IAM has an exciting season ahead
“Hidden Hope,” one of the paintings on display by Mei Savage Brady (1921-1999).

IB/Perrotta

IAM has an exciting season ahead

Story By: ANTHONY PERROTTA
1/18/2018


EAST ISLIP—Islip Arts Council, managing agency of the Islip Art Museum, is planning a year of collaborative art exhibits with international artists and Long Island University Post professor Seung Lee. 

IAM, a contemporary art museum that is housed in the historic Brookwood Hall, is a landmark in the Town of Islip. In 2018, IAM will continue introducing unique art exhibits and programming to the community by developing an artist’s residency with Lee. This collaboration shines a light on the museum’s capacity to attract a larger audience beyond the Town of Islip and engage in a more global experience.

“Then & Now: 10 Years of Sharing,” a multimedia art exhibit by 26 artists of Women Sharing Art Inc., is scheduled to run Feb. 2-25.

Women Sharing Art Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that provides avenues for women artists to promote their artistic passions and encourage one another to further their passions. Founded by a group of Long Island women, 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. 

IAM typically showcases four exhibits each calendar year. The “Selections from the Collection” exhibit, which began in November of last year and includes 40 years worth of work, will be on display until Jan. 26.

One of the pieces on display is “Hidden Hope,” 1986, by Mei Savage Brady (1921-1999). Brady was a familiar figure on the Long Island art scene and exhibited in all the museums and galleries here, including Heckscher Museum, The Parrish and the Islip Art Museum. The noted art critic Henry Geldzahler selected her work for a special award at an exhibit at Guild Hall in East Hampton. 

Throughout Brady’s career, she worked in many styles and explored numerous techniques. Although the majority of her work is abstract, her elaborate illustrated collages, which depict fairy tales and fantasy worlds, are among her most admired pieces. The artist lived in Brookhaven on one of the area’s many duck farms and was an active environmentalist. She was instrumental in forming the North Fork Preservation Society.

“Mandalas, Glyphs and Friezes: A Solo Exhibition by Jeffrey Price” will also be on display. Islip Art Museum executive director Lynda Moran described his untitled works as having “an antique look.”

Volunteer Darlyne Samuels described it as “indigenous,” before giving her interpretation of one piece in particular.

“It reminds me of the sun rising above the pyramids,” Samuels said. “The circles in the middle represent men, who are more infinite, while the squares represent women. They’re at the top, but they’re also at the bottom. But like Oprah said: ‘A new day is on the horizon.’”

Samuels is a 19th-generation Shinnecock Indian and also happens to be a relative of Edward Gumbs (pictured below). He is currently in his 60s and has since served as one of the Shinnecock tribal elders.

Toba Pato Tucker, a California native who spent much of her career photographing Native American tribes throughout the United States, took Gumbs’s portrait in 1984. She came to Long Island in the early 1980s to study the Shinnecock Indian reservation in Southampton at a time when the tribe was aggressively seeking tribal status from the federal government. Tucker’s portraits helped persuade the Bureau of Indian Affairs to officially recognize the tribe in 2010. 

There are three more exhibits scheduled for IAM this year: 

“East Meets West,” curated by Seung Lee, will be on display from March 15 to April 30. The show will introduce young and emerging artists from Asian countries and U.S.-based artists with artwork influenced by Eastern aesthetics and/or philosophies. 

Long Island MFA Exhibit runs from May 15 to July 30 and showcases the work of emerging Long Island artists from two university programs, Long Island University Post and Stony Brook University. 

“What is the Existence of Memory II?” will be on display from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31 and features work by Lee, a South Korea native, and artist He Jinwei, who lives in Beijing, China. Both artists show their experience of small village childhood memories in their work. The exhibit was first shown at the Ovation Gallery in Beijing in 2014. 

IAM is located at 50 Irish Lane in East Islip.  The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 12 noon to 4p.m. It is closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, go to the website www.islipartmuseum.org or call 631-224-5402.