist reception on Sept. 15. This year the museum invited amateur and professional artists from across Long Island to submit up to three pieces of art representing the Animal Kingdom, whether it be a favorite pet, a memorable adventure or a scene from nature.

Neil Watson, executive director of the LIM, congratulated the artists and thanked them for addressing the theme of the exhibit. “We are really thrilled with the quality of this exhibition. Humans have had a really complicated relationship with animals — friend, foe, food — so looking at the different aspects of animals and of wildlife is a really rich subject.”

‘Pecking Order’ by Jeanette Dick received an honorable mention at the juried art show.

“We wanted to pair an exhibition like this with the show up at the Art Museum that is about dogs; so we thought this is the perfect opportunity and you all embraced the subject so beautifully,” he said.

A panel of museum staff members selected 75 finalists from a pool of 300 submitted works. Two judges, Seung Lee, professor of art and director of Fine Arts & Graduate Studies at LIU Post, and Christina Mossaides Strassfield, museum director and chief curator at Guild Hall, selected a first-, second-, third- and fourth-place winner along with two honorable mentions.

“Just being in the show itself [selected] from hundreds of entries we had was really significant and you should all be very, very proud. Thank you for giving the museum a beautiful exhibition,” said Lisa Unander, director of eduction at the museum, before announcing the winners.

Facing stiff competition, Paul Edelson of Setauket captured first place with “Yellowstone Bison,” oil on canvas. According to the jurors’ notes, the abstracted theme caught both of them immediately. “The treatment of the material shows experience; well done; powerful brush strokes. You can feel the animal ready to jump out,” they wrote.

Neil Leinwohl of Rockville Centre garnered second place with “Animal Farm,” multimedia on print; Kelynn Z. Alder of St. James was the third-place winner with “Dog on Carpet, Osita,” oil on canvas; and Nicholas Frizalone of Lake Grove captured fourth place with his solar plate etching on paper, “Anticipation.” Honorable mentions were handed to Jeanette Dick of Port Jefferson for her pastel titled “Pecking Order” and Donald Sadowsky of Roslyn Heights for his movable plastic model, “King Kong.”

The exhibition will be on view at The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook through Oct. 22 in the Visitors Center. For more information call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

All photos by Julie Diamond

Winners honored at art reception last Sunday

By Heidi Sutton

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook kicked off its annual juried art competition, I’ve Got the Music in Me, with an artist reception on Sept. 18. Amateur and professional artists across Long Island were invited to submit up to three works with a music theme for the exhibition, which is now on display in the Visitors Center.

Executive director of The LIM, Neil Watson, congratulated the artists and thanked them for rising to the occasion and addressing the theme of the exhibit. The idea for a music-themed art exhibit came out of the previous exhibition in the Visitors Center — Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience — and also from the fact that the museum is now home to the singer/songwriter series Sunday Street as well as the North Shore Pro Musica group (chamber music), among others. “For us, it is very important to have music and as a theme it is a challenge, visually, so I appreciate all of the artists who did this and the show is a really handsome exhibition,” said Watson.

Museum staff members combed through 144 pieces submitted by 68 artists to come up with the final 59 entries that make up the exhibition, and juror John Cino chose a first-, second- and third-place winner along with two honorable mentions. (See juror’s comments under each photo.) Barbara Jo Kingsley of Huntington Station captured first place with her serigraph, “Mississippi River Blues”; Neil Leinwohl of Rockville Centre took second place with “Love the One You’re With”; and Renee Caine of Holtsville garnered third with her oil painting, “Hello.” Honorable mentions were handed to Hicksville’s Lynda Wright for her acrylic painting,“ Bridge of Dreams” and Andrea Baum from Lynbrook for her photograph titled “Trumpet Player.”

Lisa Unander, director of education at the museum, said that, when choosing the five selections, Cino noted that “Music means a lot of different things to different people. Many artists in this exhibition chose to depict musicians making music or listeners responding to music. At least since the time of [Wassily] Kandinsky there have been artists who have attempted to create a visual analogy of music which is essentially the organization of sound over time.” The exhibit runs through Oct. 23. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

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