By Sophia Ricco
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.”
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.
“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.