By Julianne Mosher
On June 17 and 18, visitors from across Long Island headed to Old Field Farm in Setauket for Gallery North’s 19th annual Wet Paint Festival, a fun-filled weekend to not only admire local artists practicing their craft en plein air, but to see the excitement of a derby. According to Sally Lynch, owner and farm operator, the festival couldn’t have come during a better weekend.
The 2023 Seaside Hunter Derby took place on June 18 on the campus and as the riders competed, over 40 artists took to their canvases to paint and sketch the local scenery and content.
“All the horse people are thrilled to see their horses painted,” said Lynch. “There’s a reason why the horse remains a constant subject of the arts.”
She added that the day before, the farm hosted vintage riders (ones who ride side saddle) in full old-school costume who also modeled for the artists on-site.
The two-day festival also featured nature walks courtesy of the Four Harbors Audubon Society, live music by Tom Killourhy and the Keenan Zach Trio, plein air art tours with Jim Molloy and Nancy Bueti-Randall, a history tour with Margo Arceri of Tri-Spy Tours and an animal presentation by Sweetbriar Nature Center.
The event was sponsored by bld Architecture, Jefferson’s Ferry and Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning.
All of the artwork created at the festival will be on display at the Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook on July 5 through August 27. The public is invited to an opening reception on July 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.