3rd International Artist Residency Comes to Long Island

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE NOVEMBER 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

For the third time in five years, the Islip Art Museum brought a group of international artists to Long Island for it’s two-week long New York Contemporary Art Symposium (NYCAS). Unlike previous residencies, which included artists from around the world, NYCAS 2016 focused on a specific country, bringing five Chilean artists to New York from September 19 to October 3. For this year’s residency, the Islip Art Museum collaborated with International Meeting of Art, a global non-profit organization dedicated to the arts and cultural exchange while encouraging, supporting, and facilitating the possibility for artists of all mediums and different cultures to work together. The 2016 NYCAS artists included Andrés Achavar, Ignacio Castillo, Paloma Gómez, Marcela Zamorano González, and Nico Huidobro. Like previous residencies, the participants were invited to exhibit their artwork across Long Island and experience all that New York culturally has to offer.

The residency featured a group of artists working in a variety of mediums. Andrés Achavar is a fine watercolorist whose work focuses on the beauty of the everyday. His paintings capture the essence of his subject matters that occupy a brief moment of time, as each work is bathed in a rich atmospheric light that encapsulates its setting. His figures are expressionless, devoid of individualistic features, as they go about their everyday-activities in urban and sub-urban street scenes or interior settings that project a moment plucked from time, forever frozen in watercolor.

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Andrés Achavar, West 20th Street, 2016

Ignacio Castillo’s work is a reaction to the increasing industrialization of his hometown of Santiago City. His small-scale ceramic sculptures rise from the grounds in which they are fired. Some figures tower over the smaller ones, casting them in shadows. These figures, like Achavar’s, are featureless, standing representative of the everyman. His subject matter is not the figures themselves, but the expressions and emotions they project through their poses, gestures, and colors.

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Ignacio Castillo, Art Energetic Gnapo, 2016

Working in oil paint, Paloma Gómez’s subject matter alternates between the abstract and the representational. She is inspired by the relationships between man and their environments as well as their interpersonal interactions. For the basis of each painting, she uses her own sketches, photographs and imagination as references. She builds up the layers of her compositions with vibrant colors until she feels each canvas is complete. Her Headphones and Nocturno series captures sub-urban street scenes at night with her figures and landscapes saturated in the afterglow of street laps that dance across the night sky. Although painted on a squared piece of canvas, her compositions are circular as if the scene is viewed through a hole in a screen.

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Paloma Gómez, Headphones XIV, 2016

In her photography, Marcela Zamorano González turns her camera lens towards what is often overlooked. Broken bottles, graffiti riddled buildings, and the average passerby are all subjects utilized by the artist as she structures her compositions with strong vertical and horizontal lines that zigzag across the picture plane. By turning her attention to the mundane, the artist draws attention to the hidden beauty of the world around her, highlighting it for all to see while urging the viewers to be observant of their surroundings as well.

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Marcela Zamorano González, Untitled, 2015

In his artwork, Nico Huidobro utilizes expression as an interpretive medium with which he attempts to concentrate on the present moment and current happenings of his surroundings. His paintings are visual expressions of his reactions towards music, the people around him, and the conditions of his environment. His works are impulsive and whimsical, created on the fly or at a moment’s notice.

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Nico Huidobro, Untitled, 2016

NYCAS 2016, an Islip Art Museum and International Meeting of Art Collaboration, is a two-week long, international artist residency program based in East Islip, NY. The bi-annual residency seeks to encourage and improve the cultural exchange between participating artists and collaborating communities. In 2016, the Islip Art Museum hosted five Chilean artists working in a variety of mediums from September 19 to October 3. These artists exhibited their paintings, photographs, and sculpture at the Islip Art Museum, Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery in Bay Shore, and the Patchogue Arts Gallery throughout September and October. Additionally, their work is currently on display in the exhibition Made in Chile at Toast Coffeehouse in Patchogue until December 28.

Jay Schuck


Photo Credits
Images of Paloma Gómez and Marcela Zamorano González artwork courtesy of Patchogue Arts Council

Images of Andrés Achavar, Ignacio Castillo, and Nico Huidobro artwork courtesy of Islip Art Museum

Wood, Waves & Words: The Sculpture of John Cino

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JULY 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery is Wood, Waves & Words a solo exhibition highlighting the recent works of sculptor John Cino. Upon invitation from the Patchogue Arts Council’s Board of Trustees, Cino showcases his sculpture in the exhibition space of the Patchogue Arts Council as he introduces his artwork to the community. The exhibition features a dozen sculpted works completed by the artist within the past year, including several pieces completed during a recent artist residency at Stony Brook University. Several sculptures in the exhibition incorporate a variety of sounds and languages, creating three-dimensional structures that stimulate not only the viewer’s sense of sight and space, but also one’s sense of sound as well. The viewer becomes fully immersed within the exhibition.

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John Cino, Wafting: Padouk #1, 2016

For the artist, a carved wooden sculpture recounts the story of a tree’s life through its unique grain patterning. By highlighting the unique grain pattern from each piece of lumber he uses, Cino gives his source material new life. Through his sculpture, the artist also simultaneously recalls memories of his childhood. As a boy, Cino would often spend hours climbing trees and reading books in them. Many works included in the exhibition, such as Wafting: Padouk #1, are slender, freestanding, wave-like sculptures that ripple and flow vertically toward the sky. For this body of work, the artist draws inspiration from the natural flow of the ocean’s waves that ascends and recedes on the many shores of Long Island, an action that often fascinated the artist as a child. Cino renders his sculptures as if each piece is dancing to its own song or is drifting among the ocean’s waves.

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John Cino, Song Wave, 2014

Several pieces in the exhibition incorporate hidden speakers that project different sounds and languages. For his sound pieces, the artist craves into his rectangular slabs of timber, creating rhythmic waves-like gestures that are seen through the voids that are left behind. The carved works are then embedded into bases that conceal the artist’s sound system. One such piece, Song Wave, was created with the aid of a New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Grant that was administered through the Huntington Arts Council. For Song Wave, the sounds that are projected are songs sung by humpback whales. Likewise, the artist includes four sound sculptures from his recent residency at Stony Brook University. Entitled, Dialogue with each individual sculpture taking the subtitle of its respected material, the works are composed of freestanding slabs of wood with two incised lines that runs through each piece. For the current exhibition, the voices projected from each of these sculptures recite random passages from Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha and Reverend Dwight Lee Wolter’s “Peace Chant,” which were originally incorporated into Song Wave’s whale song recording.

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John Cino, Dialogue: Maple, 2016

John Cino is the Chair of the Patchogue Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee as well as its Director of Programing. He has been the lead curator of the Patchogue Arts Council since its inception in 2008 and has introduced many artists to the Patchogue community over the years. He received his MFA in Sculpture from CUNY Hunter College and his BFA from Stony Brook University. His artwork has been exhibited extensively throughout the New York area at venues such as the Islip Art Museum, Omni Gallery, and the Vanderbilt Museum. His public sculpture, The Library of Babel, is currently situated outside of the Patchogue-Medford Library.

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John Cino, Dialogue: Maple (detail), 2016

The Patchogue Arts Gallery is a professional art gallery operated by the Patchogue Arts Council, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts. The gallery features five curated exhibitions per year, which reflect current issues and concerns in the contemporary art world, in addition to an annual juried members exhibition.

Wood, Waves & Words: The Sculpture of John Cino is on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery from July 9 to August 21. An artist reception is scheduled for Sunday, July 10, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. The reception is free and open to the public.

Jay Schuck

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Remembering Richard Smith

In April, British artist Richard Smith passed away. Richard had a long, prosperous career with solo exhibitions at the Tate Gallery (1975), the Jewish Museum (1968), and the Whitechapel Gallery (1966), among others. He represented Great Britain in the Venice Biennale (1966, 1970), as well as the Sao Paulo Biennale (1968). His artwork is in the public collection of many renowned fine art institutions including the British Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I first met Richard in 2012 at his Patchogue studio. The Patchogue Arts Gallery had just opened with an exhibition featuring a selection of Richard’s recent paintings and works on paper. I was tasked with helping the artist compile images of his artwork from over the years for a slideshow presentation he would use for an artist talk scheduled at the end of the exhibition. I met Richard in his studio where he had a few sketches and smaller works out on the table with volumes of works wrapped and tucked away in storage.

Richard was personable and friendly as he took the time to discuss with me the details of his life, career, artistic interests and influences. We spent the afternoon huddled around my laptop as he reflected on his career and body of work. The longer we spoke, the more I came to admire him and appreciate his artwork as he would recall the details of his oeuvre, some of which he remembered better than others. We often got sidetracked as a particular painting would remind him of a story involving a close friend, studio visit, or of his inspiration for the piece.

I was fortunate to work with Richard several more times over the years. One such time was in late 2014-early 2015 when John Cino and I were curating the Remembering Things Past exhibition at the Islip Art Museum. Richard happily agreed to be a part of the exhibition and we all met at his studio to review possible works to include. Upon arriving, John and I were greeted by a large, three-piece kite painting that Richard created in the late 1970s. It was my first time seeing one of his kite paintings in person and I was in immediate awe of delicate yet imposing presence and wonderful ascetics. Needless to say we included the work along with a smaller four-piece kite painting and a painting produced in the late 1990s that depicts a silhouette of the artist.

The last time I spoke to Richard was in early March. We discussed the possibility of a retrospective exhibition that would coincide with his 85th birthday and commemorate his life and body of work. Despite being ill, Richard happily agreed to the idea and we scheduled another studio visit. Although he passed before we could work on the project, I am flattered that Richard was interested in working with me one more time. As far as I am considered, when it comes to Richard Smith, the only thing more admirable than his artwork is his character.

Thank you for everything, Richard. Working with you will always be a highlight of my career.

Jay Schuck

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With Richard Smith’s Portrait (1997) at the Islip Art Museum

Patchworks 2016

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE JUNE 2016 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery is Patchworks 2016, the annual juried members exhibition of the Patchogue Arts Council. This year, the annual open call exhibit was juried by Neil Watson who currently serves as the Executive Director of the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, NY. Patchworks 2016 features 43 local artists who work in a variety of mediums ranging from painting and photography to sculpture and more.

Long Island’s scenic waterscapes are well represented in the works of Howard Beckerman, Krystle DiNicola, and Chris Zec, all of whom are working in the photographic media. Their calm, tranquil compositions have a strong correlation to Beth Giacummo’s glass-blown jellyfish, Big Pinky, along with the other works inspired by nature such as Linda Abadjian’s Clouf Mountains, Linda Beckerman’s Pond Reflections and Alan N. Johnson’s Bonsai I.

The past serves as inspiration for ceramicist Tina Folks and sculptor Dwight Trujillo, whose work recalls votive sculptures and colossal monuments of long extinct civilizations. Likewise, artists also recall memories of their own to serve as muses for their works. One such artist is Kristen Hadjoglou whose setting and narrative is captured in quick brush strokes, which invokes the feeling of something remembered but with hazy details. Alternatively, artists like Bryan Gutman, whose painting is a composite of several overlapping female figures rendered in wallpaper-like designs and colors, is purely imaginative in subject matter and bears no influence from past events or experiences.

Many works in the exhibition offer hidden details that are only brought out upon closer observation. Courtney Young’s stunning depiction of a grilled cheese sandwich appears photographic despite being drawn entirely in pastels. The drawing is so appealing that on first glance the viewer may overlook the fly that is trapped in the gooey cheese that oozes through the toasted bread. The piece offers a strong juxtaposition to Kathryn Ko’s Death by Water. What appears as a classically realist painting of a woodland river scene offers a hidden feature planted by the artist. Washed up on shore is the drowned Syrian boy whose body appeared on the front page of every major newspaper last fall. The imagery instantly brings the viewer out the imaginary world created by the painting back into the real world with its social-political struggles.

Formalists attracted to line, color, and shape will also be satisfied with the exhibition. John Cino’s small sculpture, Wafting, captivates the viewer as he or she studies the elegant curves that dances rhythmically upward, while Lawrence Lee’s dense bronze sculpture offers an interesting relationship between positive and negative spaces. Similarly, the viewer will instantly be drawn to Larry Monat’s linear painting A Not So Simple Truth, which is composed of a variety of different colors and strong intersecting horizontal and vertical lines. Whether one is a formalist or a realist, interested in representational art or abstraction, prefers sculpture to painting or vice versa, the viewer will leave the exhibition with a sense of fulfillment.

Patchworks 2016 features 44 works of art by 43 members of the Patchogue Arts Council. All artists with valid memberships to the Patchogue Arts Council were invited to submit two works of art, free of charge, to the organization’s annual open call exhibition. Neil Watson, Executive Director of the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, served as the juror of the exhibition. Watson has previously held directorial positions at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE, and the Katonah Museum of Art in Westchester, NY. As the Executive Director of the Long Island Museum, he has instituted the LIMart, an artist lead collaborative group that develops programing and other opportunities for contemporary Long Island artists. Patchworks 2016 is on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery through June 26.

The Patchogue Arts Gallery is a professional art gallery operated by the Patchogue Arts Council, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts. The gallery features five curated exhibitions per year, which reflect current issues and concerns in the contemporary art world, in addition to an annual juried members exhibition.

Jay Schuck

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Modern Iconography

THIS ESSAY HAS BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE APRIL 2015 ISSUE OF ACES MAGAZINE

Now on view at the Patchogue Arts Gallery is Modern Iconography, which exhibits artists exploring the concept of iconography and popular imagery. The term icon dates back to Ancient Greece but is primarily used to refer to a specific style of painting rooted in Medieval Byzantium. Icon paintings depicting religious figures were standardized across Europe, allowing Christians to instantly recognize the images and their attributes regardless of where they were made. Despite its broader meaning in the 21st century, the term icon is still used to refer to any instantaneously recognizable image, person, or object regardless of the time or place it originated. The artists in Modern Iconography explore the concept of iconography and its underlying symbolism.

In his composite paintings, presented in his signature ‘neon-light’ style, Bryan Gutman fuses imagery from premier artists across the span of art history. His painting Olympia borrows the iconic reclining nude from Édouard Manet’s painting of the same name and places her within the silhouetted outline of Vincent van Gogh’s Self Portrait in a Straw Hat. Bordering this imagery are abstracted forms in various colors in the style of Jean Dubuffet.

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

Bryan Gutman, Olympia, 2015

Rick Miller’s carnival scenes instantly bring to mind notions of Americana and simpler times. Despite cropping his photographs of Ferris wheels, fried dough vendors, and carnival plushies, there is still enough imagery to allow the viewer’s mind to recall nostalgic childhood memories of long summer nights spent at the carnival.

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Rick Miller, Country Fair #4, 2013

Assembling his pieces from found material, Ben Owens presents a unique view of popular imagery. His piece One Thousand Leaves Under the Tree is a take on the classic Jules Verne story depicting the climactic deaths of the Four Horsemen’s steeds on the cliff’s edge prior to Armageddon.

Ben Owens, One Thousand Leaves Under the Sea, 2015

Ben Owens, One Thousand Leaves Under the Sea, 2015

Chaltin Pagan considers the Barbie doll to be a modern-day icon revered by much of society and uses the subject to examine notions of womanhood and femininity. Like medieval saints holding objects of their martyrdom, Pagan’s Barbie dolls hold certain objects or beauty products that are associated with femininity.

Chaltin Pagan, Scissors, 2012

Chaltin Pagan, Scissors, 2012

Fran Pelzman Liscio sees the value of life in all of the world’s creatures. The photographs of fallen fowls from her Botanica Reliquaire series are reminiscent of the reliquary shrines of the Middle Ages. She memorializes the deceased, arranging their bodies with beautiful flowers, begging viewers to reflect on life and their own mortality.

Fran Pelzman Liscio, Found Bird #3, 2013

Fran Pelzman Liscio, Found Bird #3, 2013

The subjects of John Prudente’s paintings are instantly recognizable, retaining not only the uniqueness of the individuals depicted, but also the ideals of their times. His painting, Reaganing, modeled after the President’s official portrait, presents Ronald Reagan in vinyl overlay with the American flag waving behind him in red, white, and blue acrylic. Even in this creative style, Reagan still embodies the ideals of Conservatism and Reaganomics of the 1980s.

John Prudente, Reaganing, 2015

John Prudente, Reaganing, 2015

The artists in Modern Iconography explore the concepts of memory, memes, and media manipulation of iconography using instantly recognizable imagery as the basis for their artwork. In the reinterpretation of iconic imagery subjects gain new meaning while maintaining their original status. The exhibition will be on display at the Patchogue Arts Gallery from March 7 – April 18, 2015. A reception will be held on Saturday, March 7, from 5 – 7pm.

The Patchogue Arts Gallery is a professional art gallery operated by the Patchogue Arts Council, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation founded in 2008 to promote, encourage, and support the arts on the greater south shore of the Town of Brookhaven. The gallery features five curated exhibitions per year, which reflect current issues and concerns in the contemporary art world, in additional to an annual juried members exhibition.

Jay Schuck, Curator

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