By Kevin Redding
From the Reboli Center for Art and History and The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook to Gallery North in Setauket, the North Shore community has no shortage of options when it comes to appreciating work from local artists.
But for those who trek through art exhibitions seeking a more in-depth glimpse into the artist’s process and how specific paintings and sculptures came to be, there’s an opportunity to see it all up close and personal this weekend.
26 William Penn Drive
574 Moriches Road
28 Gaul Road
94 Old Field Road
114 Hallett Avenue
403 Pipe Stave Hollow Road
290 Main Street
22 Mud Road
Mary Jane van Zeijts
268 Main Street
11 Robert Townsend Lane
34 Southgate Road
574 Moriches Road
Saturday, Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 13, from noon to 5 p.m., the North Shore Artist Coalition will present an Artist Open Studio Tour that will provide the public with a free and intimate look at the studios of 12 local artists all within Three Village and its surrounding areas.
Those on the self-guided tour will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists — mostly painters and sculptors — about their work, range of styles and studio practices. Among the core artist group is sculptor Pam Brown, who, along with painters Doug Reina, Jim Molloy, Mary Jane van Zeijts and Nancy Bueti-Randall, decided to organize the event in an effort to promote professional artists who live on the North Shore. Other award-winning artists including Peter Galasso, Flo Kemp, Sungsook Setton, Fernanda Vargas, Christian White, Annemarie Waugh and Hugh McElroy were invited to participate in this weekend tour.
Brown, who once served as gallery director and curator at Dowling College, said the group wants to contribute to an already thriving art community and help identify the area as a cultural hub. Since the event is brand new, the artists are still unsure what kind of audience they should expect. Working in a creative field, Brown said that artists are always trying to build their audience, and so the group hopes to see a lot of people interested in observing their process — including kids.
“I think it’s a great way for them [kids] to see artists making a living,” said Brown. “Everyone on the tour is very social and friendly, and it will definitely be a comfortable ‘meet-and-greet’ situation. You can come by, meet the artists, see their studio practice and get the inside story as to the what, where, why and how of their work. Overall it’s a win-win for the community.”
According to Brown, there will be a wide variety of styles and techniques on display, depending on whose studio you’re in. As a sculptor, for instance, she will be working on a new piece and demonstrating copper fabrications.
Reina, who primarily paints the people and landscapes of Long Island from his studio in Setauket, has two commissions to work on during the tour. He also plans to have samples of his work on display, some of which will be for sale. With a background in teaching, he hopes anybody who might be interested in getting started in painting will come and talk to him about it. For him, having people around while he’s working will be a very welcome change of pace.
“It’s a pretty solitary lifestyle for me,” said Reina. “To get any good work done I have to close the door, put on some good music, and work. But I do like people … you need to have a little bit of a reaction every once in awhile to what you’re doing. It’s no good if it’s just a one-way street. You want people to enjoy [what you’re doing], to see what you’re up to, to comment on it, and to get excited about it.”
Even though purchase of any art piece on sale is encouraged, Brown insists that the main mission of the event is to “create an audience and appreciation” for these community artists. “We would love to see this tour happen on a yearly basis and have it continue to grow,” she said.
Admission is free and refreshments will be served at various studios. For further information, please call 631-834-9036.
All related information about the North Shore Artist Coalition, the Studio Artists and the Artist Open Studio Tour Map may be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NorthShoreArtistCoalition.