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Doug Reina

Artist Stuart Friedman paints at Frank Melville Memorial Park during a previous Wet Paint Festival. Photo courtesy of Gallery North
Two-day plein air painting event combines art, history and nature

By Rita J. Egan

Gallery North’s 20th annual Wet Paint Festival will take place in what was once considered a Setauket hub.

Held on June 1 and 2, the plein air painting event, featuring more than 40 artists, will be held on the grounds of the Tyler Homestead. Located at 97 Main Street, the mid-1700s home sits across the street from the Setauket Post Office and Frank Melville Memorial Park. Right in the homestead’s backyard is the Patriots Rock Historical Site, where the Battle of Setauket was fought.

For the 2024 event, Gallery North has partnered with Three Village Community Trust (TVCT), which owns the Tyler home. Erin Smith, Gallery North’s director of development, said they were pleased that the land trust was willing to make the Tyler Homestead available for the event.

The property will serve as the center point, where artists can explore around and near the property to decide the subject of their paintings. Choices include the house and property, Frank Melville Memorial Park, Patriots Rock, the Setauket Green, Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, nearby churches and the three Factory Worker Houses located less than a mile down the road.

“You bring your easel, and whatever vignette or view that moves you, you paint,” Smith said. “It’s nice because the whole idea of plein air painting is that it captures the light really well, and it gets you outside. You can really capture the historic beauty of the area in a unique way.”

Smith added that, during past festivals, some artists have chosen to paint objects such as an ice cream truck or bench. As for the Tyler Homestead and the area, it was chosen for “its historical significance and natural beauty.”

“It’s a highly visible central location for the community,” she explained.

Herb Mones, TVCT president, agreed that the Tyler house is the perfect location.

“It not only has the expansive yard, but it’s on Main Street, and it’s so close to so many other historical sites, parks and venues that the artists could spread out, and yet the Tyler house is the central focus,” he said.

In addition to various activities set up in the Tyler Homestead’s back and side yards, Mones said TVCT will provide tours of the Patriots Rock site and discuss the role early Setauket residents and British occupiers played during the American Revolution.

Artist Angela Stratton, who has participated in past Wet Paint Festivals, said she always looks forward to being outside and choosing what to paint.

“When you go out to paint, and you’re looking around, it’s kind of what hits you in your heart,” Stratton said. “One day, to some, a certain spot can look beautiful. The next day you can go and that doesn’t intrigue you.”

The artist added that she welcomes spectators’ questions and appreciates children being exposed to art at the festival. How quickly an artist completes a painting, she said, depends on the person and the canvas size. She said many base how long they spend on a painting on how the sunlight hits a subject during a certain time of day or some will stay despite the light passing.

For Three Village Historical Society Historian Beverly C. Tyler, the homestead is more than a landmark; it’s the home he grew up in. The historian said for a time the property had flowers all over, from front to back, that his stepfather, Lou Davis, cared for. Tyler described the flowers as “absolutely gorgeous.”

“Having the Wet Paint Festival there is sort of a continuation of his efforts to use the property,” Tyler said.

The historian fondly remembers playing on the grounds.

“Everything was very interesting around there, and I would sometimes sit on the front porch and just watch the cars go by and count the number of Chevys and Fords and other types of cars that were going by, and I could see everybody that came into the post office.”

Tyler added the area appeared in several postcards, and the Neighborhood House next to his family home was once a summer boarding house his grandfather ran in the late 1800s and the early 1900s.

In addition to viewing artists at work, attendees can participate in wildlife and plant life lectures or go on a guided tour of plein air paintings with regional artists Doug Reina and Christine D’Addario. WUSB 90.1 FM/107.3 FM will present live musical performances each day. Visitors will also be able to purchase food from LevelUp Kitchen and enjoy a delicious picnic in an idyllic setting.

Later in the month, from June 25 to July 7, art lovers can enjoy an exhibition at the Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook featuring the participating artists’ paintings. An opening reception will be held on June 25 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, June 1

11 a.m. History Walk with members of the Three Village Community Trust

Noon to 2 p.m. Music by Tom Killourhy

12:30 p.m. Meet local wildlife from Sweetbriar Nature Center

2 p.m. Take part in a plein air art tour with artist Christine D’Addario

Sunday, June 2

11 a.m. History Tour with Margo Arceri of Tri-Spy Tours

11:30 a.m. Nature Walk with the Four Harbors Audubon Society

Noon to 2 p.m. Music by Kane Daily

1:30 p.m. Plein air Art Tour with artist Doug Reina

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Generously sponsored by the Village Art Collective and Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning., the Wet Paint Festival will be held on the grounds of the Tyler Homestead, 97 Main St., Setauket from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2. The event is free of charge for spectators. A rain date is scheduled for June 15 and 16. For more information, call 631-751-2676 or visit gallerynorth.org/pages/wet-paint-festival.

'Sicilian Blue' by Stan Brodsky

By Tara Mae

Bold colors, rich compositions, lush imagery. Gallery North invites individuals to immerse themselves in the resplendent renderings and impactful art by late contemporary artist Stan Brodsky with Recastings: Stan Brodsky, a memorial retrospective on view from Aug. 11 to Sept. 18. An opening reception will be held on Aug. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

“Stan is a very influential artist to many artists practicing right now in our area. We felt it was important to show his work, keep it being viewed by the public and continuing to influence other artists. He has a great collection of work that is still available. The work itself is timeless and it’s important for it to be out there,” said Curator Kate Schwarting. 

‘Edge of Summer’ by Stan Brodsky

Brodsky, who died in 2019 at the age of 94, was an artist and educator based out of Huntington. Recastings, the third solo exhibit at Gallery North of the artist’s work, is a cultivated exploration of Brodsky’s more abstract art. 

Through his 75 year career, Brodsky created both representational and abstract art. The 1960s and 1970s were mainly periods of representational art, but by the 1980s, Brodsky was incorporating different texture, tones, and styles — developing the abstract techniques he would continue to cultivate for the next 40 years. 

Recastings primarily highlights the pieces he created during this era. The exhibit includes approximately 15 oil on canvas paintings of various sizes as well as large framed works on paper, unframed works on paper, oil on paper, and mixed media pieces, reflecting three hallmarks of his career: a powerful command of color, a profound connection to nature, and the support he provided to other artists. 

Color is a dynamic and defining character in Brodsky’s art, recognized by each individual interviewed for this article, while nature is a recurrent catalyst and muse.

“Stan Brodsky was renowned for his use of color. One critic called his colors ‘unnameable.’ The paintings change with the light, and so provide endless fascination,” Jeanne Hewitt, Brodsky’s widow and Trustee of the Stan Brodsky Trust, said.  

‘Sun and Soil’ by Stan Brodsky

The artist’s distinct use of color showcases the power of his brushstrokes and indicates the impression of the natural world on his work. According to Schwarting, these traits allow a larger audience to relate to Brodsky’s art and are part of what drew her and Gallery North’s Executive Director Ned Puchner to the art that they chose to display. 

“There are all different ways to connect with [Brodsky’s] work His use of color is really incredible —  the color just vibrates, it is so vibrant and electric; his inspiration from nature; and his mark making is exquisite. There are so many details in his pieces, the push and pull, the layering, each one is very complex,” Schwarting said. 

The exhibit is the continuation of a nearly 50 year relationship between Brodsky/his estate and Gallery North. Brodsky exhibited his work nationally and internationally but always maintained and nurtured his ties to the local artistic community of Long Island, including acting as teacher and mentor to many working artists in the area. 

“He encouraged and taught other artists up until a few months before his death…Stan was beloved for the encouragement he offered to other artists, and for the help he offered,” Hewitt said.   

Delving into Brodsky’s imprint on artists, “Stan Clan: Discussion on Brodsky’s Influence,” a panel talk with six of Brodsky’s former students reflecting on how he affected their creative development, will be held on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. 

When asked about this event, Puchner said he was most looking forward to the stories about Brodsky and his philosophy.  

“It seems like he was such a charismatic, emotional person. When watching some of the videos of his previous talks, you see he was not afraid to talk about things like love and the more heightened emotional aspects of the creative process. What elements of his creative process have been picked up by the next generation of his students? How that was imparted to his students and how they and whether they continue to do that themselves will be really interesting,” he added. 

Artist Doug Reina, who recently had a solo exhibit at Gallery North and will be one of the guests at the panel discussion, views Brodsky’s roles as artist and educator to be lasting gifts. “For those who know and appreciate his work, Stan Brodsky will always be remembered as a great painter who combined gorgeous colors, shapes, and compositions in a truly unique way,” he said. “For those lucky to have been his students, he will be remembered for his deep knowledge of painting that he always shared so generously. Perhaps the most important part of his legacy is how he helped so many artists grow, to take chances, to push beyond their limits.”

Reina will be joined at the discussion by fellow artists Susan Rostan, Peter Galasso, Marceil Kazickas, Ellen Hallie Schiff, and Alicia R. Peterson, each of whom studied and/or worked with Brodsky. 

As a complement to the exhibit, on August 24 at 6 p.m., Art of NYC and Long Island, in conjunction with Brodsky’s estate, will provide a presentation at the gallery about art conservation techniques: identifying and treating condition issues in paintings, works on paper, and also sculptures. The exhibit, panel discussion, reception, and presentation are free and open to the public. A photo catalogue with a short essay about Brodsky and his art will be available to visitors. 

Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket, is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. Recastings: Stan Brodsky is sponsored by Nancy Goroff, Jefferson’s Ferry, bid Architecture, and Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning. For more information, call 631-751-2676 or visit www.gallerynorth.org.

Cindy M. Smith was over many years an enthusiastic champion of Long Island artists. She and her husband Warren Strugatch shared the art collecting bug, owning landscapes and abstractions by Ty Stroudsburg, Nan Kemp, Doug Reina and many others. In nice weather, the Stony Brook couple climbed into their white Miata, put the top down, and toured art spaces between Manhattan and Montauk. Whether they bought or not, they offered words of encouragement to artists, praising what they liked and asking where the artists would be exhibiting next.

Over time they struck up many artworld friendships. The pair frequently invited painters and other creative folks to visit them in their sprawling, sun-drenched home off Stony Brook Road where the works they collected went on display.

Cindy gave special encouragement to women artists, her husband said. “I think she realized that many women must work harder to be taken seriously as artists. She was highly empathetic to that. When she bought a painting from a female artist, she felt she was not only saying the right thing, but doing the right thing, too.”

Sadly, Cindy passed away Feb. 15 after a long battle with leukemia. The Long Island Museum has dedicated its current exhibition, “Two Centuries of Women Artists,” to her memory. On June 9th the museum held a reception for “Two Centuries,” which Joshua Ruff, the museum’s deputy director, said was one “Cindy would have loved.”

“We miss her greatly,” Ruff said, “not least because she lived her passion for the arts every day. Without passion, the arts wither. Without inclusivity, the arts deflate. She and Warren helped establish connections to some of the finest artists we have added to our campus is recent years. Their boundless energy boosted our exhibition openings, energized our concerts, and bolstered our community.”

Warren, who sponsored the reception in his wife’s memory, said that he would be leaving their house in Stony Brook as it was now “too big just for me.” A writer and consultant, he is keeping their art trove intact. He plans to transport it and much of the couple’s Midcentury Modern furniture collection to his new apartment in Astoria. 

“The walls are pretty tall” in his new apartment, he said. “I’m pretty sure there will be room for all the art we collected. Seeing the art every day helps keep Cindy in mind for me. Her enthusiasm was true and contagious.”

See video footage of the reception below.

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By Irene Ruddock

Artist Doug Reina

Artist statement:

‘I paint Modified-Realism by altering and enhancing colors, using more abstract compositions, and leaving large areas of the painting an ambiguous black.’

Doug Reina, a well-known Long Island artist, is currently preparing for his first solo exhibit at Gallery North in Setauket. Titled Prolonged Perceptions: Recent Paintings by Doug Reina, the exhibit will run from April 7 to May 22 with an opening reception on April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. and an ArTalk on April 9 at 6 p.m.

I had a chance to dig deeper into the artistic vision of this prestigious artist when I visited his studio located at 290 Main Street, Setauket where he gives lessons every Thursday. Be sure to view his website dougreina.com for additional information about his distinguished career.

When did you first realize your interest and talent in art? 

Ever since I was a small child, I had an interest in making art that expressed my feelings. I sensed that I had talent for art based on the reaction my work was getting from my art teachers and classmates.

Do you remember the first piece of art that you created? 

When I was four or so, I decided to run away by doing a self-portrait showing me running away, which I slipped under my folk’s bedroom door. As I recall it got a really big, affectionate reaction from my mom!

Your parents are involved in the art world. Can you tell us about them and how they influenced you? 

My dad is a sculptor who made large public bronze works. He also taught art at Nassau Community College, where he was the director of the Art department. My mom was also an artist and had a gallery of contemporary crafts in Cold Spring Harbor. The home was full of original, contemporary art. I think having all that work to soak in over the years helped me to develop my own sense of aesthetics. 

Who else was instrumental in encouraging you to pursue your art? 

Stan Brodsky, a Long Island painter, became a mentor to me when I was a student in his Advanced Painting class. Stan opened my eyes about how much more a painting could express. I know I was very lucky to have those classes in that stage of my artistic development. I had the privilege of interviewing Stan about his artistic life at the Reboli Center which you can view on YouTube.  

Can you name another artist whose work you admired and gave you inspiration?  

When I first saw Richard Diebenkorn’s loose, gestural, figurative paintings I was blown off my feet. I see that he’s choosing colors because that’s what he feels the painting needs, rather than what reality says it’s supposed to be. But the thing that always gets me is the way he’ll paint something that’s loosely realistic but arrange the composition in such a way that the painting also feels somehow abstract. 

 Your latest works are going to be shown at Gallery North in a solo show titled Prolonged Perception. How would you describe these pieces? 

They are paintings of the things I am attracted to — obscure, ordinary spaces of contemporary life that are often overlooked. I paint over a blackened canvas, which makes the colors really pop. It also allows for some interesting effects when the black shows through the thin sections of color. But most importantly, I can leave large areas to remain black. This changes the paintings, as they are no longer “normal” fully rendered scenes. The black creates both a powerful design element as well as an equally powerful psychological quality in the work.  

What feelings would you like the viewer to come away with?

I’d like them to feel they are seeing something new and fresh with beautiful color and compositions that have an abstract painting quality to them. I’d like them to take in a view of something often overlooked, yet possess some interesting emotional vibe that is worth slowing down for and considering.   

Your recently published book, Under the Covers, showcases your cartoon work which has been described as ‘absurd, hilarious, and surprisingly touching.’ How did you become interested in cartooning?

My first love as a child artist was drawing cartoons. I continued through my adult life and had some luck getting them published with The New Yorker magazine as well as with King Features Syndicate. I have a love for vintage fountain pens and always have a sketchbook on hand to amuse myself. A few years ago, I had started posting my little doodles from my sketchbook onto Instagram, where they amused my friends and like-minded strangers. I was advised to put them into a book which has been very well-received and can be purchased on Amazon.  

Your immensely popular paintings on cigar boxes are another unique way you express your art. How did that come about? 

There is another Richard Diebenkorn influence. I had read that he would take the lids off cigar boxes, paint directly onto them and give them as gifts to his friends. I do it a little differently though, in that, I like the paper border around the cigar boxes and use that as a “frame” for my paintings. l also left the lid on the box. In fact, I glue them to the box which allows the entire box to be hung on a wall to be presented just like a regular painting.

You have many facets to your creativity, but many still admire your Long Island landscapes. How do you perceive these paintings?

I think my plein air paintings have a freshness to them that I find often hard to replicate when working in the studio. I can always tell the difference between the two types of paintings.  Whenever I paint outdoors, I feel a sense of urgency, as the weather is changing and the sun is on the move — so, there’s no time wasted. I begin to paint ahead of my mind, and I paint more with my heart. That puts an energy into the brushstrokes and that gives the paintings a nice sense of life to them.

Your figurative work encompasses a plethora of interesting characters. What is it about a person that intrigues you to paint them? 

People have so much character that they can add a powerful mood to a painting quite nicely. Plus, they can be a “stand in” for the viewer or me and help tell a type of story in the painting that we all share and feel as humans. 

The prestigious Pollack-Krasner award was given to you twice. What did receiving that award mean to you and how did you utilize it? 

I was honored to have received those grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. As an artist, it made me feel like my work had merit and I was on the right track. The grant money has enabled me to open and maintain my studio, which has been here on Main Street in Setauket since 2014. 

Your work is in many private collections. Is there one that brought you the most fulfillment? 

Yes, I was commissioned to paint a copy of Washington Crossing the Delaware. This was a complicated painting that took many months to complete. When it was completed, I felt that I had become a stronger, more confident painter. It’s on my website under the Commissions section if you’d like to see it. (www.dougreina.com) 

What is your lifetime goal as an artist? 

To have a long and healthy life where I can continue to make art that means something to me and to the people who exhibit it and collect it.  

The Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook presents its winter holiday exhibit, “Celebrate the Season,” from Nov. 4 through Jan. 23, 2022. 

The show will feature the artwork of a variety of artists, including paintings by the late artist, Joseph Reboli, the Setauket-based artist for whom the Center is named. 

Participating artists include Mireille Bellajonas, Lucille Betti-Nash, Grainne de Buitlear, Al Candia, Donna Crinnian, Julie Doczi, David Ebner, Pamela Herbst, Tyler Hughes, Melissa Imossi, Joanne Liff, John Mansueto, Esther Marie, Jim Molloy, Dan O’Sullivan, Vicki Sawyer, Gia Schifano, Carl Siege, Jodi Stills, Angela Stratton, Mike Stanko, Ty Stroudsberg, Joseph Reboli, Doug Reina, Corinne Tousey, Hal Usher, Mary Jane van Zeijts, Marlene Weinstein, Charles Wildbank, and Patricia Yantz. 

“We are thrilled to have so many Long Island artists in the show,” said Lois Reboli, a founder of the Reboli Center.

In addition, the Reboli Center’s Design Shop will once again be the envy of Santa’s workshop as it is decorated for the holidays and filled with beautiful and handcrafted gifts for people of all ages. In the seasonally-festive shop, you will find jewelry, felted ornaments, artisan crafts, art books, children’s toys, scarves, mittens, hats, prints and more. Reboli gift certificates are also available in any denomination. Free gift wrapping is available while you enjoy the holiday spirit at the Center.

The Reboli Center is located at 64 Main Street in Stony Brook, and is open Tuesday  to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5pm. Admission is free. For more information, please call 631-751-7707. 

Be sure to visit the Center’s website at www.ReboliCenter.org for holiday hours, pop-up shops and special events.

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

Merriam-Webster

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.

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Artist Doug Reina

Join the Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington for an inspiring day at the Museum and Dove/Torr Cottage in Centerport on Saturday, Sept, 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Begin the day at the Museum with an exclusive tour. Artist Doug Reina will share his insight and expertise as he takes you through the exhibition and highlights landscape paintings including many by Arthur Dove and Helen Torr. Then, head to historic Dove/Torr Cottage on Center Shore Road in Centerport to spend the afternoon painting en plein air. Bring your own painting supplies and pack a brown bag lunch.  Rain date is Sept. 19.  Fee is $50 per person, $40 members. To register, visit www.heckscher.org.

 

By Tara Mae

After a 3 year absence, Local Color returns to Gallery North, a proclamation of the connection between art, artist, and community. On view from Aug. 19 to Sept. 26, the exhibit is presented in conjunction with the North Shore Artists Coalition and includes a reception and Open Studio Tour. 

The beautiful show features artists whose work is both universal and local in impact, meaning, and appeal. 

“[Executive Director] Ned Puchner and I decided to bring Local Color back this year and re-envision it to show through these artists what local culture is about. The exhibit is defining the role artists play in shaping identity of community and showing diversity of how artists define community: creating culture, creating beautiful and impactful work, adding to the identity through their outreach, etc,” said curator Kate Schwarting. 

The show’s art is as varied as its interpretation of theme, featuring oil and acrylic paintings, photography, sculptures, and digital renderings. Thirty artists, from St. James to Mount Sinai, will be featured including Kelynn Alder, Arts.codes (Margaret Schedel and Melissa Clarke), Fred Badalamenti, Joan Branca, Sheila Breck, Pam Brown, Nancy Bueti-Randall, Sue Contessa, Micheal Drakopoulos, Paul Edelson, Peter Galasso, Han Qin, LoVid, Flo Kemp, Karen Kemp, Jim Lecky, Jim Molloy, Carlos Morales, Patricia Morrison, Patricia Paladines, Mel Pekarsky, Alicia R. Peterson, Doug Reina, Joseph Rotella, Angela Stratton, Mary Jane van Zeijts, Lorraine Walsh, Annmarie Waugh, Marlene Weinstein, and Christian White.

“What is so special about this exhibition is that each artist brings a different thing to the exhibition,” explained Schwarting. “A plein air painter captures the essence of a familiar location and allows us to see it in different light; someone else [deals] with a scientific topic that is so difficult to comprehend, but creates art that enables us to know through physical form and visual cues.”   

Several of the participants are also activists who champion social, technological, and environmental awareness and change through their art. 

According to Schwarting, a number of the artists were recruited through the gallery’s association with the North Shore Artists Coalition, while others were invited by her and Puchner. 

Pam Brown, a sculptor who lives in Stony Brook and co-founder of the coalition, helped facilitate the partnership between the group and the gallery. Her piece, Armour, is a sculpture fabricated out of sheet metal, wire, boar bristles, and vinyl. Brown’s efforts in facilitating the relationship between Gallery North and the North Shore Artists Coalition reflect the connection she sees between art and community outreach. 

“Community engagement creates an opportunity for the arts and artists to be seen by their communities — it initiates new ways for the public and artists to build connections between different groups. It brings together communities so they can articulate their own history and culture and to acknowledge that art is taking place in a larger context,” she said. 

For artist Doug Reina of Stony Brook, who has exhibited at Gallery North in the past, showing his work in Local Color is reconnecting with a “fun, summertime tradition.” 

“My work is about sharing the interesting, touching, emotional, funny, beautiful, sad human things that mean something to me with the viewer,” said Reina. His oil painting, titled Boys Night Out, depicts 4 teenage boys sneaking out of the house on a summer night. “The painting is based on real life experiences we had when our son was that age,” he explained.

Interpersonal connection is a recurring subject of the show’s art. This focus extends outward into explorations of our interactions with and responsibility to the world-at-large.

Han Qin of St. James will be entering her cyanotype on paper, White Goddess, which incorporates digital photo editing, drawing, and papermaking. It was inspired by two poems: “The White Goddess” by Robert Graves and “Quiet Night Thoughts” by Li Bai. 

“I started the White Goddess series during my pregnancy and have been developing it until now. Poetry and life experience are the main inspirations. The idea behind the artwork becomes a shared experience that brings people together,” she said.

“We as a people have a long continuous personal storyline. Artwork is the moment on the storyline. My moment connects with others’ moments in their individual storylines; thus, a web of emotional connections builds up. That is a community, too,” said Qin.

Such cultural connections are enhanced through community involvement. In this spirit, exhibiting artists of Local Color will also be featured in an Open Studio Tour hosted by the North Shore Artists Coalition and Gallery North on Sept. 25 and 26, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. 

“With one piece from each of the selected artists in the exhibit itself, the Open Studio Tour allows for an expanded view of the individual artists,” said Schwarting. 

Gallery North, 90 North Coutry Road, Setauket presents Local Color from Aug. 19 to Sept. 26. Join the artists for an opening reception tonight, August 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 631-751-2676 or visit www.gallerynorth.org.

'Isolation' by Doug Reina

The Long Island Museum (LIM) in Stony Brook has announced that they will be holding their annual LIMarts Art exhibition virtually. 

Every Day: Transforming Crisis into Art will be online from Dec. 18 until Feb. 14, 2021. The 7th annual exhibition by members of the Museum’s collaborative arts group, LIMarts will be presented on the Museum’s website and across LIM’s social media. 

“2020 has been a year like no other,” said Neil Watson, Executive Director of the Long Island Museum. “The LIMarts exhibition has always been a year-end highlight of the LIM. While we will miss the excitement of gathering in the gallery this year with local artists, the LIM is committed to continuing to bring the community together through the arts by offering this virtual experience.” 

‘Isolation’ by Doug Reina

Over 70 LIMarts members have used their creativity and talent and submitted their artwork that answers the questions “What has your every day looked like? How has it changed? How have you been spending your time? Has every day been the same or are you finding ways to make your days feel different? What have you been doing to cope or perhaps you’re not just coping but thriving?”  

The LIMarts collaborative arts group embraces the goal to enhance and support the rich artistic talent on Long Island. Designed for artists dedicated to creating a new forum within our cultural community, LIMarts offers space for the exhibition and sale of artwork, varied programming events, lectures and opportunities for social gathering with other artists and the public.  

Doug Reina, an LIMarts member and frequent participant of the Museum’s previous exhibitions will be presenting his artwork, Isolation. Reina, a local artist from Setauket who recently received his second Pollock-Krasner grant, is enthused about the online exhibition. “Bravo to the LIM for putting this virtual show together! Using art as a way to connect us is needed now more than ever,” he said. 

Presented artwork that is listed for sale will be handled by the individual artist and not by the Museum. The LIM is sensitive to the current circumstances faced by artists during these challenging times and is committed to supporting them and the arts community, therefore all proceeds will support the individual artists and the Museum will not retain a commission.  

For more information on LIMarts membership or if interested in purchasing any of the artwork that is listed for sale, please contact Alexandria D’Auria at [email protected]. To view the gallery of art go to the homepage of www.longislandmuseum.org and follow the links to the exhibition.

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