Discover LI In Arts Council Exhibit

 Starry Night at the Fire Island Lighthouse by Alissa Rosenberg, is one interpretation included in Huntington Arts Council’s place-centric exhibit, Discovering Long Island.

Starry Night at the Fire Island Lighthouse by Alissa Rosenberg, is one interpretation included in Huntington Arts Council’s place-centric exhibit, Discovering Long Island.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or just moved to town, there is always more of Long Island to discover and explore.

The Island is rich in historic with beautiful places and scenery that have been captured in Huntington Arts Council’s newest exhibit, Discovering Long Island, on display through Jan. 5. Artists were invited to submit a piece inspired by Long Island’s history, culture and natural heritage, in their own artistic perspective.

“Long Island is rich with history and the submissions for this show truly reflect the uniqueness of this call to artists,” Executive Director, Marc Courtade said. “It’s wonderful to see how artists presented their interpretations is such diverse ways featuring everything from Long Island lighthouses, to an image of a hat maker to a pastel portrait of Walt Whitman.”

 Holly Black’s photograph, Bare Bones.

Holly Black’s photograph, Bare Bones.

Artists representing Huntington township are Kristen Memoli, Alissa Rosenberg, Amanda Prangenberg, Michelle Sepanski, Joseph Cutolo, Vicki Mies Field, Jan Guarino, Kate Kelly, Anne Barash Breitstein, Beth Atkinson, Kate Sydney, Theo Lau, and Melissa Johnides.

Many works were submitted to the exhibit, making the job of Stephanie Gress, guest juror and Director of Curatorial Affairs for the Vanderbilt Museum, even more difficult. She admits it was “a wonderful problem to have” requiring her to use her refined eye.

In her decision making, Gress kept the title of the exhibit in mind, ensuring each piece appropriately carried out the theme. It was also crucial that pieces represented not just Long Island, but the artists themselves.

 Walt Whitman made a couple of appearances in the show, including in Kate Kelly’s mixed media piece, ‘Every Soul Has Its Own Language.’

Walt Whitman made a couple of appearances in the show, including in Kate Kelly’s mixed media piece, ‘Every Soul Has Its Own Language.’

 “You want to see something unique, something that has the artist’s hand,” Gress said. “It’s very special and unique to that artist.”

A photographer can put their “hand” into their work and make it meaningful to them, based on the scenes and subjects they chose to shoot. Or a painter can add their own interpretation to a scene.

“Something I personally love is trompe-l’œil. It deceives the eye or is something unexpected,” Gress said. “A traditional scene in an unexpected color for examples… It’s a surprise and shows their creativity.”

Living on Long Island her whole life and working at a local historic site, Gress is very familiar with historic areas of Long Island.

“I know how many choices of places they could pick or represent and that choice is very hard,” Gress said. “I know myself if I had to choose just one how difficult that would be. I found it interesting what the artists chose to represent their work.”

According to Gress, “People who have not been on Long Island long or who have never lived here, they may have preconceived thoughts about what it’s like here. Some of the artist’s work showed things they might have never known or thought about as being part of Long Island.”

An opening and holiday reception will be held Friday, Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m. at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery. 213 Main Street, Huntington.

Mike Love Brings His 'Good Vibrations'

 Original Beach Boys member Mike Love, seated second from left, and Bruce Johnston, seated right, headline a holiday show of classics from The Beach Boys at The Paramount.

Original Beach Boys member Mike Love, seated second from left, and Bruce Johnston, seated right, headline a holiday show of classics from The Beach Boys at The Paramount.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

There will be summer vibes in Huntington next week when The Beach Boys take the stage at The Paramount as part of their Reason for the Season Christmas tour.

Mike Love, who co-founded The Beach Boys in 1961 with Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine, will headline the newest rendition of the band for the holiday tour. Bruce Johnston, who joined the original Beach Boys in 1965, will join Love on stage along with Scott Totten, Jeffrey Foskett, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, and Keith Hubacher.

Love, 77, and Johnston, 76, will perform the iconic summer hits like “Surfin U.S.A.,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Kokomo” as well as the collection of holiday songs to which The Beach Boys lent their unmistakable sound.

“Music is something that always brought my family together, especially around Christmas time,” Love said.

Love released “Reason for the Season” in October, and the 12 tracks on the album feature classic holiday songs, like The Beach Boy’s “Little St. Nick.” The album also includes several original Christmas songs, including “It Must Be Christmas” and “Finally it’s Christmas” which were recorded in collaboration with the band Hanson.

“What is so special about this collection of songs is that they both harken back to the wonder of childhood and family, but also feel very relevant and exciting for a new season of listening,” Love said.

Love is a prolific songwriter, and is credited with providing lyrics for 35 songs by The Beach Boys. Love and the other original members on The Beach Boys were induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Reason for the Season Christmas tour kicked off on Nov. 16 and is set to run until the end of December.

“We’re looking forward to being part of the soundtrack of many holiday seasons to come,” Love said.

Fans can enjoy some good vibrations with The Beach Boys at The Paramount on Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the show range from $84.50-$154.50 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.

You Gotta Love 'Elf, The Musical'

 Buddy and his fellow elves perform a musical number in the John Engeman Theater’s production of Elf: The Musical.  Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

Buddy and his fellow elves perform a musical number in the John Engeman Theater’s production of Elf: The Musical. Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

It’s certainly true that “the best way to spread holiday cheer, is to sing it loud for all to hear”, which is exactly what the cast of Elf: The Musical did.

The beloved holiday film hit the stage of the John W. Engeman Theater to the delight of kids of all ages. With catchy original songs, intricate choreography and many famous quotes from the movie, the musical could put anybody in the holiday spirit, including audience member, Michele Donaldson who came all the way from Connecticut for the performance.

“It was amazing,” Donaldson said. “I thought it was definitely full of Christmas cheer, something we all need nowadays.”

Based on the 2003 holiday hit movie, Elf starring Will Ferrell, the 2010 musical found major success on Broadway. It tells the story of Buddy the Elf, a human orphan boy who crawls into Santa’s bag and is taken back to the North Pole, where he is raised by the elves.

In search of his father, Buddy travels to New York City where he encounters a world without holiday cheer and a father who never knew he was born. His adventures in the city are comical and accompanied by a wonderful soundtrack. No one could deny there was something magical happening on stage during “Sparklejollytwinklejingley,” “A Christmas Song” and “The Story of Buddy the Elf.”

 Actors Christianne Tisdale (Emily Hobbs), Joe Gately (Walter Hobbs) and Erik Gratton (Buddy the Elf) share a bonding moment.  Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

Actors Christianne Tisdale (Emily Hobbs), Joe Gately (Walter Hobbs) and Erik Gratton (Buddy the Elf) share a bonding moment. Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

“It was very good, I liked it,” audience member Peter Bono, of Northport, said. “They’re very talented people. It started off a little slow, but then as you got to know the cast it was great.”

This holiday production is directed by Matt Kunkel and choreographed by Mara Newbery Greer. The skilled cast didn’t miss a beat and performed sophiscated choreography that involved lifts, tap dancing and even ice skating. During the song, “Nobody Cares About Santa,” Santas of all kinds find camaraderie on Christmas Eve in a tap dancing number that makes you want to get out of your seat and dance along.

“I thought it was right on target. It was super fun and full of talent,” Donaldson said.

Buddy the Elf is played by Erik Gratton, the perfect fit for the jolly elf with a huge heart and little common sense. His rendition of Buddy, a character so many know and love from the original movie, is spot on.

There is no shortage of laughs during the production as Buddy makes his way around the city, bumbling around with a smile on his face the whole time.

“My favorite part was the whimsical nature of the show,” Donaldson said. “Just how nieve and happy Buddy was, I think we should all be that way.”

 Gordon Gray (Santa) in the Engeman Theater production of “Elf: The Musical.”  Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

Gordon Gray (Santa) in the Engeman Theater production of “Elf: The Musical.” Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

The rest of the cast were also sensational, and each had their moment in the spotlight.

Buddy’s love interest Jovie, played by Caitlin Gallogly, stole the show with her vocals in “Never Fall in Love”. The rest of Buddy’s family, Walter Hobbs, performed by Joe Gately, Emily Hobbs by Christianne Tisdale, and Michael Hobbs, by Zachary Podiar, each have their heartwarming moments that gave the show a touch of humanity.

Performances of “Elf: The Musical” continue through Dec. 30 at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport Village. Show times are 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays; and 2 p.m. on Sundays. There are also select shows on Wednesdays and Sunday evenings.

Tickets can be purchased for $73-$78 at the box office or online at engemantheater.com.

Steven Wilson Brings 'Something Different'

 Progressive rock songwriter Steven Wilson is set to stop at The Paramount in Huntington on Dec. 4 as part of his “To the Bone” tour.  Photo/Hajo Mueller

Progressive rock songwriter Steven Wilson is set to stop at The Paramount in Huntington on Dec. 4 as part of his “To the Bone” tour. Photo/Hajo Mueller

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

English guitarist and songwriter Steven Wilson has built a reputation over the course of a more than 30-year career as one of the most prolific artists in the progressive rock genre.

Wilson started the band Porcupine Tree in 1987, and continued to develop a cult following until the band disbanded 2010. He earned critical acclaim with Porcupine Tree, including two Grammy Award nominations, but has generally stayed away from mainstream music.

As a solo artist, Wilson has released five studio albums. Most recently, he released “To the Bone” in August 2017, and is scheduled to perform at The Paramount in Huntington next week as part of his 2018 international “To the Bone” tour.

Wilson said one of the underlying influences behind the albums was to “do something different.”

“I wanted to do a record that was- in a way- reminiscent of the records I grew up with in the ‘80s… very sophisticated, but very accessible pop music,” Wilson said. “I wanted to take that philosophy that we can create something with a strong pop sensibility, but also keep everything that is unique about what I do intact.”

Technological advances over the years have allowed Wilson to create an “ambitious” live show that reflects his music. His current live show features holograms, LCD screens and quadraphonic sound.

“Now it’s much more how as I always imaged it to be in spectacle terms,” Wilson said.

Although each live show has a certain pattern , Wilson said every venue and audience has a different dynamic.

“There’s always a different vibe, and there’s a lot of improvisation too,” Wilson said. “There’s always something that’s fresh and different depending on the kind of show and audience.”

At 51 years old, Wilson said he still enjoys performing live, but “it’s the other 21 hours of every day that’s quite draining” while on tour.

“Sometimes it’s tough, but you know what it’s the three hours on stage every night that makes it worth it,” Wilson said.

Wilson has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. He said he has already begun working on his next album and hopes to have it ready sometime in 2020.

Wilson is scheduled to take the stage at The Paramount at 8 p.m., Dec. 4. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the show range from $39.50-$84.50 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.

History Meets Holidays On House Tour

 The Samuel Ashley Stevens House is a stop on Huntington Historical Society’s Holiday House Tour. In the early 20th century, the home was occupied by a Huntington Village merchant, his wife and three daughters.

The Samuel Ashley Stevens House is a stop on Huntington Historical Society’s Holiday House Tour. In the early 20th century, the home was occupied by a Huntington Village merchant, his wife and three daughters.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Travel back into history this holiday season by venturing on Huntington Historical Society’s annual Historical Holiday House Tour.

This community tradition tells the stories of some of Huntington’s historic homes that are decorated for the season and open to visitors.

The Historical Society has been organizing such tours since its beginnings in 1903. Following a hiatus, the tradition was revived in 2005, making this the Society’s annual tour.

“My family and I look forward to this tour every year,” Rachel Landon of Smithtown said. “It has become part of our holiday tradition as a family. It kicks off the holiday season.”

Participants in the self-guided tour receive a booklet with a map to guide them on their journey around the town of Huntington, and a short history of the homes they will visit.

Five holiday historic homes will be featured, as will the society’s 1795 Kissam House. There, visitors can take in the Poetry in Thread exhibit, and browse the Antiques and Collectibles Shop, fully stocked with holiday gifts. The 1750 Conklin Farmhouse will have a delicious buffet spread.

“Our Holiday Historic House Tour offers a chance for attendees to celebrate the holiday season and highlight the wealth of important history and beautiful homes we have in the Town of Huntington,” Historical Society Executive Director Tracy Pfaff said.

Every house on the tour holds a historical value that will be explained by volunteer docents. The Society’s committee researches to find homes with a unique past.

“Something really special that we do is have a volunteer posted in not only every home, but in nearly every room,” Pfaff said. “Telling the story of the house and the people who lived there is a very important part of our tour.”

As Pat Ernst, a tour committee member describes, it is “a lesson in history dressed up for the holidays.” Each docent will detail the evolution of the home, the impacts the people who had lived there made in Huntington, New York, Albany and Washington, and even tell the story of certain furnishings.

“Huntington’s House Tour is always enjoyable and historically representative of the beautiful homes in the area,” Bruce Adams of Northport said.

“Holiday House Tour of Historic Houses is both a mission program, showing off historic houses of Huntington, and a fundraiser,” Pfaff said.

Proceeds from the tour will benefit the Society’s many programs, events and research. The Society provides public education programs, school and scout visits, research and genealogy resources, and interpretations of historic properties through historic house tours and exhibits.

“The proceeds support our mission to serve as the focal point for preserving the ongoing heritage of the Town of Huntington,” Pfaff said.

The tour is set for Sunday, Dec. 2, from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $40, $35 for members, in advance. Purchase online at huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org, or call 631-427-7045 ext. 401. Ticket price increases by $5 if purchased the day of the tour.

Giving Thanks With 2,000 Turkeys

 Crowds gathered at Professional Automotive Service on New York Avenue in Huntington as over 2,500 turkeys were handed out to families in need during the annual Sorrentino Turkey Drive.

Crowds gathered at Professional Automotive Service on New York Avenue in Huntington as over 2,500 turkeys were handed out to families in need during the annual Sorrentino Turkey Drive.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

Lines stretched down the block from Professional Automotive Service on New York Avenue in Huntington Monday night where hundreds gathered for the ninth annual Sorrentino Turkey Drive.

Andre Sorrentino, co-owner of PAS and Huntington’s director of general services, spearheaded the event during which a total of 2,650 turkeys were collected and handed out to local families in need.

The event has become an annual tradition in which local firefighters, police officers, high school students, businesses and volunteers work together to ensure that every family has a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.

Sorrentino said there was an “unbelievable turnout” for the 2018 turkey drive.

“Thank you to all of you who helped out,” Sorrentino said to the crowd of family, friends, town and county officials and volunteers who gathered at PAS to help hand out thousands of turkeys.

 

 Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, left joined, Director of General Services Andre Sorrentino at the Sorrentino Turkey Drive.

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, left joined, Director of General Services Andre Sorrentino at the Sorrentino Turkey Drive.

Volunteers worked for over two hours distributing turkeys to the those in need, all as people continued to arrive with turkeys to donate.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone thanked Sorrentino and his family for their hard work to “bring out the best in our community” during the holiday season.

Assemblyman Steve Stern, Suffolk Legislator William “Doc” Spencer, Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, and Councilmembers Joan Cergol, Mark Cuthbertson and Ed Smyth also attended the event and thanked the Sorrentino family for making the event possible.

Algieri Returns To The Ring, Nov. 30

 Chris Algieri, right, pictured with Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia after his WBO junior welterweight title fight in 2014, will return to the ring at The Paramount on Nov. 30.

Chris Algieri, right, pictured with Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia after his WBO junior welterweight title fight in 2014, will return to the ring at The Paramount on Nov. 30.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com


For the first time in four years, Huntington native and former WBO junior welterweight title holder Chris Algieri will return to The Paramount for Star Boxing’s “Rockin’ Fights” 33.

Algieri, 34, signed with promoter Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing in 2011 and headlined eight “Rockin’ Fights” bouts at The Paramount from 2011-2014. Algieri featured in fights on NBC Sports and ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights.”

In June 2014 Algieri landed a career defining fight against WBO junior welterweight title holder Ruslan Provodnikov. Algieri defeated Provodnikov, of Russia, after being knocked down twice in the first round to score a massive upset and the world title.

Algieri went on to lose a HBO Pay Per View bout against boxing legend Manny Pacquaio five months later.

Now, after a two-year break, Algieri is set to step back in the ring next week at The Paramount for Star Boxing.

“The “Rockin’ Fights” Series has been a tremendous success and it started with Chris Algieri,” DeGuardia said. “When I suggested we have the comeback begin at the Paramount, Chris was on board immediately.”

DeGuardia said he expected an “electric crowd” at The Paramount when Algieri returns to the ring in his hometown, and the prediction should prove accurate as the venue is already nearly sold out.

“Rockin’ Fights” 33 could serve as the launching point for the chance at another fight on the international stage, something both DeGuardia and Algieri were confident could happen.

“It has been a long time coming and it is the perfect time to step back into the sport,” Algieri said. “There are a lot of good fights for me down the line and I can’t wait to be back in the mix on the world stage.”

Algieri is slated to fight in the junior welterweight division in his return.

“I look forward to Chris’ return, especially in the junior welterweight division, where he’s never lost a fight,” DeGuardia said. “I am confident we will get him another world title fight very soon.”

Tickets for the fight on Friday, Nov. 30 range from $60-$150, and are nearly sold out. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the first bell rings at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the fight can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.

Use This Map And Hit The Lights

ChristmasLights_3.png

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

This holiday season it’s even easier to get in the Christmas spirit with the help of christmaslightsli.com, a website that gathers together Long Island’s most decrative homes.

The festive site was created by Smithtown resident, Raymond Schettini, known as Mr. Christmas by friends, who searched far and wide on the web for a list of holiday homes with amazing displays but came up empty handed. Schettini, president of cyber security company T.G. Professionals, utilized his web programming background to design the entire website a month ago.

“I couldn’t find a compiled master list of all the houses, so I just decided to do it myself,” Schettini said. “Then I wanted to share it with the community, so I made it public.”

Christmaslightsli.com has over 40 verified houses and an events page that posts tree lightings, menorah lightings and food drives. Although, most people won’t be decorating until the weekend following Thanksgiving, there will still be plenty of time to enjoy the displays.

“I think we could all use some holiday cheer here on the Island. It’s been a fun, interesting year,” Schettini said.

Schettini compiled his masterlist through referrals and researching on other websites. He has dedicated a great amount of time to developing it, but to him it’s worth it to have a collection of homes to see with family and friends.

“Christmas lights bring everyone together, my family has been driving around looking at Christmas lights since we were kids,” Schettini said. “It’s a family tradition.”

Another tradition close to Schettini’s heart is the Christmas Convoy, a group of people that decorate their cars with Christmas lights and ride around the Island. He started the tradition 10 years ago with his fellow firefighters to spread holiday joy. The Convoy has not planned a holiday light tour yet, but encourages others to design their own course with the website.

“Hopefully some people can come to the website and plan out their own routes, like my family used to do,” Schettini said. “Just drive around in the car for hours, looking at Christmas lights and make their own family tradition.”

Right now, Schettini runs the website on his own and pays $1,500 a month to make it public. He hopes to gain a few sponsors to offset the cost and keep it free.

“It’s all for fun, as long as everybody gets a kick out of it and enjoys it and it helps some people,” Schettini said. “It’s all about spreading some holiday spirit.” 

He hopes the website will inspire people to extravagantly decorate their homes and maybe even be a part of the site.

“We just want people to keep decorating houses and sending them to us,” Schettini said. “At the end of the day, we just want a massive map of houses.”

Those who are looking to spread some holiday cheer by decorating their home or holding a holiday event should contact santa@christmaslightsli.com.

Big Shot In The Arm For Vets Charity

 Billy Joel cover band Big Shot, led by singer Mike DelGuidice, takes the stage at The Paramount for a concert to benefit General Needs.

Billy Joel cover band Big Shot, led by singer Mike DelGuidice, takes the stage at The Paramount for a concert to benefit General Needs.

By Connor Beach

cbeach@longislandergroup.com

One of Long Island’s most revered cover bands will be returning to the stage at The Paramount in Huntington tomorrow night, and once again it will be for a good cause.

A portion of the proceeds from tomorrow night’s show featuring Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot at The Paramount in Huntington village will benefit charity General Needs.

East Northport-based General Needs is a non-profit organization that provides clean socks, underwear, t-shirts and other much-needed items to homeless veterans from Brooklyn to Riverhead, according to the organization’s founder and president Lonnie Sherman.

Sherman said General Needs first got in touch with the Paramount three years ago about a charity concert through TD Bank, one of the organization’s major donors.

DelGuidice, 47, of Miller Place, is happy to be able to use his fame as the frontman of Big Shot, and a touring member of the Billy Joel Band to give back to a local Long Island charity.

In 2011, DelGuidice give Big Shot an unprecedented level of authenticity when he added two members of Joel’s actual touring band to Big Shot’s line-up. Joel’s lead guitarist Tommy Byrnes and drummer Chuck Burgi joined bassist Nick Dimichino, keyboardist Carmine Giglio and saxophonist John Scarpulla, and gave the cover band a sense of legitimacy.

DelGuidice got a big break in October 2013, when Joel came to The Paramount to hear DelGuidice sing and was later quoted in the New York Times as saying “they had a hard time convincing me it wasn’t me.”

After the show, Joel personally hired DelGuidice to join his band, and he continues to tour with the Billy Joel Band playing rhythm guitar and singing vocals.

Big Shot’s live shows at The Paramount always have a buzz of excitement following a performance in June 2016 when Joel made a live guest appearance with the band on stage, much to the delight of the Huntington audience.

With chilly weather already upon us, and freezing temperatures just around the corner, this is the time of year when homeless veterans are in particular need of warm socks, blankets, winter coats, boots and other items that General Needs provides. A portion of the proceeds from the concert will be donated to General Needs.

Tickets for tomorrow’s concert at 8 p.m. cost between $20-$60, and are selling fast. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.

Plenty Of Smiles At Community Day

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The Greenlawn Civic Association hosted Sunday the second annual Greenlawn Community Day at Coral Park.

The event saw participation from a variety of community groups including the Harborfields Council of PTA’s, Harborfields High School Student Government, the Vanderbilt Museum, Greenlawn Fire Department and a very busy table hosted by the Harborfields Public Library.

All activities at the event were provided free of charge and helped promote businesses and community organizations in the Greenlawn area.

Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson praised the Greenlawn Civic Association for organizing the event.

“Years ago this land was an empty space, and it’s a beautiful park now so it’s great that we could come together here and enjoy this beautiful fall day,” Cuthbertson said. “Thank you to the civic association, the fire department, the police department and all the organizations that come together to make this such a great event.”

The Greenlawn Civic Association said the event was a big success, and hope it will continue to grow next year.

Tricks, Treats and Help For The Hungry

 Alexandra Miller-Henson started S(care) to help local shelters. As a way to thank donors, she is gifting them a S(care) bag.

Alexandra Miller-Henson started S(care) to help local shelters. As a way to thank donors, she is gifting them a S(care) bag.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

oky season is upon us and that means it’s almost time to dress up in costume and go trick-or-treating, but this year instead of just getting candy, kids and teens can donate to a good cause by getting involved with S(care).

The non-profit charity created by Walt Whitman sophomore Alexandra Miller-Henson encourages trick-or-treaters to collect items from their neighbors that will be donated to a local shelter. In its second year, Miller-Henson has been working to get the word out about her charity and bring it to more parts of Long Island.

“I was talking her about how I wish there was a way for me to trick-or-treat for a good reason, with an excuse to go trick-or-treating and we basically came up with the idea on the spot there,” Miller-Henson said.

Last year she focused primarily on getting people at her high school involved. Now she is ready to expand through friends and social media.

“I think it’s a fun twist on Halloween, y’know scaring for a cause, scaring for a care,” Miller-Henson said.

Last year, S(care) donated to the Family Service League, but is unsure which shelter she will donate to this year. The charity is asking for donations of toiletries, socks and feminine products.

“I was talking to a lady at the Family Service League and she said the least donated things are socks and feminine products,” Miller-Henson said. “When I see other people struggling, I want to help and I think it’s important that everyone has a little bit of that in their life.”

Miller-Henson has already collected some donations from family and friends, and is expecting a large wave of donations to come in after Halloween. Anyone can sign up on the website, scareforcharity.org, to round up donations on Halloween night. Directions have been assembled on how to have the most successful collection.

“We try to be as clear as possible with the rules,” Miller-Henson said. “We don’t want people trick-or-treating by themselves because that can be very dangerous. We told them what to look for and gave them some suggestions of what to say because we don’t want them to be scared or confused if it’s their first year doing it.”

People can drop off donations at Walt Whitman High School, Stage To Screen, Craftree and 110 Party Supply during their business hours.

“If everyone helps out a little bit, we’ll be in a better place than we are now,” Miller-Henson said.

Last year, S(care) donated over a thousand items to the shelter, and Miller-Henson hopes she will be able to amass even more with her large outreach.

“I can’t picture me not running it, because it’s made me look forward to Halloween even more than I already did,” Miller-Henson said. “Halloween has been my favorite holiday for forever so… I couldn’t imagine a Halloween without it.”donations.

Mike And Mollie Star Headlines

 Former “Mike & Molly” star Billy Gardell is scheduled to take the stage for a night of comedy at The Paramount Saturday.

Former “Mike & Molly” star Billy Gardell is scheduled to take the stage for a night of comedy at The Paramount Saturday.

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

Early in his career, comedian Billy Gardell lived in Huntington for a short time, testing his comedic chops at the storied East Side Comedy Club where Eddie Murphy and Jerry Seinfeld also got their start on stage.

Gardell, 49, is returning to Huntington this weekend when he is scheduled to perform a standup routine at The Paramount.

Best known for his role as Mike Biggs on the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly,” Gardell said he “always had an affinity” for comedy.

Gardell starred in “Mike & Molly” for six seasons alongside fellow comedian and actress Melissa McCarthy, and he said the two developed a close bond.

“It was amazing working with Melissa; she was like my sister,” Gardell said. “There’s a closeness to the cast on every show, but we really developed a family-type atmosphere.”

Although Gardell said he enjoyed acting in the sitcom, standup has always been “my first love.”

“You just have to find your own voice,” Gardell said.

The funnyman described his comedic style as “working class,” and said that he tries to find the humor in what happens in day-to-day life.

“I think it’s important to try and find a universal theme in my standup,” Gardell said.

“Even though there may be differing opinions in the audience, I try to get people to laugh as a group.”

Gardell said he continues to tour and perform standup comedy because there is something addicting about writing a new joke that, when it goes over well with the crowd, keeps him getting back on stage.

Drawing on his own life experiences, Gardell said his jokes often focus on the very relatable themes of marriage, parenthood and growing old.

“I like to think that I get my audience to switch off for a while and just enjoy the show,”he said.

Gardell is set to take the stage on Saturday night at 8 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show run from $19.50-$49.50 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.

Families Find Fun At Fall Festival

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

In its 25th year, the Long Island Fall Festival in Huntington, presented by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce was a tremendous time for all who attended.

“We bring all these businesses and residents together in this one great, Heckscher Park, which is full of history,” Brian Yudewitz, co-chair of the festival, said. “And has so many great things going on throughout the year, but this is the best weekend of the year.”

Various vendors lined up on the streets and throughout the park, an international food court could satisfy anyone’s appetite, a massive carnival lit up the night, and live music could be heard throughout the day. With three stages set up, a main stage at Chapin Rainbow Stage, rock central at Scotto’s Carnival Stage and folk performers at Acoustic Stage, there was music that could catch anyone’s ear and make them sit down for awhile.

“By bringing everyone together from the Northeast, not just Long Island, they enjoy everything and it’s a real relaxing weekend for whoever attends,” Yudewitz said.

Yudewitz felt that many people came to the festival because of its “staying power”. Even though, it was contained in the park and its bordering streets, there were endless things to check out and tons of community members to meet.

“We recently moved here and it’s just a great environment and very friendly people,” Ken Gerome of Huntington, said. “It’s great to see everyone out having a good time.”

With over 100 vendors, you could easily spend an entire day shopping.

“Hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders come every year and it’s just a great way to be present in the community, meet new people and spread the word about our brand,” Christopher Vetter, founder of Sail Away Coffee Co. and vendor at the festival, said.

With the Fall Festival come and gone, the Huntington Chamber of Commerce is already preparing for next year’s extravaganza.

“Our festival takes 360 days to prepare for,” Yudewitz said. “So we’ll take a day off on Tuesday and starting Wednesday we’ll prepare for next year’s festival… Our chamber staff works all year round to make this amazing.”

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Two-time Meatball Champ Repeats…

The meatball-eating champ has a partner now.

Len Piros of Centerport, for two years in a row the winner of the Long Island Fall Festival Meatball Eating Contest, went for the three-peat Sunday afternoon. Instead of a trophy and the three-peat, Piros now has a co-champion.

Ryan Thomas kept pace through both the competition and a tie-breaking run-off to grab a share of the title.

In all, 10 competitors came to the table where staff from Porto Fino restaurant loaded each plate with 10 meatballs. After three minute on the clock, Piros and Thomas were tied.

They went head-to-head in a one-minute runoff.

They were till tied.

A sudden death runoff was ruled out and the emcee of the event, Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci presented the still-chewing pair to the crowd as co-champions.

— PETER SLOGGATT



 Len Piros, left, and Ryan Thomas, third from left, are congratulated by Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Festival Co-chairman Bob Bontempi.

Len Piros, left, and Ryan Thomas, third from left, are congratulated by Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci and Festival Co-chairman Bob Bontempi.

Simpatico Artists Show Photos, Sculpture

 John Cino and Pamela Waldroup share a commonality in their interpretations of form but work in entirely different mediums.  Photo by Pamela Waldroup

John Cino and Pamela Waldroup share a commonality in their interpretations of form but work in entirely different mediums. Photo by Pamela Waldroup

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

Working in two different mediums, artists John Cino and Pamela Waldroup have found commonality.

The artists, who are exhibiting together at fotofoto gallery in Huntington, explore dimensionality in their own ways. Titled Sympathetic Sensibilities, the show reflects “our shared sensibilities regarding form, rhythm, shape, and nature,” Waldroup said.

They came together when Cino selected Waldroup’s pieces for a Patchogue Arts Council exhibit he was curating. As curator Cino was unable to show his work at that show, but Waldroup went to one of his openings and felt the connection between their work.

Cino is from Patchogue and welcomed the idea of bringing his creations to a new community.

“I would have never even dreamed of bringing my work there until she had the idea,” Cino said. “She felt there was resonance between our work and thought it would be an interesting idea to put them together.”

Waldroup felt Cino’s work would complement hers well.

“Last year I had a solo show there, but this year I wanted to do something different. What John and I have done is transform the space,” Waldroup said.

“What I like about when I walk into the gallery now is there is a conversation that you can feel between his work and mine,” Waldroup said.

In the gallery, their pieces are integrated together, with Cino’s sculptures placed around Waldroup’s photographs, as Waldroup describes it, “a marriage of forms.”

 Sculptor John Cino carves sensual wavelike forms in wood, focusing on texture. Photographer Pamela Waldroup explores similar qualities in the subjects she photographs.  Photo by Pamela Waldroup

Sculptor John Cino carves sensual wavelike forms in wood, focusing on texture. Photographer Pamela Waldroup explores similar qualities in the subjects she photographs. Photo by Pamela Waldroup

 “I experience the rhythmic ebb and flow in his work much like the meditative involvement I feel when creating my photographs,” Waldroup said. “The contour lines and dark values created by crisp edges juxtaposed against deep recesses and open spaces in John‘s pieces create a sense of dancing delicacy and solid foundation simultaneously.”

In her work, Waldroup puts an emphasis on a subject’s lines, shadows and contrast. Cino does the same in a three-dimensional form.

“I think in her work she captures some things that resonate with me,” Cino said. “There’s the rhythm that you find in her pieces, but there’s also the sense that what she photographs is more than just a picture of a thing. In her photographs the object itself is so dominant that the background disappears and the focus is on the object, which is what sculpturing really is. I look at her photographs as being very sculptural.”

Waldroup has a fine arts degree but a workshop in Florence introduced her to photography. She taught fine art and digital photography at Northport High School for 32 years until retiring last year.

“I approach photography like a print maker, I print my own images after making edits in Photoshop,” Waldroup said. “But the printing part of it is one of parts I enjoy the most of everything, it allows me to go back to my origins.”

For Cino, he found his love for sculpting in college and knew this would be what he would pursue for the rest of his life.

“I just discovered that I really liked to work with my hands,” Cino said. “It freed my mind to explore. . . Just like some people have a heightened sense of color, I think the sense of space is something certain people have a deeper, more profound experience with.”

His pieces falls into two categories, a free flowing wave and a rectangular box with waves inside, he considers this to be like a book and the markings are a “language”.

“I think of the way things move,” Cino said. “I’m very interested in music and dance, together your body will move to the music and the body sometimes translates into the sculptures I make.”

An artist’s reception will be held at the gallery this Saturday, Oct. 13, 5-7 p.m. The artists will also be at fotofoto gallery during Huntington Art Walk, Sunday, Oct. 21, noon to 4 p.m.

Columbus Celebrated With Parade, Ceremonies

 In celebration of Columbus Day, from left, Steven Rossetti, Assemblyman Steve Stern, Parade Chair Keith Wilson, Councilwoman Joan Cergol, Father Noel Sixon, past OSDIA President Joseph DiTrapani, Tax Receiver Jillian Guthman, County Comptroller John Kennedy, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, Legislator William Spencer, OSDIA State 1st Vice President Anthony Naccarato, Councilman Eugene Cook, OSDIA State President Robert Ferrito, Robert Fonti, OSDIA National Treasurer Thomas Lupo, Councilman Ed Smyth gather in front of the Columbus statue.  Photo/Town of Huntington

In celebration of Columbus Day, from left, Steven Rossetti, Assemblyman Steve Stern, Parade Chair Keith Wilson, Councilwoman Joan Cergol, Father Noel Sixon, past OSDIA President Joseph DiTrapani, Tax Receiver Jillian Guthman, County Comptroller John Kennedy, Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, Legislator William Spencer, OSDIA State 1st Vice President Anthony Naccarato, Councilman Eugene Cook, OSDIA State President Robert Ferrito, Robert Fonti, OSDIA National Treasurer Thomas Lupo, Councilman Ed Smyth gather in front of the Columbus statue. Photo/Town of Huntington

By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The Town of Huntington celebrated an event filled Columbus Day Weekend that culminated Sunday with the 20th Annual Long Island Columbus Day Parade through Huntington village.

The ceremonies kicked off on Oct. 4 with the raising of the Italian flag above the Christopher Columbus statue at the intersection of Lawrence Hill Road and Main Street in Huntington village.

Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Councilmembers Eugene Cook, Joan Cergol, and Ed Smyth, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia and Tax Receiver Jillian Guthman were joined by State Assemblyman Steve Stern (D-Huntington Station), County Comptroller John Kennedy (R-Suffolk County), County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) and members of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America to show their support for the town’s Italian-American community.

Lupinacci assured the gathering that the 9-foot-high bronze statue of Columbus, which was unveiled across from St. Patrick’s Church in 1971, was going nowhere.

“As people have made allegations of the Columbus Day holiday over the past few years… this statue is here to stay in Huntington standing taller, and larger, with broader shoulders,” Lupinacci said.

The Columbus statue was commissioned by the late Sam Albicocco, an Italian-American and prominent Huntington businessman. Lupinacci said Albicocco purchased the land for the statue and funded the construction of the statue with donations from local Italian-American residents. The statue was transferred to the town in 1994.

The 20th Long Island Columbus Day Parade kicked off three days later on Sunday at the corner of Park Avenue and Main Street in Huntington.

Lupinacci served as the parade’s co-grand marshal with NYS OSDIA President Robert M. Ferrito, News 12 anchor Antoinette Biordi and Italian media personality Dr. Vito DeSimone.

 

 The Italian flag will fly above the Christopher Columbus Statue at Lawrence Hill Road and Main Street in Huntington village during Italian-American Heritage Month.  Photo/Town of Huntington

The Italian flag will fly above the Christopher Columbus Statue at Lawrence Hill Road and Main Street in Huntington village during Italian-American Heritage Month. Photo/Town of Huntington

The parade coincided with the annual Long Island Fall festival at Heckscher Park, and the 1.5-mile route that ended at the Columbus statue was lined with people.

Members of over 24 OSDIA lodges in Nassau and Suffolk could be seen marching with banners and Italian flags. Marching bands from Walt Whitman, Deer Park, East Meadow, Islip and W.T. Trespar Clarke high schools filled the air with music.

The parade also marked the 113th anniversary of the Order Sons of Italy in America.

Lupinacci said the Italian Flag would continue to fly above the Columbus statue for the rest of October to celebrate Italian-American Heritage Month.

 Walt Whitman High School marching band passes under the American flag during Sunday’s Long Island Columbus Day Parade in Huntington.  Photo/South Huntington School District

Walt Whitman High School marching band passes under the American flag during Sunday’s Long Island Columbus Day Parade in Huntington. Photo/South Huntington School District

Storytellers To Weave Their Tales

 The cast of Maria Adcock, Lisa Leshaw, Kathy Radigan, Barbara Solomon Josselsohn, Barbara Herel, Kate Mayer, Lance Werth, Neil Kramer, and Tony Mennuto are ready to tell you a story.

The cast of Maria Adcock, Lisa Leshaw, Kathy Radigan, Barbara Solomon Josselsohn, Barbara Herel, Kate Mayer, Lance Werth, Neil Kramer, and Tony Mennuto are ready to tell you a story.

By Sophia Ricco

sricco@longislandergroup.com

Delve into the funny, crazy, unbelievable, and at times heart wrenching stories that make up nine storytellers’ family histories at “Every Family’s Got One (a story, that is),” premiering its first show on Oct. 11 at Cinema Arts Center in Huntington.

Producers Barbara Herel and Kathy Radigan have curated a lineup of performers who are ready to dive into their families’ pasts. While working together on another storytelling venture, “Listen to Your Mother,” the producers discovered they lived near each other on Long Island. In the search of a new project to pursue, Herel came up with the idea to put together a show centered around family. Radigan was completely on board.

“I just thought of ‘what do I love to hear?’ and I love to hear people’s crazy stories about their families, I definitely have a few of my own to tell,” Herel said.

As performers themselves, Herel and Radigan, will be on stage, along with Maria Adcock, Lisa Leshaw, Barbara Solomon Josselsohn, Kate Mayer, Lance Werth, Neil Kramer, and Tony Mennuto.

“We’re not only showcasing our work, we’ve really been reaching out to incredible writers and storytellers all over the place,” Herel said.

Herel and Radigan have been working since the spring of 2017 to develop their project. They launched a website in January with weekly blog posts covering all sorts of topics about family.

“We really come from so many different parts of the universe - politically, socially, economically - and yet family is still family. We all have those moments that are universal,” Radigan said.

The blog went to the next level when they began to host a weekly Facebook live. This allowed them to connect with the public, which is what storytelling is all about, according to Radigan.

“It’s a way for people to get to know us and consider themselves part of our family by allowing them to see us,” Herel said. “It’s really nice when people chime in and we can see them.”

Once they put the show together, they knew they wanted to bring it to the local community. Five of the nine performers come from Long Island but each bring a different perspective. Still, Herel and Radigan believe people can relate to each story in some way.

“They’re so universal, I can’t imagine anybody listening to any of them and not feeling something,” Radigan said. “I really think that’s the most beautiful part and I’m hoping people leave feeling more connected.”

Each storyteller will have five to eight minutes to weave their tale. One after the other, the stories will build on each other.

“If you hear a story and even if you didn’t have that same exact experience, it’s going to do something to you, it’ll inspire you or make you laugh,” Herel said. “You’re really gonna have an empathetic moment.”

Herel and Radigan found that the nine stories they chose fit together “like a puzzle.”

The cast has formed a family of their own. As defined by the producers, family is “the people in your life who support you”.

“In these fractured times, Barbara and I feel one thing you can always talk to people about is a family story,” Radigan said.

Tickets can be purchased online at Everyfamilysgotone.com for $35, or at the door for $40. A portion of sales will be donated to the Visiting Nurse Service of Suffolk County.

The show is for mature audiences.

Poet Awarded For Cultural Development

 George Wallace, right, met with international poets, Guiseppe Napolitano, Italy; Shaip Emerllahu, Macedonia and Tozan Alkan, Turkey while in Bulgaria. This month he’s off to Greece to receive an award and connect with more poets.

George Wallace, right, met with international poets, Guiseppe Napolitano, Italy; Shaip Emerllahu, Macedonia and Tozan Alkan, Turkey while in Bulgaria. This month he’s off to Greece to receive an award and connect with more poets.

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

 

Distinguished poet, George Wallace will be the first American citizen to receive the Alexander the Great Gold Medal (Χρυσό Μετάλλιο του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου) in Greece this coming Sunday.

Bestowed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Wallace will be traveling to the island of Salamis along with around 20 others who have made advancements with culture. He was selected by the organization due to his connection to the director, Kafe Idion, who he met at a poetry festival in Macedonia in 2017. After sharing his work with Idion, he was asked if he could be considered for the medal and within a month received a letter saying that he was chosen.

Although, his trip to Greece will be brief, Wallace is hoping to reconnect with poets and musicians he had encountered on his travels to the country before. He is also looking forward to encountering various artists during his time Salamis off the coast of Greece.

“It reminds me of the responsibility I have not just to myself but also to the people I represent, the Walt Whitman Birthplace and The Long Islander, to conduct myself and offer myself in a way that brings honor to the people I represent,” Wallace said.

Wallace has been the writer in residence at the Birthplace since 2011 and helps them organize events. He also spent many years working at the Long Islander newspaper and continues to contribute to the poetry column he brought back. For thirty years, the Long Islander has been sharing poets’ work from across the globe, with over 1,500 poems published.

“Reaching out and exchanging with people from different places I think is a healthy thing,” Wallace said. “It’s part of what it means to be American, to respect and learn from each other and see how we can grow together.”

To Wallace, the key to cultural development is the “meeting of minds,” which he encourages by reaching out to other cultures in the United States and internationally. He works to find commonalities and connections between cultures.

“It’s a cross cultural exchange, the work I do,” Wallace said. “I try to find a way to reach across boundaries and borders to find a dialogue with people from other places and cultures.”

 As the writer in residence for the Walt Whitman Birthplace, Wallace has brought in poets from around the world.

As the writer in residence for the Walt Whitman Birthplace, Wallace has brought in poets from around the world.

In his travels abroad, Wallace has worked to share poetry from across the world. He also, invites poets from other nations to read their work at the Walt Whitman Birthplace, bringing their culture to Huntington.

“It’s a multi-directional thing,” Wallace said. “It’s not just me going to other places and strutting my stuff, it’s also giving opportunities to people from other places to come here.”

Recently, Wallace traveled to the border between South Texas and Mexico, to speak with individuals on both sides about how they felt about the controversy it has caused. He wanted to gain a sense of what the border meant to either side, as a way to create a dialogue between both sides’ cultures.

“We can either retreat into our caves or we can step out into the sun and greet each other as fellow human beings,” Wallace said.

A native Long Islander, Wallace lived in England for 20 years but eventually came back to his roots in Huntington and began to pursue poetry professionally. He finds that as he has grown and changed in life, what he writes about has evolved as well.

“I’ve always been a person that approached the creation of art as a vehicle to an idea, rather than the opposite of having an idea then creating the art,” Wallace said. “I use poetry to find out what it is I want to talk about.”

He choose poetry as a career because he felt he had a talent with working with words and wanted to grow his potential. While he does write about his own life, he also touches upon issues that face society.

“It’s not about inspiration, it’s about exploration,” Wallace said. “Poetry is a way to explore the things that are meaningful to me.”

His passion for poetry is evident and Wallace is happy with the path he has chosen, as he said, “you only live once.”

“I would hate to reach the end of my life with only consuming,” Wallace said. “Just consuming for all my years is not good enough for me. I want to produce.”

'Evil Dead' Star Hosts Game Show Here

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By Connor Beach
cbeach@longislandergroup.com

Pop-culture fans will get the chance to take part in a live game show at The Paramount in Huntington next week about all things Comic-Con.

The Last Fan Standing, a “live trivia contest for nerd-culture know-it-alls,” gives audience members a chance to compete against each other in an attempt to be the “last fan standing.”

The trivia show was first developed in 2015 by co-creators Steve Sellery, CEO of Iconic Media Group, New York Times best selling author Philip Van Munching and actor Bruce Campbell.

Campbell, best known for his role as Ash Williams in the numerous renditions of The Evil Dead franchise, hosts Last Fan Standing. Campbell is a familiar and popular face at Comic-Con panels across the country.

The show starts with an audience response round where each ticket holder gets a chance to earn a spot next to Campbell on stage. Using a clicker audience members answer 25 multiple choice questions on the show’s four major categories: fantasy, horror, sci-fi and superheroes.

“If you can find it at Comic-Con, you’ll be asked about it here,” Campbell said.

The top four players with the fastest correct answers advance to the podium round where they face questions asked by Campbell on stage. The players with the lowest scores are eliminated until only one is left to compete in a “the final confrontation.”

The game is repeated, and a second podium round produces another competitor for the final confrontation. These two pop-culture gurus answer questions on everything from Marvel Comics to Stephen King until one is crowned “The Last Fan Standing.”

The interactive nature of the show creates a party-like atmosphere. Some contestants show how dedicated they are as fans by cosplaying, or dressing up as a character from a comic book, movie or TV show, at the competition.

In addition to his self-deprecating comedic style, Campbell also commands the stage during the show in one of his signature flashy suits that Comic-Con fans have grown to love.

Fans can test their knowledge of pop culture and try to become the last fan standing at The Paramount on Oct. 10. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $20-$40 and can be purchased at the box office or online at Paramountny.com.

Unity On Parade In Huntington

 State, county and town officials joined representatives from the Elwood, Harborfields, Huntington, Northport and South Huntington school districts to honor, seated from left, Imam Ibrahim Ahmad, Kristin Orig, Julio Taku, Jessica Kennedy, Rosario Lorenza and event co-chair Dolores Thompson.  Photos/South Huntington School District

State, county and town officials joined representatives from the Elwood, Harborfields, Huntington, Northport and South Huntington school districts to honor, seated from left, Imam Ibrahim Ahmad, Kristin Orig, Julio Taku, Jessica Kennedy, Rosario Lorenza and event co-chair Dolores Thompson. Photos/South Huntington School District

By Connor Beach

cbeach@longislandergroup.com

The eighth annual Huntington Awareness Day Unity in the Community Day parade and fair kicked off on Saturday as hundreds of students and community members took to the streets to celebrate diversity and solidarity in Huntington.

Co-chaired by Dolores Thompson and South Huntington Superintendent Dr. David Bennardo, the event began with a parade from HuntingtonHigh School up Oakwood Road to StimsonMiddle School in Huntington Station.

Greenlawn American Legion Post 1244 provided the color guard as marching bands, cheerleaders and fire trucks created an exciting atmosphere for the parade.

 State, county and town officials joined representatives from the Elwood, Harborfields, Huntington, Northport and South Huntington school districts, scouts, service organizations, law enforcement representatives, religious groups, and not-for-profits from across the town

What began as a day to raise awareness for the necessary revitalization of Huntington Station has expanded to include groups from across the Town of Huntington.

Each year the school districts present awards to honorees who displayed outstanding commitment to the local community.

Imam Ibrahim Ahmad, of Masjid Noor in Huntington, received the Excellence in Community Awareness.

Jessica Kennedy, Rosario Lorenza and Kristin Orig, teachers from Elwood, Huntington and Northport, respectively, were honored with Excellence in Education award.

Walt Whitman High School graduate Julio Taku received the Excellence in Community Leadership award, and Harborfields High School student Christina Amari was honored for her Excellence in Student Leadership.

After the awards ceremony, community members and residents stayed late into the afternoon to enjoy the company of their neighbors and the rides at the fair.

Artists Look 'Beyond The Sound'

 Grainne de Buitlear, at work in her studio, is exhibiting with fellow painters Jean Cohn and Michael Ricigliano in Beyond The Sound at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery

Grainne de Buitlear, at work in her studio, is exhibiting with fellow painters Jean Cohn and Michael Ricigliano in Beyond The Sound at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery

By Sophia Ricco
sricco@longislandergroup.com

The work of three artists comes together in harmony to transport viewers through Long Island at the recently opened Huntington Arts Council exhibit, Beyond the Sound.

This invitational exhibit features the works of Grainne de Buitlear, Jean Cohn, and Michael Ricigliano, Long Islanders who think outside the box and feel they go “beyond the Long Island Sound.” The artists came up with the name of the exhibit and feel this title encapsulates all three of their bodies of work, with two artists focusing on water-based pieces and the other taking influences from nature and putting it into his work. The exhibit will run from September 21 through October 13.

Taking a stroll around the gallery, it is evident which pieces come from a particular artist due to their unique styles. Their style and subjects all come from their different paths of life. Buitlear is primarily a painter and works with pastels, Cohn is an art teacher for children pre-kindergarten to sixth grade and weaves mixed mediums, and Ricigliano practices law and creates figurative work based on what he sees.

“You’d be able to tell by looking at it, their different perspectives on basically what beyond the sound is,” Emily Dowd, Grants for the Arts Coordinator at Huntington Arts Council, said. “You can see how they interpret their different experiences and bringing it into one cohesive show.”

Artist, Grainne de Buitlear has fallen in love with the Long Island coast and the nature that surrounds it. Originally from the east coast of Ireland, she finds many similarities between living on the coasts of these places and finds herself gravitating toward it.

“I really try to be inspired by what I see,” Grainne de Buitlear, one of the artists, said. “I take my inspiration from nature around me, I find beautiful spots. I love the sea, I love what I’ve grown up with I guess.”

After moving to New York in her 20s to pursue acting, Buitlear found love and decided to stay in the States. She now has a studio in her home in Port Jefferson, that has given her a creative outlet between raising four kids. Buitlear reflects on her time as a child as a time when she developed her creativity, with a mother as a set designer, she has been painting since she was seven years old.

“My family has always been involved with arts, my uncle was a wildlife filmmaker. My mother and uncle went around Europe and to Ethiopia making these films,” Buitlear said. “So I spent my summers and every trip surrounded by wildlife.”

Although, Buitlear knew she loved nature and wildlife, she did not start painting landscapes with pastels until two years ago. This is when she began to submit her work to galleries around Long Island and joined the LIMArts collaborative arts group.

“They had asked me to do a show a year ago and I said, ‘No way, I couldn’t have the time to make such a body of work.’ And they asked me again and I just thought that was a challenge that would make me work harder and pour my heart into,” Buitlear said.

What’s unique about an invitational show is the amount of work that is displayed by each artist. Typically, an exhibit would allow only one or two works from each artist but an invitational displays an artist’s body of work. The artists were selected by Emily Dowd and Kieren Johnson, co-curators in exhibition program, based on the cohesiveness of their works.

“We look into the submissions and take a look at what we think really works well together,” Dowd said. “And that’s how these three artists were selected to be a part of the show.”

The Huntington Arts Council holds two to three invitationals a year, that allows artists to showcase their pieces, selected by them. Buitlear choose to display her landscapes created at West Meadow Beach, Belle Terre Beach, the Hamptons, Montauk, and other coastal areas on Long Island.

“I really did base my work on the edge of the Sound and kept my work very coastal based, just beyond the water, the greens, and the vascity of that landscape around it,” Buitlear said.

All pieces on display are for sale and can purchased during the duration of the exhibit. The gallery is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekdays and 12 - 4 p.m. on Saturday.