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.
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.
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.