Sunday, November 26, 2006

An Explosion of Light

An Explosion of Light - New York Times

By MARCELLE S. FISCHLER Published: November 11, 2006
Seventy Mylar banners painted with whirls, squiggles, orbs and swimming figures wave gently from the 30-foot ceiling in the atrium of the Tilles Center on the campus of Long Island University in Brookville. Laurette Gnaegy Kovary painted some of them nearly 20 years ago. She painted the other 40-odd panels during the last two weeks of October. “All artists do that when you have a show coming up; you paint until the last second,” Ms. Kovary said. “I am one of those people who will keep painting until you take the paintbrush out of my hand.” Because space in her waterfront studio in Bayville is tight, Ms. Kovary, 48, worked horizontally when she painted the clear plastic panels, which are at least 4 feet wide and up to 16 feet long, and hang vertically. Her “Whirling in the Nebula” is the first major installation by a Long Island artist in “Art Under Glass,” a continuing series at the performing arts center. “It is a celebration of life in the universe,” Ms. Kovary said. “It is a big explosion, and all different components have to come together to make things work, like the universe.” Sunlight glistens through the banners during the day, casting quivering images on the atrium wall that look like atoms bouncing around in an impromptu laser show. The painted plastic twinkles in the evening light. The painting style, which in different panels pays homage to Van Gogh and Chagall, is typical of Ms. Kovary’s work, but the installation itself is site specific, she said. It will be in place through February.
Usually Ms. Kovary works on canvas and on walls; she has a faux finishing and mural business. She has also painted life-size fiberglass horses, doing five of them in 2003 for “Horses of a Different Color,” Nassau County’s first public art project. Robert Goida, vice president and associate director of the Artists Group, a two-year-old nonprofit group based in Hicksville and composed of musicians, artists and poets who want to bring art more directly into people’s everyday lives, approached Ms. Kovary to submit a proposal for a large-scale project for the Tilles Center atrium, where patrons gather before concerts and during intermissions. Some of the painted panels were originally used in 1989 in “Aqueous Spaces,” a display at the Broadway Windows gallery at New York University. Ms. Kovary’s interest in working on clear surfaces was sparked early in her career when she painted windows with a stained-glass effect for people who didn’t want to put up curtains. After another client commissioned her to paint a shower curtain with swimmers, Ms. Kovary looked to move to a larger format. She discovered that acrylic paint worked well on Mylar, which resembles huge sheets of Saran Wrap. Some of the opaque panels are painted on both sides. The original panels were the result of a backlash against a digital and video art show she had seen as a new fine arts graduate of the Pratt Institute at the Whitney Museum. “Art critics of the time were saying painting was dead,” Ms. Kovary recalled. She decided “to paint and paint and paint everything I could find to paint and keep doing it,” she said. Ms. Kovary later used 35 of the clear panels in 1992 in a tent-shaped installation, “Art in the Scale of Being,” at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. “When you walked in, it gave you the feeling of being in an aquarium or a mirrored funhouse,” she said.When Ms. Kovary and her husband, Chris, an architect, moved to East Norwich from Queens in 1993, she took a hiatus from art to raise their children, Logan, now 16, and Noelle, 15. Her experience giving arts and crafts lessons as a Girl Scout leader led her to start a cottage business, the Art House Studio, where she gives private art classes. Over the years, many of the original panels Ms. Kovary painted for the N.Y.U. show were destroyed or lost with different installations. The 20-odd panels that remained intact became the basis of the Tilles Center exhibition. “The challenge was definitely integrating the older work with the new work and making it cohesive,” the artist said. A further challenge was installing the work at the Tilles. Ms. Kovary took a trip to a local tackle shop to master the knots required to attach the top of each panel to a swivel hook in the ceiling. Two staff members did the actual installation, but Ms. Kovary did have herself hoisted into the air afterward. “I was on a scissor lift removing fingerprints,” she said.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


We are beginning to fill spaces for monthly art exhibits at
Briarcliffe College, Patchogue
the following months are available:
October , December 06,
Jan , Feb, March, April, May 07
The exhibition space holds up to 12 pieces.
All must be framed and ready for hanging
You have the option to have a reception
you can also share the exhibition space
Just keep in mind, the space holds 12 large paintings.
Please contact Lisa L. Cangemi
Event Coordinator
Briarcliffe College, Patchogue Campus
516-295-0936 or email

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Helping Hand

A”Helping Hand” at Fair Meadows Park
Hicksville Artist Completes 
Public Art Installation

How often is it that we find ourselves wishing for a helping hand?  If you’re one of those countless people who can’t seem to find a helping hand when you need one, then head out to Huntington’s Fair Meadows Park at the northwest corner of Pulaski Road and Park Avenue.  You’ll find not just ONE helping hand, but FOUR of them!  Created by Hicksville artist Debra Ann Kasimakis, the four, 48 x 48 inch, hand silhouettes made of quarter-inch plate steel are spaced along the eastern edge of the park adjacent to Park Avenue.  Entitled “Helping Hand”, this sculptural ensemble is the latest addition to this season’s series of temporary public art installations in Town Parks and Beaches. “I am honored to have been chosen for participation in this project. These are the sort of activities that are the soul of what creativity is about. Hand signals are universally understood”, said Debra Ann, “and I wanted to create a piece that can be seen, understood and enjoyed by the people who drive by it every day.” Debra Ann is well known in this area for such projects as The Art of Paleontology and The John Bull Art Competition. And now the residents of Huntington are being entertained by yet another creation from this prolific artist. “I think it’s wonderful that the artist is focusing attention on the expressiveness of hands, commented Town Supervisor Frank Petrone, jokingly adding that, “Of course, that’s something that comes naturally to those of us of Italian heritage.”  “I like how the artist has whimsically reminded us of how much we say merely by using our hands,” remarked Councilwoman Susan Berland.
A diamond studded pointing finger shows the way at Fairmeadow Park and if you follow its direction you will come upon a shining silver OK sign in the woods. Having been given the reassurance to move on, we see a golden hand walking in front of us. “That hand reminds me of ‘The Thing,’ the disembodied hand that was a character in the old ‘Addams Family’ TV show,” observed Councilman Mark Cuthbertson. Thing is leading us towards the final figure a coppery Thumbs Up who lets us know we have successfully completed the tour. In order to achieve maximum effect in this large park, it was decided to spread the pieces out instead of making a small grouping. In this manner if you are walking through the park you will happen upon the pieces or if you drive by you will see them peeking out at you from the trees. Councilman Stuart Besen said that he, “Gives it a big thumbs up!” “I believe the local residents are already starting to notice the installation.” said Ms. Kasimakis “Art can be a thought provoking instrument, which serves as a source of energy for the everyday beat of life.  “It is refreshing to encounter a work like this that can communicate something revealing about ourselves with a healthy dose of humor,” added Councilwoman Glenda Jackson.
A Helping Hand, which is expected to be on view through October 2006, is the fifth in a series of temporary public art installations planned for Huntington parks and beaches this year.  Along with four other seasonal public art projects, A Helping Hand was selected for installation from submissions by 11 different artists made in response to a Request for Proposals disseminated in fall 2005.  These five projects will be joined to two others selected from a prior round of proposals in 2005.  Installed earlier in 2006 and currently on view are Walking Trees/Talking Trees installed on the jogging trail in Dix Hills Park by Richard Kirk Mills of Teaneck, NJ, in cooperation with students from Northport High School and C.W. Post/Long Island University, Pole Sculptures created by Matthew Chase-Daniel a resident of Santa Fe, NM is on view at Crab Meadow Beach, The Nest installed on a sand spit at West Neck Beach is by the artist team of Ugur Kunst from Smithtown and Tonito Valderrama of Bay Shore, and Tidal Time, which is on view at Cold Spring Harbor’s Billy Joel Park was created by Winn Rea from Centerport.  Information on other planned seasonal public art installations can be obtained from the Town of Huntington Division of Cultural Affairs at 631-351-3099.  Information on each installation, after it is completed, will also be posted on the Public Art Inventory on the Town’s web site at  
If you are traveling around the Island, please stop by, take in the art and if you are so inclined, take a souvenir photo with the hands. “The Town of Huntington should be proud to take this type of leadership role in public art. My goal is to bring art into the public arena.” said Debra Ann, “My hope is that the hands will help to enhance the public’s daily routine by enjoying real art in their environment and I look forward to participating in more of these diverse art events.”

Monday, July 31, 2006

Hicksville Brings Art to the Fair

Hicksville Brings Art to the Fair

The Artists Group, who ran the Art of Paleontology for The Gregory Museum in 2004, has teamed up with The Hicksville Chamber of Commerce in support of their Train Campaign. Under the bright sunshine of the Hicksville Street Fair the winner of The John Bull art competition was announced. The artwork took its place on Kennedy Plaza, next to the gazebo, in the spot where soon the John Bull replica will stand. Music played throughout the day from the Town of Oyster Bay Show mobile with classic rock from Mid Life Crisis, dance tunes by Oriana LaRusso, acoustic sets by Tom Cavanaugh and the dancing ladies from Dance Dimensions. Non stop music kept the residents cool on this hot day and got them moving around the square. Vendors were selling everything from handmade jewelry to handbags to roasted corn and Hicksvillians enjoyed all of the activities. Brian Gregorius, “The Balloon Man”, created magical creatures for the many young people present and they were able to take their turn at the arcade games which, thanks to the sponsors of the Street Fair, were all free.
The Hicksville Chamber of Commerce put together an outstanding event for the people of Hicksville, but this was also the day that the winner of the John Bull art competition was to be announced. Voting had been taking place on the internet and in person at local businesses since the pictures were first displayed in June at the Trainville Train Show at the Community Center. Hundreds of votes were cast and in an intense competition the winner was “Just” John Filandro and his picture “John Bull, Columbian Exposition, Chicago”. John presently resides in Suffolk but went to Levittown Memorial High School and married a girl from Hicksville. He is a self taught artist and is always looking for new challenges. “It gives me great satisfaction to be able to create something that people take pleasure in viewing and to pique their curiosity to see more beauty in other works and in life around them.” This approach definitely worked for John as his John Bull took the $50 first prize in the competition. The pieces in the competition will be on view at the Hicksville Craft Fair in August and can still be seen at “It was a great competition and we were delighted with the response to the public voting.” said Debra Ann Kasimakis, event coordinator and participating artist, “The mission of The Artists Group is to bring art out of the museums and into the public forum. To get such a wonderful response from the local residents was very encouraging.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Long Island Living Museum of Fine Art

The Long Island Living Museum of Fine Art

We at the Artists Group are in the process of putting together a proposal to create The Long Island Living Museum of Fine Art. We would like to get input from others on what they think about this idea. The building would be a tribute to the working artists of Long Island and create a kind of "Town Square" where the public could gather and experience art in all its many forms. The museum would also be a place where the public could observe artists at work and take classes. Let us know what you think

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's All About Chuck

So, a week has gone by since Chuck’s Funeral. I don’t like the idea that he is gone. I can’t do anything about it. That’s crap, as far as I’m concerned. It’s terrible to come home & not find him running around moaning, because he didn’t know I came in. I don’t want to get used to it….I probably won’t!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Plein Air

Plein Air event for Interested Artists and Musicians

The Artists Group is currently working on a plan for a plein air event to be held at Chelsea Mansion in June of this year. This would involve workshops for the public conducted by the artists and a family weekend with tours hot air balloon rides acoustic music and various period events. If any one would be interested in participating or has any ideas about events that could be incorporated into the weekend please write down your ideas and we will talk. This is going to be a major event this spring and we are looking for artist’s musician’s poet’s craftspeople and others to join in on what promises to be a wonderful event.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hello All

Welcome to The Artists Group Blog. On this site I will give my opinions on various points and I look forward to hearing from you also. Please check back as I have many things to say/