Art Destinations on Long Island
By Joe Wallace
The arts are alive and well on Long Island. There are far too many places to cover in a single article, but there are some definite places you'll want to begin your journey though painting, sculpture and mixed media art. Some of the Long Island galleries are artist-run, so you'll not only get a taste of the arts, but experience work by talented local artists as well.
If you have a fondness for 19th and 20th century European and American art, your first stop should be the Heckscher Museum of Art at 2 Prime Avenue in Huntington. The Heckcsher collection includes Dadist George Grosz's masterpiece Eclipse of the Sun. Grosz was a resident of Huntington between 1947 and 1958. The Heckcsher collection also features the art of "one-time" Huntington residents Arthur Dove and his wife Helen Torr. The Heckcsher Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10AM to 5PM, with weekend hours from 1PM to 5PM.
Great examples of Long Island talent can be found at the BJ Spoke Gallery, located at 299 Main Street in Huntington. This artist-owned cooperative gallery features annual juried art competitions, but their biggest event is the Expo. This competition highlights work in oil painting, watercolor, drawing, photography and other visual art forms. The Expo scheduled for 2006 is scheduled for March 6 through April 2. Whatever time of year you visit, you're sure to see some of Long Island's finest artistic talent on display. Operating hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11AM to 5PM. Friday hours are from 11AM to 9PM.
The Islip Art Museum is a contemporary art space located at 50 Irish Lane in East Islip. Past exhibitions have included "Food For Thought" which features artists who use food as both subject and medium. "The Nature Of Things" focused on ten artists view of the landscape tradition in the face of increasing technology. The Islip does five major shows a year and attracts both the New York art crowd as well as people on the international art scene.
The Parrish Art Museum at 25 Job's Lane in Southampton is a different experience altogether, combining student art competitions and unusual shows. One interesting recent attraction was called "Finders Keepers" The Obsession of Passionate Collectors". The show highlighted the collecting obsession"everything from walking sticks to celluloid Santas. In between student work and the special exhibits, you'll find landscapes, photography and much more. Hours for the Parrish are Monday through Saturday from 11AM to 5PM. Sunday hours are from 1PM to 5PM. The museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
These are only a small sample of what Long Island has to offer. There is a great diversity of new talent, classic work on permanent display and unique exhibitions. If you have a passion for art, Long Island is sure to please. For a good overview of the Long Island art scene, take a look at www.longislandarts.com and you'll get the latest news on local artists, services for those in the arts, and calls for entries to local competitions and juried shows.
About The Author
Joe Wallace is a writer for the Long Island Exchange publication.
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