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Katherine M. Fritz

Photo from Long Island Cares Facebook

The Harry Chapin Food Bank has commissioned internationally acclaimed artist Susan Bahary to create a larger-than-life bronze bust of the advocate for a hunger-free Long Island and Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, Harry Chapin. The bust will be unveiled on Friday, July 15 at a ceremony at Long Island Cares’ Hauppauge headquarters, 10 Davids Drive, at 10:30 a.m. Bahary named the piece “Story of a Life” after the Chapin song.

Long Island Cares has also created a commemorative brick-lined Chapin Legacy Walkway to celebrate Chapin’s 80th birth year and 50th anniversary of his million-selling single, “Taxi.” 

Photo from Wikipedia

“We are honoring the legacy of Harry Chapin and his vision for a hunger-free Long Island,” says Katherine M. Fritz, Chief Development and Communications Officer at Long Island Cares. “At the same time, we’re excited to have given our donors the opportunity to be recognized for their commitment to walking in Harry’s footsteps by helping their fellow Long Islanders.” 

For Bahary, being asked to sculpt Chapin was an honor that felt very close to her heart. In the 70s, through her high school years and early development an artist, Susan and her family lived in Huntington Bay, next door to Harry and Sandy Chapin and their kids. Bahary fondly recalls how Chapin generously offered his time to work with her brother, Gordon, who became a singer-songwriter and music producer in his own right, as well as encouraged her in her pursuit of fine art.

Bahary, who also sings, listens to music — mostly of the 70s — when she sculpts. When she sculpted Chapin, she listened primarily to his music. “The moment Harry’s face and expression seemed to come to life in clay was a very emotionally moving experience,” she said. “I wanted to capture his beautiful soul and spirit as best I could and a glimpse of him the way he’d look at a performance, at the height of his career. Yet, I hoped to capture not just Harry’s likeness but his kindness, love of life, and hope for humanity.”

Bahary chose the name for her sculpture, “Story of a Life,” after Chapin’s song to not only reinforces her subject’s gift to the world as a great storyteller but also her gift to him: “I was telling the story of his life in the art form I know.” 

Sandy Chapin and members of the Chapin family, along with Bahary, are set to attend the unveiling. The public is invited to attend. For more information, please call 631-582-3663.