By Heidi Sutton
May is one of the prettiest times of the year on Long Island with the trees in bloom and the pleasant weather. The month also signals the return of a beautiful event, the Setauket Artists’ annual spring exhibit at Deepwells Mansion in St. James.
The juried show, which opens on May 21, will feature approximately 100 paintings in various types of mediums including oil, watercolor and pastel along with etchings and painted photographs by Setauket Artist members in addition to two guest artists: Charles Wildbank, a well known and respected artist from Jamesport, and Russell Pulick, founder of Pulick Pottery.
This year’s distinguished judge is Joshua Ruff, Co-Executive Director at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. Ruff will have the difficult job of choosing winners from a pool of incredible local talent.
“Because we live in such a beautiful area, many of the paintings are Long Island landscapes and seascapes of the Sound. Other paintings reflect artists’ travels and daily inspirations, which range from tea cups to trailers,” said Paula Pelletier, a member of the Setauket Artists for over 10 years and whose painting “Flax Pond Inlet” will be in the show.
“Recently, my husband and I discovered the walk at Flax Pond Marine Lab. The views took my breath away; I had to paint them,” she explained.
The exhibit will also feature a gift boutique with matted unframed smaller works, cards, and books written by the artists. The group will raffle off four paintings including “Watching the Stillness of a Setting Sun” by Shain Bard, “Daffodils by Joanne Liff, “Along the Coast” by Renee Caine, and “Road in Mt. Sinai” by Angela Stratton on June 18, the exhibit’s last day. Visitors can enter the raffle throughout the exhibit’s run and do not need to be present to win.
According to Pelletier, the show will fill the Deepwells Mansion’s first floor and extend to the upstairs. The back rooms on the second floor will house three of the Setauket Artists’ personal “studios” with additional artwork available for sale.
The mansion, which is part of the Suffolk County Parks Department, was built in 1845 in the 16th century Greek-Revival architecture for Joel Smith, a descendant of Smithtown’s founder Richard ‘Bull’ Smith. It is now managed by the Deepwells Farm Historical Society.
“It’s wonderful to return to Deepwells,” said Pelletier. “The rooms are expansive with natural light flooding in from the floor to ceiling windows. For visitors, it’s an opportunity to view the period wallpaper and distinctive crown moulding.”
This year’s Honored Artist is Irene Ruddock, the Setauket Artists’ president and mentor for the past 18 years. “A woman of elegance, grace and great kindness, she has worked tirelessly ensuring that our exhibitions are successful, professional and beautiful. Her artistic talents inspire us all. We send her our love and a sincere thank you,” said Pelletier.
Ross Barbera, Shain Bard, Ron Becker, Joyce Bressler, Renee Caine, Al Candia, Gail Chase, Anthony Davis, Julie Doczi, William Dodge, Paul Edelson, Margaret Governale, William Graf, Melissa Imossi, Larry Johnston, Flo Kemp, Karen Kemp, Joanne Liff, John Mansueto, Jane McGraw Teubner, Eleanor Meier, Fred Mendelsohn, Muriel Musarra, Paula Pelletier, Russell Pulick, Catherine Rezin, Joan Rockwell, Robert Roehrig, Irene Ruddock, Oscar Santiago, Carole Link Scinta, Barbara Jeanne Siegel, Angela Stratton, Susan Trawick, Maria Lourdes Velez, Marlene Weinstein, Charles Wildbank, and Patricia Yantz.
The Setauket Artists’ Spring Exhibit will be held at Deepwells Mansion, 2 Taylor Lane, St. James from May 21 through June 18. The community is invited to an opening reception on May 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission is always free. For more information, visit www.setauketartists.com.