Homecoming Queen Robin Kradles cuts the opening ribbon at the 64th
Annual APCG Art Show photos
by Denise Dell Harbin
Arts Project Cherry Grove hosts
64th Annual Art Show at Grove Community House
The weekend of July 21 and 22
was the Arts Project’s annual Art Show, which really has been going on since
the building arrived by boat in Cherry Grove 64 years ago. Yes, it was really a
horse barn in the Sayville area and was floated over, as were so many of the
original houses, and pulled up the shore just west of the center of town.
This year the show featured 19
different artists. The longest displaying artist in the show is Cathy Eckdahl
(see her work at eckdahl.com) who has been showing her work in this art show
for 26 years. We have gotten to see her art change and evolve, and many locals
are collectors of the artist.
Queen's Choice ribbon winner Cathy Eckdahl with the Queen herself
in front of her highly-collected art.
Cathy remembers that in the
early days of the Art Show, the artists took up just half of the theater, while
Harold Seeley, Arts Project Board member and sometimes curator, took the other
half to show his work. The Art Show eventually expanded to the stage, where
Lorraine Michels now shows her photography, and to the Pavilion, where past
Arts Project President Michael Coffindaffer showed his works in driftwood.
Michael now has a studio in Patchogue, so look for more wonderful work from him
as he combs the beaches and sends it over to the studio to be transformed into
beachy looking mirrors, frames and lamps.
Other retuning artists included
Dennis McConkey, who does beach paintings and lovely handmade pottery in great
beach themed colors. Larry Crawford came up from Texas, with his great drawings
of such things as a well made up eye. I got to sit with Larry later at
breakfast at Floyd’s and he talked about his art and how he loves to come to
Cherry Grove. He showed me a magnificent necklace “with a coin of Alexander the
Great…an original!” that he had found in an antique store. The artist eye
carried into everything! Gilbert Baker then joined us and we talked more of the
Gilbert Baker, designer of the gay flag, exhibits his new Map
series at The APCG Art Show
There were a couple things the
artists did not like…”there was a display of things that should be in a
shop…not done by the person displaying them…yet wearing an artist tag. It does
not seem right to do that…it is a different show for antiques or collectibles.”
They also wondered about the lottery for spaces, as it seems certain artists
always get the best spaces. Just lucky? They didn’t seem to think so.
Artist Michael Fitzgerald show off his driftwood Lobster art
against a backdrop of his paintings
Returning artists included
Michael Fitzgerald and Cercé with her erotic photo of women.
More retuning artists included
Joan vanNess, who showed photos of her trip to Africa, and John Mansueto, who
exhibited very realistic, detailed paintings.
Michael and his partner Frank
Borsas were the chairmen of this year’s Art Show. Michael told me they had
about the same number of artists as last year. This included three new artists:
Gilbert Baker, designer of the gay flag, who had rainbow materials as well as
his new series of maps; Joe Roselli with his magnificent photographs; and Anya
Kroencke, who has a gallery in NYC, is a well-known fashion illustrator and is
the wife of the couple building the big new house on Lewis and Aeon. Anya
donated all proceeds from sales to the Arts Project. Bravo Anya!
There was also a donation by
Mandi QK and his partner Joe of the artwork of John Falocco collected by the
late Lee Huot. Everyone in Cherry Grove loved Lee…he was always present to help
the performers with hair and makeup at the shows, and this was a kind donation
in his memory by his friends. Artist Mr. Falocco originally designed swimwear
and much of that is featured on very buff men in the artwork.
As always, the first two hours
of the show are exclusive to the Arts Project Members, and since it is all one
of a kind art, the members get the best choices! One of my favorite artists is
Michael Abdis, partner of performer extraordinaire Philomena. Michael makes
beautiful stained glass hangings which integrate shells from the beach into the
design. Last year, I was quite disappointed that they had all been sold, so I
was sure to stake my claim early in the show!
Each artist also donates a
piece or more to the very popular raffle. The Arts Project sells lots of raffle
tickets for pure profit and then draws the winning numbers about an hour before
the show ends. (So if you had your heart set on something, you still have a
little time to go buy more art?) This reporter won a vintage Eckdahl
painting…valued at about $300…for the price of $50 in raffle tickets. Many
others won great art, and then a little trading went on, so everyone left very
happy! The Arts Project made over $1,100 from the raffle…which goes to much
needed funds to keep the shows and buildings going. Bravo to the Raffles ticket
buyers and especially to Anita Auricchio, who knows how to sell a raffle
As is custom, the reigning
Homecoming Queen cut the ribbon to allow patrons to enter the Art Show. This
year it was Queen Robin Kradles wielding the big pink scissors. She then awards
the Queen’s choice ribbon to Cathy Eckdahl, meaning she confers her ribbon on
the piece she thinks is the best in show. In the absence of Arts Project
President Martha Pitkin, past Queen and VP Troy Files awarded the President’
Choice ribbon to Jeff Greenberg.
President's Choice ribbon
winner Douglas Topper with his paintings.
The membership and artists had
first been treated to a champagne reception, with bartenders Joan vanNess and
Bud Henrikson. It takes many volunteer to make the Art Show happen, and thanks
goes out to all of them for sharing these visually wonderful moments with us.
Be sure to come next year…you
will be amazed at the talent in the Grove!
Denise Dell Harbin is publisher of TheVioletLetter.com.