Tags Posts tagged with "Susan Peragallo"

Susan Peragallo

'Dance Siesta' by Cynthia Pascal

By Tara Mae

Art is a form of communication beyond words. It transcends language barriers and is accessible to those who seek to experience it. Cynthia Pascal’s creations speak through muted patterns, rich hues, softness imbued with strength. Her work tells stories of women, sometimes at rest or in repose, but always vibrantly alive. 

As a celebration of art and life, Pascal’s posthumous exhibit, Cynthia Pascal: A Retrospective, at the Art League of Long Island, honors the artist who passed away in 2022 at the age of 92. On view at the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery from April 15 to 28, this showcase features 46 acrylic paintings and six clay sculptures from the late artist. It is an act of love; a tribute from a daughter to her mother in collaboration with the Art League.

‘Abstract of Women in Pink and Blue’ by Cynthia Pascal

“My son brought Cynthia to the Art League and showed her work to the curator, which resulted in booking the show — one last highlight of her life. After she passed, it was in my head to still do the exhibit. I also thought, that for my mom, there was no other way to honor her than to talk about her surrounded by her work,” said her daughter Jeanne Gambardella.

Pascal’s palette and art projects a subtle warmth, even innate safety, whether the female subjects stare assuredly and directly from the canvas, gaze at something only they see, or relax with eyes closed. The lines of the women may be soft but their presence is strong. 

“I believe that this exhibit covers all styles, but Pascal particularly leans towards abstract impressionism: figures are flattened with colorful brushstrokes and bright colors. She celebrates the world that she knew: her art focuses on women, friendships, relationships, their roles in society. It is full of life and energy,” said Susan Peragallo, coordinator and curator of the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery.

A prodigious painter up until the very last months of her life, Pascal, who was a resident of Plainview, pursued both a personal and practical interest in interpersonal dynamics and emotions. She studied painting at Old Westbury College as well as the New School for Social Research in New York City, but was a licensed psychotherapist by profession and maintained a practice out of her home for more than 4 decades. 

“I think she innately had a very emotional IQ and got the degree so she could use it. She was really socially, emotionally smart…[and] provided a safe place for everyone who talked to her,” Gambardella said.  

This sense of security is evident in the self-assuredness of her subjects and the apparent ease with which they occupy space. That innate serenity can transcend to the audience and perhaps emanated from Pascal herself. She never lost her appreciation of beauty nor ability to create art, even as dementia dominated other aspects of her life during her last years. 

‘Two Girls Sitting’ by Cynthia Pascal

“We would talk about [her art]. Cynthia could still talk about the work and the process. We had that language until the end. My mother was painting at the highest level,” Gambardella said. “I thought her work would show deterioration, but her painting was still there. It was the one thing that she still had, in addition to her family. She could access painting, and it was a means by which to express herself.”

As her characters commune in the paintings, Pascal was able to communicate through and about art, although words might otherwise fail her. Her art, which includes pastels in addition to different paints and clay sculptures, is an ongoing dialogue that allows connections to continue to develop.

“I was not familiar with her work before she approached us, and I was really thrilled to become acquainted with it. Her work is exciting, it is vivacious. She was around for a long time and I am delighted to have her work up on our walls,” Peragallo said.

Gambardella estimates that Pascal had about 10 shows in her life but was in a constant state of creation. She painted 20 pieces between 2018 and 2022, and most of the 46 works included in Retrospective were made in the past 10 years.

“I really truly feel joy when I look at her work. It is interesting — over the years, her work reflected her growth as an artist and where she was in life. When she was going through a divorce, I can see it reflected. I derive more pleasure in the joy, color, and strength of the women my mother depicted,” Gambardella said, adding that organizing the exhibit and arranging the remembrance were cathartic exercises as she grieved and adjusted to her new normal, having been her mother’s primary caregiver. 

“Organizing this has absolutely been a labor of love for the last 5 months and beneficial to me in handling her passing, working on something to show who she was, her life’s work,” Gambardella said. “I kind of immersed myself in this project. It was a lot going through her decline and death with her, so this was healing. I am her supreme fan; my house has always been filled with her work.”

‘Dance Siesta’ by Cynthia Pascal

Now others will be able to surround themselves with Pascal’s art, and during the opening reception, envelop themselves in an environment resplendent with Pascal’s greatest joys including a soundtrack of her favorite classical music by Antonio Vivaldi, jazz interludes provided by a pianist hired for the evening, the easel she used for more than 60 years, and her favorite hat in her favorite color — pink. 

“I am creating an atmosphere that I know she would love. After she died, people were calling about service details, and we instead decided to have a memorial at the gallery. Everyone in my family was in on it,” Gambardella said. “My mom and I were very close, this was the right thing to do…art and painting were her passions in life.” 

The Art League of Long Island, 107 E. Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills presents the retrospective exhibit of Cynthia Pascal in the Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery from April 15 to 28 with an opening reception on April 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. A celebratory remembrance introduction will be held from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by light refreshments. For more information, visit www.artleagueli.org or call 631-462-5400. 

Photos by John Cardone
Over 20 framed waterscape & wildlife photographs on display and for sale

By Susan Peragallo

When stepping into the Daniel Gale Sotheby’s office of Northport, to focus on the photographs by John P. Cardone is to be transported into our natural world. One can almost hear the wind rustling in the trees and the crickets creating their musical rhythms as you walk around the room. John says that he tries “to capture the beauty and spiritual magnificence of nature… a moment in time through unique natural setting and the amazing personalities of wildlife.” The subjects include hummingbirds, egrets, owls, eagles, and moose – to name just a few! In Sprague Lake at Dusk, moose are seen taking an evening sip of water, the lake reflecting the magnificent colors of the setting sun, bringing the viewer to a peaceful, tranquil vista.

Most of these amazing photographic captures were taken by John while kayaking and hiking on Long Island. But not only do these photographs capture the beauty and peace of nature, they are also wonderfully composed. This is especially true of Egret in Darkness: the soft white curves of the the egrets neck echo the angular white and gray tree branch beside it. In Frog Swimming, the frog is popping it’s head up in the water, it’s large eye repeating the circular ripples in the cool green water. Eagle Looking Down is another example of John’s sensitivity to form and composition. The eagle’s horizontal body mimics the tree branch it stands on, while it’s head and beak point downward, just as a branch below points down. These captured repetitions of line and form create wonderful compositions and add to the sense of peace and tranquility that John strives to communicate.

There are also captured moments of humor. In Amazing Turtle Pose, one can almost hear the turtle saying “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!” as the turtle coyly turns it’s head and smiles! In a moment of tenderness, Swan Portrait shows the swan’s neck bent back over it’s body, which forms a soft pillow for it’s head.

We can all use a moment to escape into nature and John P. Cardone has provided us with a perfect opportunity!

Author Susan Peragallo is the Gallery Coordinator and Curator Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills

The Northport Arts Coalition presents Nature Photography by Long Island Author/Photographer John P. Cardone at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, 77 Main St., Northport through October 5. The show is free and open to the public during office hours. All artwork is on sale. For more information, call 631-754-3400.


As the world slowly reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions are lifted, the art world celebrates as well. Over at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills, a new exhibit is ready to be unveiled this weekend. Titled “Awakening,” the show is described as “an exploration of the world of the past 16 months as seen through the eyes of artists.” Juried by Kathleen Gurchie of Gurchie Designs, the exhibit opens on July 17 in a virtual gallery format and runs through Sept. 6. 

Artists were challenged to submit their best works “representing their expressions of our world as we re-awaken and acclimate to a new post-pandemic normal.” 

“The title, ‘Awakening’, reflects our joy at finally awakening from the long pandemic “sleep” and stepping slowly and carefully into public life again. But that is not all! We are awakening in many other ways, including social, political and environmental,” said  Susan Peragallo, Gallery Coordinator and Curator at the Art League. “Juror Kathleen Gurchie approached her task with thoughtful care and did a wonderful job selecting some of the most powerful and beautiful interpretations of that theme.”

Of the 221 works submitted by artists from across the United States, Ms. Gurchie selected 59 to show in the virtual gallery in a range of mediums including; oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, collage, sculpture, digital, fiber, encaustic and monotype. Of those 59, six were singled out for awards. 

Awards of Excellence were give to Gerry Hirschstein of Old Bethpage for “Standing Twice as Tall,” pastel on canson paper; Margaret Minardi of Northport for “First Awake,” colored pencil drawing; and Beth Wessel of Huntington for her plaster sculpture titled “Joy.”

Honorable Mentions were handed out to Sooltan Madsen of Savannah Georgia for “Can You Spare a Fag,” oil on canvas; Regina Quinn of Gilboa, New York for “Salmon and Blue,” encaustic, oils and beeswax; and Philip Read of Long Island City for “On the Wings of a Dream”, drawing with watercolor.

“This skillful, wide ranging visual banquet can put a face to the complex mix of emotions from 2020’s extremes,” said Ms. Gurchie. “Sculptor Lloyd Lilly once told me ‘It’s in the tightest parameters of a system (ie: Awakening Theme) that our truest uniqueness shines forth.’ Additionally, it’s in viewing this, and experiencing that bond of commonality, that can help us to heal.”

“The timeliness and diversity of this show can do much more than entertain. It can lend you a perspective that you may not have considered. It can inform and help deepen your conversation,” she said. “It can show you that the indomitable human spirit, the timeless beauty and joy are very much present.”

The Art League of Long Island, 107 Deer Park Road, Dix Hills will present “Awakening,” a virtual gallery exhibition, from July 17 to Sept. 6 at www.artleagueli.org. For further information, call 631-462-5400.

Images courtesy of Art League of LI


Stan Brodsky in his studio. Photo by Peter Scheer

By Melissa Arnold

For Stan Brodsky, painting was so much more than just a skill or even a career. It was a language, a love affair, a truly sensual experience. The artist shared those feelings openly with students over the course of a renowned teaching career that spanned more than 50 years. 

Several months ago, the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills began to prepare Stan Brodsky and Friends, a springtime exhibit celebrating Brodsky’s work along with nearly 30 of his dearest friends, many of whom were former students and mentees.

‘Woman in a Car,’ oil/acrylic on canvas by Doug Reina

On March 30, just two weeks before the exhibit’s scheduled opening, Stan Brodsky passed away at the age of 94. He had continued to work and teach until the final weeks of his life, just as he wanted it. Brodsky’s students noted that the World War II veteran tried to retire a few years ago, but he couldn’t stand being away from doing what he loved. 

The Art League is moving forward with the show as planned, with the exhibit running from April 13 to 28. A reception on April 14 at 3:30 p.m. will allow the artists and those who loved Brodsky to honor his life and legacy.

Participating artists include Ennid Berger, Susan Bird, Susan Canin, Denise DiGiovanna, Simon Fenster, Stuart Friedman, Peter Galasso, Lenore Ann Hanson, Ginger Balizer-Hendler, Caroline Isacsson, Vincent Joseph, Deborah Katz, Marceil Kazickas, Denise Kramer, Barbara Miller, Catherine Morris, Pamela Long Nolan, Dianne Parker, Alicia R. Peterson, Doug Reina, Fran Roberts, Susan M. Rostan, Ellen Hallie Schiff, Laura Powers-Swiggett, Janice Sztabnik, Lois Walker and Hiroko Yoshida.

Stan has touched so many lives, inspiring them to pursue their passions,” said Susan Peragallo, coordinator and curator of the Art League’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery. “The exhibit will be a chance for everyone to celebrate him — the 27 artists in the show are only a small segment of those who were influenced by him over the years.”

A master abstract expressionist, Brodsky studied photojournalism and fine art before receiving a doctorate in art education from Columbia University in 1959. Originally from Greenwich Village, he moved to Huntington in 1965. Most of his teaching years were spent at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus in Brookville, and a collection of his notes and sketches from 1951 to 2004 can be found at the Smithsonian Institution.

‘Superficial Information,’ oil on canvas by Marceil Kazickas

Brodsky’s relationship with the Art League began in the late ’90s when he became an instructor. The classes were small in the beginning, with just five students enrolled in 1994, but grew rapidly, and eventually people had to be turned away from lack of space. “It’s not so much that he was popular, but he was inspiring and generous in his critiques, and people really responded to that,” Peragallo said.

Peter Galasso of Setauket remembers that Brodsky could often be found in the same way over the years as students arrived for class — sitting at his desk, usually eating an egg sandwich, always poring over an art history text.

“He had a contagious passion, and was constantly reading and continuing to study,” said Galasso, who began studies under Brodsky 20 years ago, eventually becoming a friend and traveling companion. “He was always looking to travel somewhere new or different. He wanted to be inspired by the local color of a place.”

Susan Rostan of Woodbury remembers entering Brodsky’s classroom for the first time while pursuing a master’s in fine art. Brodsky arranged the students in a circle and asked each one to introduce themselves. When it was her turn, Rostan simply told him, “I’ve heard I’m either going to love you or hate you, but I’m cautiously optimistic.”

‘She Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve …,’ mixed media by Susan Canin

Many years later, Rostan was sitting in a different class of Brodsky’s, this one at the Art League. But she was stunned by the striking realization that nothing had changed: He still wore the same striped sweaters and paint-splattered jeans. She painted a full-length portrait of him that day that will appear in the exhibit.

“He taught us as much about ourselves as he did about painting,” said Rostan, who is now working on a biography of Brodsky. “He was an unusual teacher in that he approached his students as equals and opened himself up to be vulnerable and form friendships with them, which allowed him to encourage them particularly well.”

Brodsky’s friendship and deep encouragement were beloved by so many of his students, said Doug Reina of Setauket. In fact, some of them continued to take his classes for decades just to spend more time with him.

“Stan had this ability to make you feel special. He was genuinely curious about you, and that means a lot,” Reina said. “In the old days before taking his classes, I would look at a scene and just try to copy it. But through him I learned to paint in a way that also expresses how I feel about the subject and the sensuousness of the paint itself. Stan painted with his own language and created something truly unique for the world.”

Stan Brodsky and Friends will be on view at the Art League of Long Island’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, 107 E. Deer Park Road, Dix Hills. Admission is free. For more information, call 631-462-5400 or visit www.artleagueli.net

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'Blue in Green' by Peter Galasso

By Ellen Barcel

“You rarely see a show of all abstract art,” said artist Peter Galasso, of the Art League of Long Island’s new show, Long Island Abstraction: 2 Generations, on view at the league’s Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery now through April 15.

‘Accents Red’ by Frank Wimberley

Four artists, Stan Brodsky, Laura Powers-Swiggett, Frank Wimberley and Galasso have filled the gallery with approximately 50 of their abstract works. What else unites these four artists? They are all award-winning artists with strong ties to Long Island. Two, Galasso and Powers-Swiggett were influenced by their mentor, Brodsky. The fourth, Wimberley was added to the exhibit by Galasso.

“I’ve been showing for 25 years. I met Frank [Wimberley] about 10 years ago at a gallery show. I admired his work,” said Galassao in a recent interview. The two became friends and Galasso suggested his work for an exhibit held at the Art League about two years ago. When the concept for the current exhibit was broached, “I told him of my idea of two generations of abstract artists from Long Island …” The idea was very specific. “He could see how this would work.”

Where did the two generations come from? Both Brodsky and Wimberley are in their 90s, the senior members of the foursome. Powers-Swiggett and Galasso, the younger members, were both students of Brodsky. Brodsky was not only a mentor to these two, but many, many others as professor of art at C.W. Post College for over 30 years. In his artist’s statement, Brodsky noted, “I’ve been an exhibiting artist in New York City for more than 50 years — and my passion for painting is a strong now as ever.”

‘Descending Light 2’ by Stan Brodsky

Galasso described Wimberley’s work saying, “I admire his work — movement and color. He uses a lot of acrylic medium, a very thick mixture. It moves spontaneously across the canvas.”

Susan Peragallo, gallery coordinator, said that abstract art is nonrepresentational and “about expressing an idea or emotion using color, line and form.” But what inspires each of these four artists? In his artist’s statement Brodsky noted, “I have traveled extensively absorbing the colors and textures of new landscapes,” and Powers-Swiggett’s paintings are landscape-based abstractions exploring spatial and color relationships. Galasso’s works have been described as “an exploration of feeling, memory and a unique vision …”

Abstract art can be very freeing for both the artist and the viewer. The realist must represent the scene accurately, but the abstract artist uses a scene as inspiration. Said Wimberley in his artist statement, “The abstract painter can commence his drawing or canvas generally with only a preconceived notion, reflection or emotion … he has far less guarantees than perhaps the realist painter or photographer that the finished expression with extended from calculated reason or logic. This for me provides the excitement of taking the theme or feeling from the very first stroke, and following it to its own particular conclusion. It is very much like creating the controlled accident.”

‘Wawapek’ by Laura Powers-Swiggett

While each of the four artists decided which of their works were to be shown, it was Peragallo who decided which paintings would be hung together, making them, “flow together. That was my job. It was sort of like putting a puzzle together. You want the works to speak to each other but one shouldn’t overpower the other. They should gradually draw the viewer into the show.” “It’s a wonderful show, really beautiful,” said Peragallo. “People who don’t normally like abstract art come in and say ‘Wow.’ It’s a happy show, so colorful and uplifting,” she added.

Long Island Abstraction: 2 Generations will be on view at The Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery of the Art League of Long Island, 107 East Deer Park Road, Dix Hills through April 15. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For further information, call 631-462-5400 or go to www.artleagueli.org.