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Gail Neuman

By Heidi Sutton

It is said that the past is always an important part of the present. It is also said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The Smithtown Township Arts Council’s Mills Pond Gallery in St. James has taken those two adages and melded them into an exciting new summer exhibit, Visualizing the Past. The juried show opens Aug. 7 and runs through Sept. 5.

Juror Carol Strickland, who selected 52 works for the exhibit, was intrigued by Emily Dickinson’s lines — Memory is a strange bell, both jubilee and knell. She asked artists to respond to that in visual terms—both the celebratory memories and sad ones. The call was very open-ended, leaving a lot of room for varying interpretations. 

“Selecting artworks to include in the exhibition was very difficult because we received so many entries that were both technically proficient and evocative. I was especially moved in deciding what to accept by those artists who took risks and showed me new perspectives,” said Strickland. “Art conveys what can’t be communicated in words, and my response to so many entries was non-verbal, like an inner vibration that brought a shock of recognition.”

Allison Cruz, Executive Director of the Mills Pond Gallery, is pleased with the beautiful show which incorporates many types of mediums including acrylic, charcoal, colored pencil, collage, fused glass, ink, mixed media, oil, pastel, watercolor and welding. 

“The artists have shared memories or recalled stories and events and assembled them in a variety of media to be seen and experienced by others. Their works offer narratives open to a wide range of interpretation and expression. For me, that is the strength in this exhibit. I hope it encourages the viewers to reflect on their own memories and hopefully learn that art is a wonderful tool to explore different points of view, gain understanding and experience the world in different ways,” she said.

Participating artists include Amal, Tina Anthony, Victoria Beckert, Sheri Berman, Jean Marie Bucich, Frank Casucci, Eric Chimon, Donna Corvi, Caryn Coville, Brigham Dimick, Paul Edelson, Elizabeth Fusco, Kathleen Gerlach, Ashley Rose Gillin, Maureen Ginipro, Jan Guarino, Heidi Hogden, Elizabeth Kelly, Julianna Kirk, Sueim Koo, Cara London, Dorothy Lorenze, Margaret Marzullo, Briana McGinley-Downey, Georgia Rittenhouse McKenna, Avrel Susan Menkes, Cliff Miller, Gail Neuman, Lily Newland, Catherine Rezin, Alan Richards, Roberta Rogers, Oscar Santiago, Alaina Scheffer, Stacey Schuman, Alisa Shea, Faith Skelos, Erica Perjatel Stolba, Angela Stratton, Hui Su-Kennedy, Daniel Van Benthuysen, and Taylor West.

The Mills Pond Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James will present Visualizing the Past from Aug. 7 to Sept. 5. The public is invited to an opening reception on Aug. 7 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 631-862-6575 or visit www.millspondgallery.org.

When channeling their creativity, artists sometimes venture beyond the canvas and turn their attention to art that can adorn the human body. Such is the case with the Huntington Arts Council’s latest juried exhibit, Wearable Art 2.0. The show opened at the HAC’s Main Street Gallery on July 2. 

Back by popular demand, the exhibit features artwork that meets at the intersection of fashion and fine art through design, costume, or culture. Submissions are representative of the creative inspiration found in garments, accessories (art jewelry, masks, bags, etc.), and representational work (design boards, performance images, etc.). 

The show was juried by Dominique Maciejka, owner of Paper Doll Vintage Boutique in Sayville and Paper Doll Curiosity Shoppe in Patchogue.

“The work submitted showcased a beautiful range of what wearable art can mean to artists and how it can be interpreted. The works chosen exemplified a strong vision conceptually, technically or a combination of both. Some pieces were more traditional, while others had a modern and contemporary spin for a wonderful variety of works,” said Maciejka.

Participating artists include Lisa Cangemi, Oksana Danziger, Ciamara Donawa, Diane Godlewski, Steven Goldleaf, Nathaly Gomez, Jan Guarino, Veronica Haley, Drew Kane, Julianna Kirk, Allison Mack, Lorraine Manzo Angeletti, Meagan J. Meehan, John Micheals, Gail Neuman, Luda Pahl, Eileen Palmer, Athena Protonentis, Amanda Reilly, Cindy Russell, Jasmine Scarlatos, Meryl Shapiro, Danangelowe Spencer, Steven Tze, Ana Urbach and JoAnn Zambito.

Wearable Art 2.0 is a direct extension of the first version of this theme that took place in our Main Street Gallery three years ago. The creativity, technique, and artistry represented in this revival of Wearable Art has exceeded our expectations,” said Marc Courtade, Executive Director of the Huntington Arts Council.

The following participating artists received special acknowledgement from Maciejka at a private reception on July 9.

Best in Show: 
Covid Warrior by Ana Urbach
Honorable Mentions:
Bejeweled & Bedazzled Collection by Meghan J. Meehan
Unfinished by Luda Pahl
Hypnotic Bee Scarf  by Amanda Reilly
It’s a Trend DON’T SHOOT by Danangelowe Spencer
Fawl by Steven Tze

“The interpretation of the call is a true testament to how art can be designed and expressed in so many impactful and beautiful ways. Whether it be jewelry, quilted jackets, existing items that have been customized or hand painted silk, the exhibit is a show stopper. All are invited to stop by our gallery and experience the work in person,” said Courtade. 

The Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery, 213 Main St., Huntington will present Wearable Art 2.0 through July 31. The exhibit is also on view online. Hours for the gallery are Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For weekend hours, visit www.huntingtonarts.org or call 631-271-8423.

**This article was updated on July 13 to announce Best in Show and Honorable Mentions.