Tags Posts tagged with "Carol Fabricatore"

Carol Fabricatore

"Horseshoe Crab Rising" 48" w x 34" h, by Hank Grebe

An artist’s little black book is often a secret stash of intimate expressions, innermost thoughts, and experimental techniques that lay the groundwork for their final piece. Now some of those secrets will be revealed at the next art exhibit at the Smithtown Township Arts Council’s Mills Pond Gallery in St. James. The juried show,  titled Little Black Book, opens July 23.

‘Eva and the Socks’ by Kyle Blumenthal. Images courtesy of STAC

Juror Carol Fabricatore invited artists to enter works that captured the spirit, movement and emotions of their subject. When selecting the pieces for the show she looked for “works inspired by life…works that conjured narratives…that took us to places we had never seen… or introduced us to people and places.”

Artists build their work through inspiration, references, sketches, models, underpaintings and other modes of planning. Entrants were required to submit writeups digital images, sketches, etc. that showed the evolution of each piece they entered into the show.  

The result is 60 works of art by 40 artists created using a variety of mediums including acrylic, charcoal, collage, colored pencil, gouache, graphite, ink, oil, pastel and watercolor.

Exhibiting artists include Amal, Ross Barbera, Shain Bard, Nancy Bass, Hema Bharadwaj, Kyle Blumenthal, Renee Caine, Nan Cao, Benjamin Cisek, Caryn Coville, Yunyi Dai, Kirsten DiGiovanni, James Dill, Jacob Docksey, Amanda Dolly, John Edwe, Ella Emsheimer, Nicholas Frizalone, Ayakoh Furukawa-Leonart, Hank Grebe, Susan Guihan Guasp, Stefani Jarrett, Roshanak Keyghobadi, Myungja Anna Koh, Mark Levine, Yuke Li, Edward Mills, Adam Mitchell, Amuri Morris, Patricia Morrison, Eddie Nino, Moriah Ray-Britt, William Reed, Melanie Reim, Marie Roberts, Dominick Santise, Fang Sullivan, Tracy Tekverk and Nina Wood. 

Little Black Book will be on view at the Mills Pond Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James through Aug. 27. Gallery hours are Wednesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The public is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, July 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information or directions, visit www.millspondgallery.org or call 631-862-6575. 

By Melissa Arnold

Did you ever have an imaginary friend or enjoy playing dress-up as a child? If so, then you’ve likely had an alter ego – another side to your personality or self-perception. Some people with alter egos share them openly with the world through socializing, music or writing, while others keep that “other self” a closely guarded secret.

Allison Cruz, executive director of the Mills Pond Gallery in St. James, is constantly dreaming up unique and fresh ideas for exhibitions.

“My personal belief is the gallery is here to serve the art-going public, and my goal is to grow the art-going public. We do a wide variety of exhibits to give people a chance to connect with something of their interest,” she said in a recent interview. “This is a new generation of young artists, and how people view and access art is changing.”

The idea for Cruz’s latest exhibit, Transformations: Figures of Our Other Selves, came as she contemplated how young people today have embraced the concept of an alter ego, from multiple Instagram accounts for different facets of their lives to different personas in music and media. The subject intrigued the director, who said alter egos can be seen as dark and hidden or common and ordinary.

Around 10 exhibits are showcased at Mills Pond each year, roughly half of which are juried. Juried exhibits are curated by a guest juror who examines each entry for its artistry and how well it fits the chosen theme, ultimately selecting his or her favorites for exhibition.

“We all think about ourselves in different ways and sometimes consider what we’d rather be like,” said Transformations juror Carol Fabricatore, who lives in Westchester County. “A lot of us have an image of that perfect self or other self. It’s so fascinating to see how artists see themselves.”

Transformations marks Fabricatore’s first time serving as a juror, but she brings with her a lifetime of experience in creating art and spotting artists with great potential.

A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Fabricatore has spent the past 25 years on the Visual Essay faculty of her alma mater, where she also assists with admissions decisions. All the while, she has produced fine art and illustrations for newspapers, magazines, advertising firms and more. Her work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions across the country, including at Mills Pond, where she met Cruz in 2017.

“One of my favorite places to draw is Coney Island, and so I was a part of a Coney Island-themed exhibit Allison had curated,” Fabricatore explained. “She was so easy to talk to, genuinely curious and enthusiastic about my work. She asked right away if I would consider coming back sometime to jury for her. I took great care with my selections, but the process was so much fun.”

Fabricatore pored over digital images of artists’ submissions for the exhibit for more than a week before narrowing the field to 34 artists and a total of 47 pieces created with a variety of media. Each artist portrayed transformation in their own unique way, including representations of animals, masks, transgender people and angels, among others.

Cruz said she was initially apprehensive to pursue the theme but was thrilled with Fabricatore’s selections.

“I know this topic is out of the ordinary for a lot of artists. But I’ve been amazed with what I’ve seen,” she said. “We have reflections of how these artists see themselves at a deeper level. They have a lot to say, and as I read the artists’ statements and learn more about them, I’ve been so impressed with their willingness to share a different part of their personality.”

Northport artist Margaret Minardi is no stranger to alter egos. In fact, she’s seen her own alter ego every day in the face of her identical twin sister, Ellen.

One of Minardi’s submissions, titled “Twins Lost II,” is a colored pencil drawing of two sisters quietly sitting next to each other on a wooded path, their poses mirror images.

“For me, my sister has always excelled in the places where I struggle. We fill in each other’s gaps,” said Minardi, a retired high school art teacher. “[Ellen is] literally my other self. It was an easy subject for me to explore.”

As juror, Fabricatore still has one more job to do. She’ll choose first-, second- and third-place winners to receive awards at the exhibit’s opening reception on Aug. 17.

“As a whole, this is a really strong exhibit because there are so many different takes on the theme, and people are represented from all ages and all over the country. It’s a powerful, deeply personal show and it’s going to be fascinating to see the work all hung together,” she said.

Transformations artists include:

Bill Brunken (PA), D Brian Burns II (Brooklyn), Sarah Cameron (WA), Lisa L. Cangemi (Mineola), Nan Cao (NYC), Maureen Ginipro (Smithtown), Donna Grossman (FL), Alley Horn (Brooklyn), David Jaycox Jr. (Northport), Melanie Kambhampati (Whitesboro), Kathee Shaff Kelson (Stony Brook), Devin P. Kish (MA), Bruce Laird (Port Washington), AnnMarie LeBlanc (PA), Yuke Li (Brooklyn), Linda Louis (S. Huntington), Maria Gabriella Messina (NYC), Sarah Miller (VA), Margaret Minardi (Northport), Roni Murillo (Valley Stream), Anne Darby Parker (SC), Sean Pollock (Stony Brook), Adelyne Rizzo (PA), Jennifer Scuro (New Rochelle), Tod Seitz (OH), Eileen Shaloum (Long Beach), Scott Sherman (NYC), Steven Sherrill (PA), Michael Spencer (Manhasset), Matina Marki Tillman (CT), Yuta Uchida (MN), Nicholas Valentino (North Babylon), Dominique Vargo (MD) and Holden Willard (ME).

Transformations: Figures of Our Other Selves will be on view at the Mills Pond Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James, from Aug. 17 to Sept. 14. An opening reception, featuring many of the artists, an awards ceremony and light refreshments will be held on Aug. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. The gallery is open to the public Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. For further information, visit www.millspondgallery.org or call 631-862-6575.

'Neptune and Bambi’s Wedding Procession, Mermaid Parade'. Image from STAC
STAC’s latest exhibit invokes a Brooklyn state of mind

By Susan Risoli

Ladies and gentlemen and kids who like oddities — step right up for Greetings from Coney Island, an art exhibit running through June 25 at the Smithtown Township Arts Council’s (STAC) Mills Pond Gallery in St. James. Artists Kelynn Z. Alder, Carol Fabricatore, Candy Heiland and Marie Roberts show us all sides of Coney Island — easy days in the sun, mysterious nights under carnival lights, complex sideshow freaks, simple pleasures of food and fresh air. Sometimes these themes merge in a unique boardwalk alchemy, and the artists capture that too.

Kelynn Z. Alder

‘Neptune and Bambi’s Wedding Procession, Mermaid Parade’. Image from STAC

Kelynn Z. Alder’s “Neptune and Bambi’s Wedding Procession, Mermaid Parade” (oil painting on canvas) presents a couple in mermaid regalia, surrounded by a crowd of jubilant friends. The colors bring to mind the gravel in the bottom of a fish tank — lime-green, pinks, coral, oranges. The artist echoes them throughout the active scene — over here in a multicolored ice cream bar, over there in a celebrant’s lipstick. Gazing at this large painting is like a wild dream you know you should wake up from, but it’s too fascinating to leave just yet. And despite the artifice of the subjects’ costumes, their joy is genuine. In this parade of illusion, Alder paints happiness as real as the relief of misfits who finally found a welcoming tribe.

Carol Fabricatore

Carol Fabricatore renders two views of the same boardwalk sideshow. Her thorough treatment creates more questions than answers about what’s really going on. Her charcoal and acrylic “Snake Charmer” seems to be a fairly straightforward look at a carnival barker, swaying like a cobra while he drums up an audience for the charmer standing nearby with a snake around her waist. That boy in the corner, though … we wonder who he is, and where his parents are.

‘Coney Island Dog’ by Kelynn Z. Alder. Image from STAC

We meet up with this crew again, elsewhere in the exhibit, in Fabricatore’s “Boardwalk Barkers” (also charcoal and acrylic). This time we see the woman’s apparent ecstasy, as she nuzzles the snake. Her foot is raised coquettishly. Her behavior might all be part of her snake charmer performance, but how can we be sure? The crowd of bystanders gathered in front of her are just as uncertain as we are.

Here Fabricatore gives us an engrossing character study of their faces and body language. One lady has her hand on her chin, looking like the jury is still out on what in the heck is happening here. Boys in the crowd look unsettled — and transfixed. Even the guy pushing a baby in a stroller has stopped to take a look (and we wonder what sort of dreams that baby will have tonight). The drawing is mostly black and white, and the sparseness of its lines allows us to really focus on and study the individual reactions of each person in the crowd.

Candy Heiland

Candy Heiland is inspired by the color, light and dynamics of Coney Island at night. The children have all gone home now (or probably should have). Her oil pastels on paper have black backgrounds and are distinctive in their use of purple and mauve and crimson, rather than the circus colors we might associate with the carnival atmosphere. Her images are a world of oversized clown heads, or hallucinogenic eyes like the ones in “Spookarama Doors.” The Nathan’s Famous restaurant sign is bathed in moonlight and spotlight under Heiland’s treatment.

There is plenty of movement in Heiland’s work. We know the roulette wheels she represents are in reality hanging on a wall in the gallery, but still we feel the wheels spinning. The same is true of her carousel horses. This is not a happy carousel full of laughing families. These carousel horses are alive with disturbing and disturbed expressions on their painted faces, and we feel their urgent straining.

Marie Roberts

‘Coney Island Circus’ by Marie Roberts. Image from STAC

Brooklyn native Marie Roberts has a personal history with Coney Island: Her uncle Lester worked there, for the Dreamland Circus Sideshow, in the 1920s. Sideshow freaks dropped by the family home. Her work in the exhibit invites us to join her in hanging out with the fire eaters, the sword-swallowers, a contortionist or two. Her use of strokes of vivid color is abstract in some of her images, the afternoon light giving a different twist to yellow, red and blue.

She is more direct and realist in other paintings — so real that we can almost taste the zeppole and smell the funnel cake, and hear the vendor say, “What’ll you have?” Roberts juxtaposes children in adult settings, some working in carnival booths, some eating ice cream and taking it all in, some not human at all but frolicking baby mermaids.

‘Sword Swallower’ by Kelynn Z. Adler. Image from STAC

Her black outlines are bold and sure, but the mystery that swirls in like fog from the Atlantic Ocean is very much present in her work. There’s a lot going on here that requires a second and third look. As do the other artists in the show, Roberts reminds us that Coney Island is always a treat for the senses even as it pulls back the curtain just enough to leave us wanting more.

The Mills Pond House Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James will present Greetings from Coney Island through June 25. There will be an opening reception at the Gallery June 10, 4 to 6 p.m., with an opportunity to meet the artists and see Coney Island performance artist Wendy Blades, who will share her sword-swallowing talents. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For information, call 631-862-6575 or visit www.stacarts.org.