Text by Mary Gregory, Photos by Adel Gorgy
When the call went out to artists on Long Island for work that expressed the idea of “Silver Linings,” the responses were as varied as the artists selected for the exhibition. In painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media and collage, the artists’ visual expressions gave voice to observations on nature, time, place, the outer reaches of space, music, relationships, personalities, and even the political realities behind contemporary fashion.
Adel Gorgy, “Woman Wears Controversy #7,” Pigment ink print, 20″ x 28″, 2018
“Silver Linings” is the Long Island Museum’s fifth annual exhibition of works by LIMarts artists. When Executive Director Neil Watson, joined the museum, one of his first orders of business was bringing more local contemporary artists to the museum. “Practicing artists who live in the region are really a core part of what a well working museum should be,” said Watson. “The artists are the soul and heart of an institution. If you didn’t have artists you wouldn’t have art, and without art you wouldn’t have an art museum.”
To that end, he established LIMarts, a collaborative group of artists who meet, network, share and show together. Some are established artists with dozens of museum and gallery exhibitions on their resumes. Others may just be starting out. Program director Alexandria D’Auria noted, “We have members who are recent MFA grads in their 20s and others who are up into their 80s.” All have something unique and interesting to contribute.
Works by Grainne De Buitlear (left), Gail Chase (bottom right) and Marlene Weinstein (top right)
The beautiful landscape of Long Island inspired many of the artists. Grainne De Buitlear captured the soft haze and steely light of a darkened sky over water, while Gail Chase chose to paint a sun-drenched stretch of shoreline. Photographer Marlene Weinstein’s dramatically windswept beach in sandy, sepia tones shows the abstraction inherent in reality.
A trio of landscapes at the Long Island Museum’s “Silver Linings” exhibition
Holly Block’s photograph “One Nation Indivisible”
Some painters chose rainy cityscapes, others focused on quirky roadside attractions or iconic buildings like William Dodge’s oil, “Flatiron in the Snow.” Holly Block photographed a flag-draped painted door to express her idea – “One Nation Indivisible.” Sheri Berman created her unique landscape “Day’s End” by collaging countless (thousands?) snippets of found images from magazines into masses of bright colors to suggest a vibrant sunset. The amount of hours put into the work deserves respect; that the image is lovely pushes it to another level.
“Day’s End” a collage by Sheri Berman
Cindy Crowell-Doom’s painting “Independence Day, Grenada”
Cindy Crowell-Doom painted her vision of two women sharing a moment in her colorful double portrait, “Independence Day, Grenada.” Other portraits included introspective, moody faces, loveable pets and studies of wild birds. Sungsook Setton’s mastery of traditional ink brush painting techniques is made fresh and compelling by her subject matter, a cellist captured with minimal, fluid strokes.
“Cellist” Ink on Rice Paper by Sungsook Setton
Among the few conceptually based works were Marsha Solomon’s “Colors in My Dream,” (at top) an abstraction in turquoise, red, purple and silver that evokes stars and nebulae. The beauty and mystery of space are an inspiration for Solomon. Adel Gorgy’s striking “Woman Wears Controversy” introduces ideas about how fashion, dress, and society interact in the lives of women – sometimes freely and with celebration – and sometimes not.
“Silver Linings” runs through January 27th and, for this special exhibition, admission is free. It’s a great way to discover new art while getting the pulse of contemporary artists in the region. “Good work is made in a lot of places outside of a zip code, whether it’s Los Angeles or New York City,” said Watson. “In the middle, there are some really, really wonderful artists.”
Silver Linings, through January 27th, 2019
The Long Island Museum
1200 Route 25A
Stonybrook, Long Island
Top Photo: Marsha Solomon, “Colors in My Dream,” from the portfolio “From Rhythm to Form”, Acrylic on Canvas, 28 x 24 in., 2018