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

Ceramics in the Community | Tina Folks

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

Tina Folks is a Patchogue-based fine artist who works in ceramics and public art projects. Inspired by primitive art, along with her fascination for rituals that honor the natural world, Folks’ art is an expression of spiritual growth and the interconnected energies between Mother Earth and her inhabitants. Folks’ artwork incorporates the ideas from various civilizations that emphasize the importance of personal growth, spiritual awakening, and community togetherness.

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Tina Folks, Reptilian Totems, 2012

Working in red clay, Folks sculpts pedestal-based Animal Totems and Kachina Dolls that are inspired by the sculptures of primal and indigenous cultures. Each sculpture is unique and has personal significance to the artist. In her totems, the Reptilian Totems, the crocodile represents the artist’s personal spiritual animal, which in many cultures signifies the primal energies of birth and initiation. Her Kachina Dolls are inspired by the kachina dolls of the Arizona-based, Native American Hopi tribe, which represent different spiritual entities that are believed to be present in all living being. Folks creates ceramic sculptures that fuse animal with man, which are then decorated with inventive color palettes and fabric textures of the artist’s own design. Her figures encourage the viewer to contemplate on the indigenous culture’s rich history as well as his or her own relationship with the natural world and those that occupy it.

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Tina Folks, Kachina Dolls, 2013

Due to working as a solitary artist in the confines of her studio, Folks felt the need to become involved in something that was larger than her. Since the turn of the century, she has been engaged in multiple community projects that promote pride as well as personal and communal growth within one’s environment. Some of her earliest community projects include the 2000 The Community Wall Mosaic completed in conjunction with the East End Arts Council in Riverhead and 2002 9-11 Memorial Mosaic held at the Westhampton Beach Middle School. Through the East End Arts’ JumpstART program, Folks initiated the WE ARE ALL CONNECTED experiential fire ceremony. The ceremony incorporated 4 ceramic totem sculptures that acted as ‘spirit keepers.’ Each sculpture was placed alongside a circle, like points on a compass, alongside a circle, of which the public were invited to occupy. The circle symbolized the infinite cycle of life and the artist highlighted the connection that one has with his or her own spirit as well as one another by having the public stand alongside its parameter. The multi-media event included a drum circle and fire ceremony where the public was invited to write down their betterments for themselves and the community onto a piece of paper that they could then throw into the fire. Folks later brought her WE ARE ALL CONNECTED fire ceremony to her hometown of Patchogue in the fall of 2014 during the village’s PAC MAC Festival.

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Tina Folks, WE ARE ALL CONNECTED – Riverhead, 2014

Currently, Folks is collaborating with Gallery North on their MAKE YOUR MARK community garden wall project. The initiative invites children, adults, families, and professional artists together to decorate their own 6-inch stoneware tiles that will be permanently installed on the grounds of Gallery North. The next MAKE YOUR MARK workshop with the artist will be held at the Community Art Center of Gallery North on September 10th and 11th from 10 – 5PM, as part of the organization’s annual Out Door Art Show. Tiles cost $100 to decorate and install on the garden wall or $50 to decorate and take home. Proceeds from the fundraiser will help expand the arts programming of Gallery North.

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Community tiles from MAKE YOUR MARK, 2016

Tina Folks is a fine artist who lives and works in Patchogue, NY. She received a BA from Marrymount College in Tarrytown, NY and a BFA from Parson School of Design in New York City. She is the Owner and Co-Founder of Fee-Fi-Faux, Inc., a decorative painting, handmade tile and wallpaper business, alongside her husband Bryan Gutman. She has served on the Board of Directors of East Ends Arts from 2010 – 2014 and was a mentor to the East End Arts’ JumpstART program in 2015. Currently, Folks is an active member of the Art League of Long Island and the Patchogue Arts Council.

Jay Schuck

© Miranda Gatewood-4331 Class shot

MAKE YOUR MARK Workshop with Tina Folks, 2016, photo credit: Miranda Gatewood Photography


Photo Credit
Photographs of MAKE YOUR MARK Workshop © Miranda Gatewood Photography
All images courtesy of the artist