A gorgeous exhibition about the bay debuts

Linda Leuzzi
Posted 9/21/23

It’s a definite community reflection when 130 people, including kids and dogs, attend a Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society exhibit, namely “Facing the Bay, 1871-2023,” on a …

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A gorgeous exhibition about the bay debuts

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It’s a definite community reflection when 130 people, including kids and dogs, attend a Bellport-Brookhaven Historical Society exhibit, namely “Facing the Bay, 1871-2023,” on a beautiful Saturday evening.

Curated by Mikael Levin, the Brown Building gallery included a compilation of star artistry, featuring works by Peter Schlesinger, Malcolm Morley, William Glackens, Frances H. Toms, John Perreault, Mark Van Wagner, Katia Read, Gary Wolkowitz, Tyler Healy, peter campus, Frederick Kost, Walter Clark, F.O.C. Darley, Lauren Ruiz, Walter Granville-Smith and Maya Schindler.

“I started talking to people about it in the spring, and asked if they were inspired by the bay,” said Levin. “I’ve been living here about eight years now, and it’s clear that everyone interacts with it.”

Dr. Richard Berman loaned several works from his collection to the exhibit, including a large Malcolm Morley drawing. He explained the 1889 Walter Clark painting, “Hayboat/Saltmarsh.”

“They’d gather the salt in the hay, wrap ice in it, then bring it to the city,” he said of the iconic scene.

Lauren Ruiz’s 2023 sound piece, “So Below,” added a bit of whimsy. Pick up the headset and listen to the soft, enveloping sounds of the deep. And wow, Gary Wolkowitz’s “Untitled, On the Great South Bay” (2020-2021) is a gorgeously lit reverie of 450 photographs shot from the same spot during the pandemic. “Every day for a year and a half, I got up at 5 a.m. and took photos of the sunrise from my backyard,” he explained. He culled them from over 2,000 photos taken.

Mark Van Wagner walked over from his gallery, Marquee Projects, with his wife, Tonja Pulfer. His large sculpture, “Float” (2023), is near the entrance. Katia Read’s five ceramic pieces emulating the color and surfaces of the bay water were laid out in a table nearby, “November, Bay” (2016), “Summer, Bay” (2022), “Spring, Bay” (2017), “Winter, Bay” (2021), and “December, Bay (2018).

The exhibit, which kicked off Saturday night, will continue to Oct. 22 at the Brown Building on Bell Street.

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