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Long Island Museum

Ron Hoffman with LIM’s Sarah Abruzzi, Regina Miano and Neil Watson. Photo from LIM

The Long Island Museum, located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, kicked off the holiday season with its premier fundraising event, the annual Holiday Celebration Gala and Silent Auction, on Nov. 9 with over 150 people in attendance. The tradition raises funds necessary to support the museum’s award-winning educational programs and exhibitions. 

Betsy Palmedo and Neil Watson. Photo from LIM

The museum’s History Museum was transformed into a decorative winter wonderland with an enchanting display of hundreds of decorative works by local artists and artisans, including ceramics, paintings and a beautiful selection of home goods and fine art. 

Now in its 26th year, the event honored Ron Hoffman of Bliss Restaurant in East Setauket with the Community Leader Award and North Shore Pro Musica with the Patron of the Arts Award.

Hoffman has been dedicated to the Three Village community since becoming a local business owner in 2003 when he first purchased Village Bistro. “Ron Hoffman has the ability to make everyone feel like family when they walk through the door of his restaurant,” said Neil Watson, executive director of the LIM. “But his generous nature goes beyond his business establishment. Ron has been a loyal supporter of the museum for many years. He truly puts his heart and soul into Bliss’ surrounding community.”

Founded in 1980, North Shore Pro Musica has been bringing live chamber music performances to the Three Village community for the past four decades and has been recognized for innovative programming and diversity of repertoire.

“I’m so grateful to the leadership of North Shore Pro Musica,” commented Watson. “Not only does this group continue to make a contribution to the cultural life of Long Island but North Shore Pro Musica is also making the Long Island Museum a destination for an entirely new audience.” 

Betsy Palmedo, founding member and director of North Shore Pro Musica accepted the award on the group’s behalf.

Photo from LIM

COLOR, CREATIVITY AND CULTURE

Artist Carol Hummel and her daughter Molly Sedensky from the Hooked@LIM tree project wrapped a tree on the grounds of the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook with a dedication ceremony on Sept. 15. Using over 250 skeins of nylon yarn, the community-based project began in June with 40 volunteers crocheting the individual elements needed to cover the silver maple that stands adjacent to the Carriage Museum on Route 25A. Five other trees on the museum grounds were wrapped in 2015. “The Long Island Museum trees are truly art by the people, for the people, and should be cherished as symbols of community pride,” said Hummel.

1969, orbiting Earth, three astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin set out on a likely death mission that could only end in one of three ways: land, abort, or crash.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook invites the community to join them on Saturday,  July 20 for a free screening of @SmithsonianChannel’s “The Day We Walked on the Moon” in the Carriage Museum’s Gillespie Room at 5 p.m. Admission is free.

For further information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

 

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, The Long Island Museum hosted a Mount House Summer Soirée at the Hawkins-Mount House in Stony Brook on June 28. The Americana-themed party featured signature cocktails dinner, live music and tours of artist William Sidney Mount’s childhood home, which had been closed to the public for three decades. 

Photos by Karen Romanelli

On Saturday, May 18 the Long Island Museum invited members of its LIMarts collaborative arts group to participate in a plein air painting and sketching opportunity on the grounds and inside galleries.

Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of the studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. It’s a technique that was made popular by French Impressionists (think Monet’s Garden at Givernay) in the 19th century.

Visitors to the museum enjoyed seeing the artists at work, taking inspiration from the museum’s beautiful gardens and world-class exhibitions. The day concluded with a reception where the artists had an opportunity to sell their work. 

Plein Air Art Event
Saturday, May 18, 2019
10am – 6pm
Museum Grounds & Carriage Museum
 Inspired by historic structures, beautiful gardens and a world renowned carriage collection, LIMarts members will have the opportunity to capture the museum’s beauty in a plein air art event.
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 This creative day welcomes visitors to the museum from 10am-6pm to observe and meet the artists as well as purchase artwork at a reception outside the LIM Studio from 5pm-6pm.
Light refreshments will be served.
Regular museum admission is required:
$10/ adults; $7/seniors; $5/students 6-17 and college students with I.D. Children under six are free.
Rain date is Sunday, May 19 from noon to 5 p.m. with the reception from 5pm to 6 p.m.
For more information contact Alexandria D’Auria
at (631)-751-0066 x285 or adauria@longislandmuseum.org

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

‘Eel Spearing at Setauket,’ 1845, by William Sidney Mount

Did you know? The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook offers guided gallery tours of its Long Road to Freedom: Surviving Slavery on Long Island exhibition in the Art Museum on the hill with museum educator Todd Weston every Friday through May 24 at 2 p.m. Tours are free with museum admission and do not require preregistration. For more information, call 631-751-0066.

Artist Michael Galmer poses with his donated pieces, ‘Hops Blossom Pitcher’ and ‘Lust for Life,’ at the April 11 reception. Photo by Julie Diamond/LIM

By Heidi Sutton

At 80 years young, it is an exciting time for the Long Island Museum. With a collection of mostly 19th- and early to mid-20th-century art and artifacts, the museum has recently turned its attention to building on its small but growing selection of contemporary art.

Enter internationally acclaimed silver artist Michael Izrael Galmer whose career includes collaborations with Tiffany & Co., Gorham and Lenox, as well as creating his own designs that have been exhibited at museums including the Cooper Hewitt, Renwick Gallery and Newark Museum of Art.

Galmer, who emigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1981, specializes in sculpture, jewelry and decorative pieces carved in silver using repoussé, a technique in which metals are shaped and adorned by hammering and pressing the reverse side of the piece. He then decorates the front of the piece using a technique called chasing or engraving.

‘Hops Blossom Pitcher’

In addition to enjoying a challenge, the artist, who works out of his studio in Queens, chose to work with silver “because it is identified with both a sense of fineness and the idea of tradition. Of quality, there is no more beautiful material to see, touch or feel.”

Examples of Galmer’s work were first viewed at the museum last fall as part of the Shaping Silver: Contemporary Metalsmithing exhibit. The artist then decided to donate two of the handcrafted pieces, a silver pitcher titled “Hops Blossom Pitcher” and a 41-inch tall silver sculpture titled “Lust for Life,” to the museum’s permanent collection.

A special unveiling and reception was held at the museum’s Visitors Center on April 11. The event was attended by Galmer’s family, friends and the museum’s staff and board.

“Wow, it looks better than in my studio!” exclaimed Galmer as he viewed the display. “I want to thank all the members of this wonderful institution who gave me a chance to share my artwork with all the future visitors to this museum. I am so honored.”

Both inspired by nature, the handcrafted pieces are stunning. The pitcher, designed in the classical style, is adorned with delicate flowers. “My goal was to create something that, when displayed on a table, makes you feel like a garden is all around you,” Galmer explained.

‘Lust for Life’

“Lust for Life,” which the artist calls “a speaking sculpture,” depicts a large stone with a small seed that has sprouted underneath and, finding the tiniest cracks in the rock, breaks free, grows strong branches and, as a grand finale, blooms. It is based on the philosophy that good things can come from even the direst circumstances.

“It’s talking, it wants to say something,” said an emotional Galmer in describing this piece. “Life is full of ups and downs. I want to encourage people to never give up … I want them to be strong. I survived, I came here with nothing, and I made something of myself for my family, my community, for America. To be successful you have to be strong, you have to fight. Never give up, ever. Try, try and you will always find an exit from a bad situation. It is important to remain optimistic.”

Both pieces will be prominently displayed in the Visitors Center through 2019.

“The museum is so pleased with this significant gift,” said Neil Watson, executive director of the LIM, after the unveiling. “For the most part, a museum is built over time. This is our 80th anniversary and it started with the generosity of Ward and Dorothy Melville … and how these collections grow is through that generosity and it all comes back to the makers. What Michael has given to us here is so beautiful … our collection is better for this and now we can go in a new direction.”

Joshua Ruff, chief curator at the museum, agreed. “Michael Izrael Galmer has gone through journeys in his life. The Long Island Museum is going through a journey right now. We have, in our 80 years, changed our name on numerous occasions. We were once the Suffolk Museum. We were once a small collection of natural history items and carriages and William Sidney Mount paintings and we have grown to be able to include contemporary art and the future is boundless for us.”

“We’re looking to, in the next 5, 10, 15 years down the road, really growing on what we are but [also] growing in new directions and making this place successful going into the next 80 years and beyond,” he added.

The Long Island Museum, located at 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook 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 for students ages 6 to 17. Children under 6 and museum members are free. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

Sharon Cowles

The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook has announced that local resident and longtime LIM supporter Sharon Cowles recently made a significant contribution to the museum’s future. The former Bayman’s Art gallery in the History Museum/Visitors Center, home to the museum’s collection of wildfowl decoys, has been renamed the Cowles Gallery.

While the decoys will be moved to another area of the museum in a more focused installation, the new gallery will triple the amount of exhibition space available for the presentation of the museum’s world-class permanent collection, giving visitors access to more of the LIM’s hidden treasures.

Cowles first moved to Long Island in the mid-1960s when she and her husband purchased a house in Old Field, neighboring the home of Dorothy and Ward Melville. “I didn’t know anything about Long Island … I knew where Jones Beach was but that was about it,” she said, adding that she was invited to stay with the Melvilles the first night she moved to the area. Later, she and Dorothy Melville became friends and Cowles became interested in many of the same projects Melville supported, including the Long Island Museum.

Her steadfast dedication to the LIM over the course of three decades led Cowles to make this truly transformative gift to the museum.