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Nina Sangimino

Accepting the award, from left Nina Sangimino Curator at the LIM; Kristin Cuomo, Educator at the LIM; Joshua Ruff, Co-Executive Director at the LIM; and Kelynn Alder, guest curator of the exhibition 'SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island.' Photo courtesy of LIM

The Long Island Museum (LIM), a Smithsonian Affiliate, has announced that it has been awarded the prestigious Engaging Communities Award of Distinction for its groundbreaking exhibition SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island. 

Photo courtesy of LIM

The LIM was part of a group of selected museums, museum professionals, industry partners, and legislative leaders that were recognized for their exceptional achievements at MANY’s 2024 annual conference “Giving Voice to Value” in Albany on April 8. The fifteen awards celebrated unique leadership, dedicated community service, transformational visitor experiences, community engagement, and innovative programs that use collections and resources to support museums and to tell stories of everyone who calls New York home.

The Engaging Communities Award of Distinction recognizes organizations that demonstrate exceptional and resourceful methods in engaging their communities and cultivating new audiences. The LIM’s exhibition, SOMOS/WE ARE, stood out for its immersive approach in showcasing the rich cultural heritage and artistic contributions of the Latinx community on Long Island.

“This was such an important and institution-changing exhibition for us,” says Co-Executive Director, Joshua Ruff. “It helped us collaborate and connect with community partners such as the Latino Arts Council of Long Island. We were able to make some significant new accessions for our art collection from some of the artists involved. And this project confirmed that LIM is a museum dedicated to the history and culture of all people across our region, including the more than 20% of Nassau-Suffolk’s total population that has Hispanic heritage.” 

Photo from LIM

On view during the fall of 2023, SOMOS/WE ARE was guest-curated by Mexican-American artist Kelynn Alder and curator Nina Sangimino of the LIM. This collaborative exhibition with associated programming focused on the rich cultural heritage and artistic contributions of the Latinx community on Long Island, featured 82 regional artists and explored their diverse styles, media, personal stories, and familial national origins. 

In addition to bilingual exhibition text, the museum’s education staff published a bilingual Family Gallery Guide and offered Spanish language tours, including one for the Long Island Latino Teachers Association which contributed to an increase in school tours from school districts on Long Island with a high percentage of Latinx students, including Hempstead, Springs, Copiague, Tuckahoe, North Babylon, and Brentwood. 

The museum also hosted a ¡ESTAMOS! symposium that featured an artist discussion and performances as well as a free Family Fun Day in October which set a record 600 person attendance for Día de los Muertos, many of whom were first-time visitors.

The LIM’s SOMOS/WE ARE: Latinx Artists of Long Island exhibition exemplifies the power of museums to connect, inspire, and celebrate diverse voices and communities. For more information, visit www.longislandmuseum.org.

'Sagaponack' by Cecile Gray Bazelon will be on view at the museum through Sept. 4. Image from LIM
‘Roses’ by Jane Freilicher

The Long Island Museum (LIM) has announced it will reopen to the public on March 3, 2022 after a seasonal closure. The museum will invite visitors to explore two new exhibitions, Two Centuries of Long Island Women Artists, 1800-2000 and The 23rd annual Colors of Long Island Student Art Exhibition.

Two Centuries of Long Island Women Artists, 1800-2000, on view from March 3 to Sept. 4, is an exhibition that aims to provide a survey of the history of women artists on Long Island, exploring and emphasizing their significance, which has reverberated far beyond this region. 

Visiting Curator and Assistant Director at Questroyal Fine Art, Inc. Nina Sangimino, along with LIM Curators, Joshua Ruff and Jonathan Olly, took part in this project that draws from LIM’s own collection, private collections, and the collections of museums that include the Parrish Museum of Art, the Heckscher Museum of Art, and Guild Hall. 

The exhibition will present over 80 works from close to 70 different artists, both celebrated and those that are relatively lesser-known, from different eras and a diverse set of backgrounds, stylistic approaches, and materials. 

“Focusing an exhibition entirely on women’s contributions to art history, in this region, is an exciting opportunity for the LIM,” said Joshua Ruff, Deputy Director, Director of Collections and Interpretations at the Long Island Museum. “There are internationally-renowned artists in this exhibition, such as Grace Hartigan and April Gornik. But we also are presenting the work of less famous women artists who have had far less coverage but deserve to be known,” said Ruff. 

‘Shattered Color’ by Lee Krasner

The LIM’s 23rd annual Colors of Long Island Student Art Exhibition, on view from March 3 to April 3, affords an opportunity for hundreds of students from across Long Island to display their artwork in a museum setting. Art teachers from Long Island’s public and private schools in grades pre-k through 12th grade were invited to submit up to two pieces of student artwork for the exhibition.

Traditionally, the theme, “Colors of Long Island,” allows for many creative interpretations. While some students refer to Long Island’s landscapes, others prefer to focus on the cultural diversity that makes Long Island so beautiful. The varying interpretations of this theme will be portrayed through a selection of media, including watercolor, sculpture, pencil, ink, oil pastel, photographs and computer graphics.   

“The museum’s education department is excited to return to hosting student artwork in our History Museum gallery,” said Kristin Cuomo, Senior Educator at the Long Island Museum. 

“This year’s exhibition features 107 schools from across Nassau and Suffolk, with work from over 200 students in grades pre-k through 12 displayed. The art spans a variety of styles and media, reflecting the talent and dedication of our teachers and young people. As a whole, the gallery reflects the joy of creativity and the excitement of being able to once again exhibit in person,” she said.

In addition to exploring the new exhibitions, visitors are also welcome to explore the state-of-the-art Carriage Museum, which includes eight renovated galleries that tell the story of transportation before the automobile. 

The Long Island Museum is located at 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook. Hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 631-751-0066 or visit www.longislandmuseum.org.