Summer — as experienced here on Long Island — is the inspiration for local artists, who are sharing their works in a special exhibit currently on view at LIU Post’s Hutchins Gallery on its Brookville campus.
“Endless Summers: Visions of Long Island,” the inspiration of Long Island-based photojournalist Jill Rader Levine, who curates the exhibit, gathers 60 of the region’s distinguished creative talents who present a glimpse of the magic and beauty of this fleeting season.
The exhibition, which runs through Aug. 27, not only showcases the breadth and depth of the region’s artistic community, it also serves as fundraising effort for the Nassau County Firefighter’s Operation Wounded Warrior (NCF-OWW), a non-profit organization centered on providing much-needed items to the wounded men and women who served in the U.S. Armed
This exhibit and its fundraising component evolved out of Levine’s last venture, “Women of the World,” which she presented in March. “As curator of “Women Of The World,” it was an amazing ‘artventure’ for me to set out on a quest to locate and invite outstanding women artists from every corner of Long Island to showcase their individual style,” she says. “Everything went so beautifully in that March show that I was eager to move onto my next project. There is a wonderful synergy between photographers and artists on Long Island and they are eager to support this very important charity.”
And not just any charity. Levine was looking for a local organization to assist through her artistic lense. “This charity is a grass roots effort,” she explains. “All the money raised goes to support their purchase of special items for veterans.”
“I was born on Nov. 11, which is Veteran’s Day, so I have a special feeling for veterans and when a close friend who is a veteran’s advocate told me about this organization, I immediately knew I wanted to support their work.”
Many of the artists and photographers who exhibited in Levine’s last show were eager to participate, along with others who enthusiastically stepped in. “It quickly evolved and grew,” Levine says.
The artists chosen for this exhibit reside throughout the area and have contributed works that represent images of Long Island and summer through their eyes. They include Kathy Leistner of East Rockaway, East Meadow’s Katherine M. Trunk, and Arlene Krassner and Ellen Dunn, both of Merrick.
Krassner is an amateur photographer who has incorporated her hobby into her professional life as a school nurse. “I am often seen roaming the halls and cafeteria with my camera looking for or setting up scenes to support my health themes,” says Krassner. “My elementary students are eager to participate.”
“I have had a camera in my hand since I was a young child. I see common things in our everyday world that make me want to stop, look and wonder how the camera can make it mine. I am drawn to abstracts and favor the world of color. I cannot paint but modern technology allows me to do so through my camera using software to turn my photos into abstracts.”
“I am proud to participate in the very important exhibit and the wonderful charity it supports: our Wounded Warriors. We can’t possibly do enough for them.”
Dunn, a self-taught photographer, has been featured in the Town of Hempstead calendar and has exhibited at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook and Huntington 2013 FotoFoto Gallery, among other venues.
Trunk is an award-winning member of the National Art League whose paintings and hand painted glass animal ornaments have been displayed throughout Long Island.
The results of their creativity in capturing their impressions of this short season have resulted in unique images that will leave a memorable impression on all who attend this event.
“I asked each participant to come up with a different point of view,” says Levine. “I didn’t want to end up with just the typical icons of summer — the lighthouses, the boardwalks, the sea grass, and so forth. I envisioned this [exhibition] as a trip around Long Island, through each artist’s imagination. The exhibit is arranged that way, to show everyone beaches, special places, museums, parks. The works are both generic, iconic and specific, and focus on the natural beauty of Long Island, including views of the north and south shores and everything in between.”
Besides submitting their works, each artist was asked to make a donation to Operation Wounded Warrior. “It’s all very exciting and everyone feels good about their participation,” says Levine. All of the works on view are available for purchase, with a portion of each sale donated to OWW.
The submitted pieces were competitively judged and prizes were awarded in categories of Fine Art/Multimedia and Photography.
Leistner’s image, “Boy in Pool,” was the third place winner. A much-honored professional photographer, Leistner has exhibited in solo and juried shows. Her photographs can be also be found in many books, including “Light” by Sante Fe Photographic Workshops, “Woman As Photographer: Documenting Life As A Woman” by Mpls Photo Center Galleries, “Spotlight On The Ordinary” by the Long Island Center of Photography, and “Abundance & Scarcity’ by Professional Women Photographers.
Those who are interested in acquiring any of the pieces on exhibit can contact Levine via email at email@example.com for more information.