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Emily Martin

'June' by Emily Martin is on view at the HAC's Main Street Gallery. Photo courtesy of Huntington Arts Council

Currently on view at the Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery is a fiber show titled Uncommon Threads.  The juried exhibition opened on July 15 and runs through August 27.

The exhibition focuses on fiber arts in all its forms. Juror Patty Eljaiek invited artists to provide entries that included either fiber-based materials or unconventional materials used in typical fiber art techniques such as crochet, weaving, sewing, felting, embroidery, etc.

‘Sattva’ by Luda Pah is on view at the HAC’s Main Street Gallery. Photo courtesy of Huntington Arts Council

As a mixed media artist, Eljaiek exhibits nationwide, in galleries from New York to California. Her work reflects her experience as a first generation American immigrant focusing on themes of belonging and identity. She continues to explore traditional fiber arts to create new and evolving work incorporating repurposed materials. 

“I am so very excited about this exhibit,” said Eljaiek. “The original concept was to highlight contemporary works that celebrate fiber, in all its forms. The selected works show a wide variety of techniques, subjects and materials. It is thrilling to see artists creating work specifically for this show and also inspiring to know that there are artists who are working with fiber arts today in so many different ways. The Uncommon Threads exhibit is a perfect example of why fiber arts is fine art.”

Exhibiting artists include Mara Ahmed, Eileen Bell, Mary Brodersen, Amanda Burns, Kathy Cunningham, Oksana Danziger, Sherry Davis, Barbra Ellmann, Alicia Evans, Josefina Fasolino, Veronica Haley, Marilyn Hamilton Jackson, Conor Hartman, Andrea Larmor, Samantha Lopez, Emily Martin, John Michaels, Claudia Monnone, Luda Pahl, Eileen Palmer, Bernadette Puleo, Lauren Singer, Lisa Stancati, Devlin Starr, Robert Stenzel, Kim Svoboda, Rebecca Vicente, Debra Fink Bachelder, Ann Marie Miller, Deborah Monteko and Cindy Russell.

“Huntington Arts Council prides ourselves in providing opportunities that inspire artists to showcase their work. Uncommon Threads is an exhibit that features the work of both up and coming and seasoned artists; many new to HAC,” said Kieran Johnson, Executive Director of Huntington Arts Council. “The use of fiber to convey a story, feeling or message is at its best in this exhibit. I hope you will stop by to experience the unique and impactful medium of fiber art.” 

The Main Street Gallery, 213 Main Street, Huntington is open from Tuesday to  Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 631-271-8423 or visit huntingtonarts.org.

By Tara Mae

Proud portraits. Mixed media meditations. Vibrant colors and muted tones. A true exploration of artistic expression, the 26th annual Long Island’s Best: Young Artists at the Heckscher Museum student exhibition is now on view in Huntington through May 29.

Jurors Karli Wurzelbacher, (Curator, at The Heckscher Museum), and local artist Emily Martin (a weaver, installation artist, and textile designer) had the difficult task of selecting 79 works out of 399 entries from 55 different schools. “It is our most competitive year yet,” said Director of Visitor Experience Kristina Schaaf.

Top awards went to four distinct mixed media works of art. 11th grader Ashley Park of Half Hollow Hills High School West won the  Celebrate Achievement Best in Show award for This is Who I Am; 12th grader Anjali Gauld of Manhasset High School received Second Place for Bowerbird’s Baubles; 12th grader Khizran Fatima of Hicksville High School captured Third Place for Sinf e Aahan (Women of Steel); 12th grader Charlotte Quintero of Hicksville High School received Fourth Place for Tattered Flesh. 

Long Island’s Best is a way to highlight the talent we have in our communities and connect it with the public. People come in and cannot believe that teenagers have created such high caliber art,” said Director of Education and Public Programs Joy Weiner.

The museum is an educational institution at its core and Long Island’s Best is the culmination of its school outreach program. High school art teachers arrange for their students to visit the museum either in person, or since the pandemic began, virtually. 

Educators at the museum guide the students through detailed study and discourse about works of art; students then select the works of art that most appeal to them as   inspiration for their own pieces. Participants include Artist Statements in their submissions, describing their methods, inspirations, and reactions to what they saw in the museum, as well as how it led them to creating their art. 

“Jurors reading about their work in their own words is a huge part of the process; it is so important for students to have to speak about what they are making,” Schaaf said. “The statements are also on view in exhibition. We take what every student has written about their process and ideas and we put it on the walls. Visitors hear from students themselves when they visit and we include little images of works that inspired them.” 

There are two awards that have not yet been determined: Visitors’ Choice, for which museum-goers may vote in person and Virtual Visitors Choice, for which website viewers may vote online. 

In addition to the month-long exhibition in the galleries, Mitchell’s, the Huntington-based retailer, and Firefly Gallery in Northport are currently showing select student works in their stores through May. 

Beyond the immediate satisfaction of having their efforts recognized, guest juror Martin, a finalist in Long Island’s Best when she was a junior at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in 2014, identifies with the impact participating in the exhibit can have on the students. 

“I was always interested in art, but was unsure if it would be something I would pursue until I got into the LI Best show. Being chosen for this exhibit jump started my journey to become an artist,” Martin said. 

The Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Avenue, Huntington is open Thursday to Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. $5 admission is suggested for adults, free for children under the age of 13. For more information, call 631-380-3230 or visit www.heckscher.org.