Ten years of sharing
EAST ISLIP—Women Sharing Art Inc. held its ninth annual student scholarship fundraiser and artist reception on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Islip Art Museum. The group, in celebration of their 10th anniversary, is currently presenting “Then & Now: 10 Years of Sharing,” a multimedia art exhibit featuring the work of 23 artists.
Women Sharing Art Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that provides avenues for female artists to encourage one another to further their artistic accomplishments and passions. “We’ve all learned from each other,” said president and founding member Sue Miller. “We wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t gotten better.”
Founded by a group of local Long Island women in May 2008, Women Sharing Art Inc. premiered at the Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts gallery in Sayville. The organization granted its first scholarship to a high school student in 2011. This year’s recipient will be named later this spring.
Suffolk County Legis. Steven Flotteron also attended Saturday’s event. Flotteron previously served as Islip Town councilman until the beginning of this year, when he began representing the 11th District in the Suffolk County Legislature.
“I’m enjoying the new post,” he noted at the event. “I needed a change, but maybe I’ll be back [to the Town of Islip] in one way someday.”
Flotteron said he was surprised with the turnout for Saturday’s event. According to Islip Arts Council executive director Lynda Moran, the former town councilman has been instrumental is keeping the Islip Art Museum operating within the historic Brookwood Hall estate on Irish Lane. Flotteron also wanted to thank NYS senators Tom Croci and Phil Boyle for their combined $150,000 grants towards the museum.
One of the artists featured was Brookhaven resident Janene Gentile. Most of her work that’s on display is from the 1980s, but some of her smaller pieces are more recent, from two years ago when she first became involved with Women Sharing Art Inc. “People tell me they like the colors,” she said, regarding her artwork. “Sometimes there’s conflict, sometimes there’s not.”
Gentile is the executive director of North Shore Youth Council, a not-for-profit community-based agency, servicing areas on the North Shore of Long Island from Mt. Sinai to Shoreham-Wading River. “I work with children, so it’s interesting [the museum] is on the ground of a former orphanage,” she said. Brookwood Hall served as the Orphan Asylum Society of Brooklyn from the 1940s through the mid-1960s.
Artist Carole Amodeo, who was also in attendance, explained a few of her pieces that are on display.
In her photograph “Greenport Reflections,” Amodeo and her friend, Pat Slikowski, are standing on the outside of a shop. The storeowner is seen inside, talking on the phone. “I hear the storeowner is on her phone a lot,” Amodeo said.
Amodeo began her photography career back in 1997. She is a member of Women Sharing Art Inc., as well as the East End Arts Council, Patchogue Arts Council and South Bay Art Association. Amodeo uses a point-and-shoot digital camera and feels the simplicity of her process is a defining element of her work.
“Then & Now: 10 Years of Sharing” began earlier this month and will run until March 2. The Islip Art Museum is located at 50 Irish Lane in East Islip. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, 12-4 p.m. The museum will be open this Sunday, Feb. 25, 12-4 p.m. For more information, call 631-224-5402 or go to their website at www.islipartmuseum.org.
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