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art exhibit

As the days grow shorter and temperatures begin to fall we turn our attention to the sights and sounds of autumn. In celebration of the season, the Reboli Center for Art and History presents Autumn Shadows, a beautiful exhibit featuring artwork by Joseph Reboli, Laura Westlake, Vicki Sawyer and more that include some beguiling and bewitching crows and ravens in paintings, drawings, ceramics and jewelry.

The show will run from September 28 to Oct. 31.

Some of Joseph Reboli’s paintings are on loan from private collectors, and are rarely exhibited, providing a great opportunity for Reboli fans to see some of his work for the first time. 

Laura Westlake is a native Long Islander, who grew up in Stony Brook and now lives in Orient with her artist husband, Dominic Di Lorenzo. Having studied at Santa Barbara City College in California and the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, she spent 15 years working in commercial illustration for television, magazine and print ads, portraiture and book illustration. 

Westlake excels in both color pencil and oil paints and has been exhibiting in galleries for over 35 years. Her love of birds and nature complements the work of internationally known artist, Vicki Sawyer, another show participant.

Celebrated for her incredibly imaginative and whimsical art, Vicki Sawyer, former Stony Brook artist and designer, has had two shows at the Reboli Center in recent years. Growing up in farm country, she spent years studying and admiring birds and animals. 

Sawyer works in acrylic and incorporates vegetables, twigs and flowers to adorn her whimsical creatures with hats, necklaces and other decorative accessories. Her paintings are definitely one of a kind. Her notecards, calendars and other home decor items are on sale in the Reboli Design Shop.

Other participating artists include Kevin McEvoy, Linda Giacalone, Laura Peters, Barbara Glynn Prodanuik and more. The Center’s History Room will continue on with an interesting exhibition curated by Tricia Foley, The Legacy of Leslie Marchant, which showcases the life and accomplishments of the accomplished Long Island builder.

“We are thrilled to have such a high caliber of artists participating in Autumn Shadows,” said Lois Reboli, a founder of the Reboli Center. “They each bring a distinct element of talent and creativity that supplement each other’s work.”

The Reboli Center for Art and History is located at 64 Main Street in Stony Brook. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, please call 631-751-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org.

Resurgence: A rising again into life, activity, or prominence.


When the Smithtown Township Arts Council’s Mills Pond Gallery opens its doors this Saturday, it will introduce Resurgence, a fine art exhibition featuring fifty works by twenty-five contemporary realist artists selected by curator Thomas Legaspi. The stunning show will run through Oct. 23.

The exhibit features a cross section of representational artists from the New York  Metropolitan area, including Long Island, and Pennsylvania and a few artists whose ties to New York continue to be strong even after their art careers have relocated them after their amazing New York educational experiences.

“The artists have had to evolve and react to the changes happening in this pandemic society,” said Allison Cruz, Executive Director of the Mills Pond Gallery. “From cancelled brick and mortar exhibitions, closing of cultural institutions, concerns about the future to zoom teaching, virtual exhibitions and more. For some, working alone has sharpened their creative focus … for others, the absence of physical human connection has forced them to seek new sources of inspiration.” 

“We are thrilled to celebrate the strength of Realism as an art form and provide a forum for our public audiences to experience the moving and original ways artists depict the world around them,” she said.

Curator Thomas Legaspi has juried shows for Dacia Gallery and an Art Collective New York Realism. A New York based, contemporary realist artist with an MFA from The New York Academy of Art, he has exhibited nationally and internationally for the past 20 years. In that time, he has also worked as an Adjunct Professor of Art for St. John’s University and City College of Technology as well as in the historic Educational Alliance Art School in the Lower East Side. 

“With a hopeful gaze, Resurgence aims to highlight what these contemporary realist artists are creating in this return to creative activity,” said Legaspi.

Exhibiting artist include Susan Cottle Alberto, Steven Assael, Ross Barbera, James Xavier Barbour, Charis J Carmichael Braun, Julia Chen, Jon deMartin, Stephanie Deshpande, Elizabeth Diaz, William Dodge, Christian Fagerlund, Mojca Fatur, Kelly Foss, Kyle Keith, Sara Keith, Scott Lawson, Lisa Lebofsky, Peter Leeds, Cliff Miller, Kseniya Ostrovska, Ivan Pazlamatchev, Ravindra Rana, William D. Reed, Doug Reina and Zimou Tan.

The Mills Pond Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James presents Resurgence from Sept. 25 to Oct. 23. The community is invited to an artist reception on Sept. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. Proof of vaccination and masks are required.

Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 631-862-6575 or visit www.millspondgallery.org.

'Children of Cadiz' by Bill Graf

By Melissa Arnold

From his early days, Bill Graf was laser-focused on becoming a professional artist. And while he didn’t come from an artistic family, they were still eager to support him.

Artist Bill Graf

“When I was a little kid, I always drew — my mom was a voracious reader and would bring home stacks of books from the library, and I would draw in the margins,” said Graf, 61, of Huntington. “The librarian called our house and that’s how I was found out. My mom bought me two big pads of paper and pencils, and after that, it opened the floodgates.”

That deep love for creating has taken Graf from an art degree to a successful career and, more recently, sharing what he’s learned with others as an art teacher. He has also traveled the world in search of new vistas to capture.

This fall, the Atelier at Flowerfield in Saint James will exhibit more than 50 of Bill Graf’s paintings from the 1980s to current times. The solo exhibit will highlight Graf’s great skill in a variety of media and the beautiful places he’s been fortunate to paint over the years.

After high school, Graf wanted to use his artistic skills in a practical way. He chose to pursue an associate’s degree in advertising art and design from SUNY Farmingdale, but was initially turned down for the program.

“I met with the director of the program to sort of plead my case, and outside the office were these photorealistic pieces from the second-year students,” Graf recalled. “I told the director that I could do that. He doubted me, but he said, ‘Okay, I’ll give you three days to draw something in that style.’ When I came back, he looked at my work and said, ‘You’re in.’”

He went on to work in design, illustration and advertising, and studied in his free time at the Art Students’ League in New York City, where he learned the Frank Reilly system of painting. He also had the opportunity to study in Italy at the prestigious Cecil-Graves Studiomin Florence, Italy. Those experiences made a huge impact not only on his art, but on his career as well: Graf would spend more than 20 years illustrating the covers of various Harlequin novels.

“I would have a description of the hero and heroine, along with a synopsis of the book. Then I would work with models who would serve as references. We would set up the lights and backgrounds that I had chosen, shoot some pictures, then I would take those pictures home with me. I would have about a month to complete the final painting,” he explained.

Ultimately, as Harlequin switched over to photographed covers in 2015, Graf returned to his old passions as a way of coping with loss of his major client. He found renewed joy in watercolor and oil painting. A friend even suggested he try leading a casual paint night, which was a great success.

“I came away from that event with a sense that I could pass on what I’ve learned to others,” he said. “Seeing the enthusiasm of the people that were there, it felt like a good time to start paying it forward.”

Since 2016, Graf has taught a number of workshops in drawing and painting throughout Long Island, including at the Atelier.

“When we first met, I was blown away by Bill’s talent. He’s been able to pick up and excel in so many different media, with an incredible level of detail and a very high standard,” said Gaby Field-Rahman, administrator for the Atelier at Flowerfield. “Bill was also an instrumental part of getting the Atelier online and offering virtual classes during the height of the pandemic. In that way, he was truly a lifesaver for all of us.”

Carol D’Amato of Sound Beach first met Bill at one of his watercolor classes. She was newly widowed at the time and struggling to navigate life without her husband of 58 years.

“My doctor told me very seriously that I needed to make some positive changes or I was going to die of a broken heart. He asked me, ‘What is something you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance?’ I admitted that I wanted to try watercolor, and he broke out into this huge grin,” she recalled. “He immediately said that he knew just the thing — that I needed to go to the Atelier and study with Bill Graf.”

During the first class, Graf gently observed that D’Amato didn’t really know how to draw, and told her that if she could learn to draw, he knew she could learn to paint.

“I really was the worst drawer ever! I never knew that I had the capability. I just needed someone who cared to come alongside me and teach me,” D’Amato said. “No one teaches like Bill. He has the ability to make you feel good and find good things in your art, even when you’re doing things wrong. I started with simple shapes and now, amazingly, I can paint nudes.”

As for Graf, he is always striving to grow as an artist and has never lost the passion he found as a young boy.

“It was my lifelong ambition to become a painter. I still have the same enthusiasm for a finished piece as I did with those first drawings when I was a kid,” he said. “I can lose so much time in my art … it’s almost meditative. I’m not looking to be the greatest of them all — I just have a love for seeing ideas come to life and sharing what I’ve learned with others.”

Bill Graf’s solo exhibit is on display now through Oct. 21 at the Atelier at Flowerfield’s Atelier Hall, 2 Flowerfield, Suite 6 & 9, Saint James. A reception will be held Sept. 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 631-250-9009 or visit www.theatelieratflowerfield.org.

'Our Flag Was Still There' by Jack Ader

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Celebrate St. James will present an art exhibit at the historic Calderone Theater, 176 Second St., (second floor), St. James with an opening reception on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. Raffle prizes & 50/50 raffle. Refreshments will be served. Funds raised will go to the St. James 9/11 Memorial Fund and Save the St. James Theater Fund. For more information, call 631-984-0201 or visit www.celebratestjames.org.

'Rolling Wave Atlantic' by Casey Chalem Anderson

We all know that Long Island is a special place to live. Over at the Reboli Center for Art & History in Stony Brook, a beautiful new summer exhibit, Coming Home, showcases our island in all its glory.

“This past year has given us all an opportunity to reflect upon what is most important in our lives. For most, this includes family, friends and nature. The Reboli Center is honored to present the work of three artists whose works epitomize the wonder and beauty of Long Island: Casey Chalem Anderson, Lynn Mara and Joseph Reboli,” said Lois Reboli, a founder of the Reboli Center and wife of the late Joseph Reboli. The new exhibit opened July 20 and runs through Sept. 26.

‘Wave Rider’ by Lynn Mara

According to the prolific painter, Lynn Mara, a Long Island native, “I like to capture the American spirit through my work. My impressionist style turned abstract expressionist was influenced by my friend and fellow Southampton artist, the late Jack Reggio, as well as Andy Warhol, Fairfield Porter and Bansky.” Her media includes acrylic paint, oil pastels, hand cut stencils, spray paint and photographic images. Mara’s work has been featured on the Hampton Jitney, at Met Life Stadium, and she was the 2017 Hampton Classic poster design winner. Her flag painting was a gift to each member of the LPGA Solheim Cup in 2019 in Scotland. She is currently working on a 10th anniversary piece for the NY Giants, which will be given away at Giants Stadium this season.

Casey Chalem Anderson divides her time between Greenwich Village and Sag Harbor, where she immerses herself in both natural and urban artistic worlds. “I am a landscape painter who is secretly an abstract painter. After years of living by the beach and observing the daily color variations provided by the tides, sunlight and weather, I’m making paintings that are boiled down to the essential elements that I care about,” said Anderson. Her newest works are a series using the colors of her Hampton’s palette in novel abstract forms that connect her realist works.

‘Lookout’ by Joseph Reboli

Joseph Reboli grew up and lived in the Three Village area. Many of his works were painted on Long Island, Greenwich Village, Block Island and Tuscany. “Joe was noted for his luminous rendering of everyday scenes and subjects, infusing the mundane with an aura of wonder. No object was too familiar or humble for his transforming touch. His canvases glowed with an unmistakable light,” said Lois Reboli.

The History Room features a new exhibit as well. Titled Legacy of Leslie Marchant, the exhibit showcases the noted Stony Brook and Long Island builder and is curated by designer and author Tricia Foley. 

“There is a certain look about Leslie Marchant’s work – classic and symmetrical in style, usually brick or stone in material, and usually American Colonial Revival. This timeless style is seen in churches and schools, post offices and community centers throughout the Town of Brookhaven and the East End. Marchant was the ‘go-to’ builder of his time – from Bellport High School to the Stony Brook Crescent, Marchant built structures to last in this enduring and familiar vernacular,” said Foley. 

Join the Reboli Center on Sept. 25 from 3 to 5 p.m. for a “Birthday Celebration for Joseph Reboli,” who would have turned 76 on that date. 

The Reboli Center, 64 Main St., Stony Brook is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free. For more information visit their website at www.rebolicenter.org or call 631-757-7707.

As the world slowly reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions are lifted, the art world celebrates as well. Over at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, a new exhibit is ready to be unveiled this weekend. Titled “Awakening,” the show is described as “an exploration of the world of the past 16 months as seen through the eyes of artists.” Juried by Kathleen Gurchie of Gurchie Designs, the exhibit opens on July 17 in a virtual gallery format and runs through Sept. 6. 

Artists were challenged to submit their best works “representing their expressions of our world as we re-awaken and acclimate to a new post-pandemic normal.” 

“The title, ‘Awakening’, reflects our joy at finally awakening from the long pandemic “sleep” and stepping slowly and carefully into public life again. But that is not all! We are awakening in many other ways, including social, political and environmental,” said  Susan Peragallo, Gallery Coordinator and Curator at the Art League. “Juror Kathleen Gurchie approached her task with thoughtful care and did a wonderful job selecting some of the most powerful and beautiful interpretations of that theme.”

Of the 221 works submitted by artists from across the United States, Ms. Gurchie selected 59 to show in the virtual gallery in a range of mediums including; oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, collage, sculpture, digital, fiber, encaustic and monotype. Of those 59, six were singled out for awards. 

Awards of Excellence were give to Gerry Hirschstein of Old Bethpage for “Standing Twice as Tall,” pastel on canson paper; Margaret Minardi of Northport for “First Awake,” colored pencil drawing; and Beth Wessel of Huntington for her plaster sculpture titled “Joy.”

Honorable Mentions were handed out to Sooltan Madsen of Savannah Georgia for “Can You Spare a Fag,” oil on canvas; Regina Quinn of Gilboa, New York for “Salmon and Blue,” encaustic, oils and beeswax; and Philip Read of Long Island City for “On the Wings of a Dream”, drawing with watercolor.

“This skillful, wide ranging visual banquet can put a face to the complex mix of emotions from 2020’s extremes,” said Ms. Gurchie. “Sculptor Lloyd Lilly once told me ‘It’s in the tightest parameters of a system (ie: Awakening Theme) that our truest uniqueness shines forth.’ Additionally, it’s in viewing this, and experiencing that bond of commonality, that can help us to heal.”

“The timeliness and diversity of this show can do much more than entertain. It can lend you a perspective that you may not have considered. It can inform and help deepen your conversation,” she said. “It can show you that the indomitable human spirit, the timeless beauty and joy are very much present.”

The Art League of Long Island, 107 Deer Park Road, Dix Hills will present “Awakening,” a virtual gallery exhibition, from July 17 to Sept. 6 at www.artleagueli.org. For further information, call 631-462-5400.

Images courtesy of Art League of LI


'Poquott Beach'
‘Boy Juggler’ by Paul Edelson

Through the month of June, the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, 120 Main St., Setauket presents an art exhibit titled Mostly Still Life by Paul Jay Edelson.

This exhibit includes paintings from late 2019 through the present. There is a range of subject matter, including landscapes and seascapes, all in an abstract style with strong imagery and intense color.

Recognized at the 2014 Gallery North Outdoor Art Show for his “Outstanding Paintings in Oil,” the top prize in that category, Edelson also won awards presented by the North Shore Art Guild (2016, 2020), the Southold Historical Society (2017, 2018) and the Mills Pond Gallery (2020). In Fall 2017 he was awarded “Best in Show” by the Long Island Museum (LIM) for his painting “Yellowstone Bison.”

The exhibit is on view during library hours. For more information, call 631-941-4080.

Pixabay photo

The Whaling Museum, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor seeks artists for its 85th Anniversary Juried Exhibit titled 10x10x85.

How does one interpret 85 years of maritime history? By inviting local artists to share their vision on a 10×10 canvas for a juried exhibition to celebrate and inspire, 10x10x85 will feature creative works using a 10×10 inch canvas provided by the museum as a starting point. From there, artists have the choice of painting directly on the canvas, creating a mixed media piece, assemblage, sculpture, or anything else that interprets “85” or “8” or “5,” as long as the finished piece can be hung on a wall. All works will be on sale for $100 each during the exhibition period. There will be a 50/50 split on proceeds with the artist.

All funds raised will support museum education programming. Jurors include Northport artist and former Northport High School art teacher Margaret Minardi, and botanical artist and instructor at The Art League of Long Island and The Atelier at Flowerfield, Elizabeth Fusco.

The exhibit will run from October to December. Deadline to enter is Sept. 1. $20 entry fee includes a 10″ by 10″ canvas. For more information, visit www.cshwhalingmuseum.org/85art.

'The 2021 Press' by Ashley Park

The Heckscher Museum in Huntington has announced the top prizewinners for its student exhibition, Long Island’s Best: Young Artists. This edition marks 25 years of celebrating young artists across Suffolk and Nassau Counties. More than 300 student submissions, representing more than 50 schools across Long Island participated. Jurors chose 83 works of art for exhibition. The following students were awarded the top four prizes:  

‘Cultivating the Mustard’ by Keren Dial

Celebrate Achievement Best in Show

Keren Dial, Valley Stream South High School, Grade 11 for Cultivating the Mustard, colored pencil.

Second Place, Judith Sposato Memorial Prize

Ashley Park, Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, Grade 10, for The 2021 Press, mixed media.

Third Place, The Hadley Prize

Aleena Abraham, Hicksville High School, Grade 12, for Storge, oil pastel.

Fourth Place, The Stan Brodsky Scholarship Award

Ariel Kim, Jericho Senior High School, Grade 12, for Personal Garden, oil pastel and colored pencil.

The exhibition’s anniversary milestone comes during a year where virtual visits and online classes were held in lieu of in-person programs. Despite challenges, art teachers and Museum educators worked together to give high school students meaningful experiences with exhibitions on view.  Museum educators involved students through in-depth study and discussion about works of art. Each student then selected a work of art as their inspiration piece. They went on to create an original artwork and write an artist’s statement explaining their creative process.

‘Storge’ by Aleena Abraham

Jurors for the 2021 exhibition are Karli Wurzelbacher, Curator, and artist Melissa Misla, guest juror. Misla is a New York artist who holds an MFA from Queens College and is represented by Praxis Art Gallery, New York City. 

“I was eager to see the students’ approaches to creating,” said Misla, adding, “Long Island’s Best can impact a young artist in a transformative way.”  

Long Island’s Best: Young Artists will be on view at The Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington and online at www.heckscher.org through May 23. 

A virtual opening reception and awards ceremony will be held live on Instagram @heckschermuseum on May 1 from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, call 631-380-3230.

By Tara Mae

Abstract art invites an audience to use its imagination and interpret meaning. 

Gallery North’s newest exhibit, Laminar Rituals, celebrates the creation and explores the impact of mark making and non-objective art through the works of artists Sue Contessa of St. James and Anne Raymond of East Hampton. The show opens today, April 8.

Featuring Contessa’s acrylic paintings and Raymond’s monotypes and oil paintings, the title of the exhibit refers to their artistic styles, which incorporate transparent or translucent layers of paint that laminate, protect, and enhance their marks and brushstrokes. 

“Both artists really work in a very intuitive manner … Sue’s work is really about the experience the viewer has in front of the [art]. Anne is much more interested in transient qualities we find around ourselves — things like change in weather patterns, changes in light over the course of the day … trying to capture those fleeting moments around us,” said Gallery North Executive Director Ned Puchner. “I think when put together, this exhibit is really presenting records of our experience out in the world.” 

Rather than seeking inspiration from outside sources, Contessa finds meaning in the methodology of crafting her art. She uses acrylic paint and occasionally graphite pencil to build marks on the canvas. This technique creates a perceived visual depth to her paintings.

“The work is about repetition … The paintings are more about formal art issues, and the repetition allows for that form of meditation that I always hope will happen. I just have to trust my process. I tend to work rather thinly and transparently, so you are always seeing something from underneath, which impacts each layer,” said Contessa.

For Raymond, the development of her palette is an essential part of her creative process. “I work from a palette based on what I feel like at the time. If I don’t like it, I completely change it,” she said. “I float back and forth between doing monotypes and painting. I think this helps me stay fresh.”

Raymond uses plexiglass plates for her monotypes, making unique single prints with oil-based, pigment-rich, lithography inks. Unlike oil paint, the inks dry fairly quickly so Raymond is able to produce a few in a single session. 

The process of working in these mediums is different, but its influences are largely the same. Her art, although abstract, is impacted by the natural world. 

“Almost all of my work has reference to landscape, seascape, or sky. I feel really lucky. The beauty of Long Island is my muse,” Raymond said. 

Classically trained, Contessa and Raymond each studied art in college and then attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City. They worked in traditional, realistic mediums like figure drawing and still life before becoming abstract artists. 

After taking classes at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, Contessa was asked to teach figure and basic drawing classes there. 

“I have a background in realistic painting, but it wasn’t satisfying for me. It wasn’t what I wanted to paint. I wanted to paint something that didn’t exist before,” Contessa said. “When you create an [abstract] painting, it is something that you created. The reason for doing it in the first place is that I don’t know what it’s going to look like.”  

Raymond worked as an illustrator, for a newspaper, and in the travel industry before fully transitioning to a career as an abstract artist. “When I was studying, I did a lot of live drawing … I appreciate the skill, but it was not exciting in the way that working abstractly is. While working as an illustrator, I was already doing abstracts … I think it is creatively engaging to invite surprise into your process,” she said. 

Their complementary mindsets about composing abstract art is part of what initially inspired Puchner to pair their art for an exhibit. “I saw common features with both of them,” he said. 

It is the first show that Contessa or Raymond have done since the pandemic began. The exhibit is part of Puchner and Gallery North’s ongoing effort to introduce patrons to the work of local artists and provide the local artists with additional exhibition possibilities. 

“I’m really trying to present more artists and give more artists more opportunities to show. I have fun trying to create these pairings and expose our audience to more local artists,” Puchner added. 

Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket presents Laminar Rituals through May 16. The exhibit will be open to the public during the gallery’s normal hours, Wednesdays to Saturdays from 11 a.m to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. All onsite events are socially distanced and masks are mandatory for entry.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Raymond will lead a monotype workshop for a class of up to six people at the Studio at Gallery North on April 10 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Contessa and Raymond will participate in a Virtual ArTalk on April 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. 

For more information, to register for these programs, or to learn more about Laminar Rituals and other upcoming exhibits, visit www.gallerynorth.org or call 631-751-2676.