The Islip Arts Council has a busy spring season planned as well as exhibitions currently up at the gallery, located inside the Westfield South Shore Mall by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Currently up at the gallery is the “Youth Empowerment Project: Central Islip Schools Student Art Exhibition.” The exhibition, which is funded by grants from the Suffolk County Youth Bureau as well as private donors, has been happening since 2017, though in previous years the paintings have been displayed at Town Hall. The exhibition currently up in the gallery is art by middle schoolers. Accompanying each painting are a series of “I am” statements by the students that give insight into their painting and who they are.
Joan Crescitelli, the executive director of the Central Islip Civic Council, who along with Debbie Cavanagh of the Central Islip Coalition of Good Neighbors, leads the Youth Empowerment Project, said that this year due to COVID, each student got their own canvas and set of paints that they were able to take home with them in case they needed to quarantine and were unable to complete their project during class time. According to Cavanagh, the project originally started as a way for students to express their feelings in a helpful and positive way. The exhibition will be up at the gallery through Feb. 28 and is a must-see exhibit that gives attendees a glimpse into the creativity of young people.
Also currently in the gallery is the photography exhibition, “Seeing for Ourselves: Participatory Photography in New York City 2010-2020.” The photographs in the exhibition were taken by New Yorkers on probation. Some of the photographs were previously included in the September 2019 show “New Visions: Activism Through the Lens,” another show that opened in March of 2020 but, of course, was promptly shut down due to COVID. A virtual show was also held. The photographs in the exhibit are from workshops conducted by the nonprofit Seeing For Ourselves (SFO). The photography exhibition is also up through Feb. 28.
Also in the gallery through Lunar New Year is work by artist Winnie Tsai. Tsai specializes in Chinese calligraphy and Chinese watercolor painting. She is currently an adjunct professor teaching history of Chinese painting and calligraphy at the Graduate School of St. John’s University. Tsai’s calligraphies and paintings have been exhibited in the United States and around the world.
Coming up at the Islip Arts Council is the 2022 Winter Concert Series. All of the concerts are free to attend and are being held in the Carriage House at the Bayard Cutting Arboretum. First up will be acclaimed pianist Ko-Eun Yi on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. The concerts will be every Sunday at 1 p.m. through April 3.
And coming soon to the gallery is a collaboration with Women Sharing Art Inc. titled “Mother Nature.” The exhibition will be up from March 1 through April 27 and will recognize Women’s History Month.
If you are looking for great gifts, look no further than the Islip Arts Council gallery shop, which boasts an assortment of gifts that are great for Valentines’ Day, Mother’s Day and birthdays. Also inside the shop is the Long Island Authors Group gift shop, which has reads for all ages. The Islip Arts Council Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information can be found at isliparts.org
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