In the Garden of Eden: Artist Reflections

Very excited to be exhibiting a show designed by guest curator Melissa Masci. Showing the works of seven artists whose work reflects duality of good and evil, innocence and guilt, death and birth showing how experience and choice have shaped and defined them as artists and in their process of creation. Exhibit Dates: March 9-April 14. Public Opening Reception Saturday March 16 at 5:30 pm

Featured artists: AM DeBrincat, Nicholas Frizalone, Jennifer Hannaford, Ashley Johnson, Yvonne Katz, Neta Leigh, Peter Bragino

AM DeBrincat

Brooklyn based painter AM DeBrincat’s work blends painting, digital photography, and printmaking into layered works on canvas that explore how we construct identity in an online world. “I have always felt compelled to make art, ever since I was young. I'm not sure why, but it's always been such a strong impulse and brought me joy, so I don't over analyze it - I just go with it.” AM DeBrincat's paintings create unique worlds where online and offline life meet and merge. Her mixed media technique combines fragments of images sourced from social media and online image searches which are Xerox transfer printed onto canvas and intermingled with lush oil painting. Combining digital and analog media like pieces in a visual puzzle, the artist builds paintings which explore how we create identity and sense of self in the digital age.

Nicholas Frizalone

Artist and teacher Nicholas Frizalone received his BFA from Stony Brook University and his MFA from Long Island University in Brookville. “Through the use of painting, drawing, and printmaking, I wish to investigate the implications of language in art, and communicate in a way words will never be able to accomplish.”

Jennifer Hannaford

Jennifer Hannaford is a forensic scientist and contemporary artist based in Port Jefferson. In an effort to get in touch with her innate artistic side, Jennifer began her art career with a series of mug shots created entirely with her own finger prints. She recently expanded her subject matter and style to include the underwater series. 

As a forensic scientist, Hannaford experienced some of the harsher realities of human nature.  Her art allows her to explore beautiful moments of the living experience frozen in time on canvas; life, ascension, and balance. Using sensibilities that were born out of her professional training in forensic science, she understands how the body feels and reacts underwater. Oils allow Jennifer to not only create an image but activate the canvas. Using thin layers on some areas and thick and multiple others, the surface is an expression of the energy she wishes to convey. She hopes that the viewer will spend time exploring the surfaces of her paintings.

Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson is a visual artist working at Exchange Studios in Buffalo, NY. She works with ceramics, collage, and photography, but expresses her creativity most through stippled ink drawings and large-scale ink paintings.

“Creating art is a therapeutic way for me to work through my emotions. My studio is a safe place for me to dig deep and explore my trauma, joy, confusion, anger, love, and anything else I need to release. I need to move quickly when painting with ink. I don’t use a paint brush, instead, I lay down water as a fluid base, drip ink into the water, and shift the work side to side to move the colors around. My process is intuitive and I rely heavily on how I’m feeling at the time. I choose colors that resonate in that moment, and the size of the work is dictated by how deeply I’m willing to connect with whatever emotion is coming up.”

Yvonne Katz

Smithtown artist Yvonne Katz believes “Art is the elixir that allows us to fluidly slip and break the threshold of all boundaries. As sentient beings we are exposed to the phenomenon of existence. Throughout hundreds of generations the concept of “being” has been forged with names, labels. Catalogued by categorization with the purpose to try to set boundaries that control what we perceive as chaos. I love oil and bronze because there is a maneuverable interaction with these mediums, as if the materials collaborate in the process of realizing the results.

Neta Leigh

Neta Leigh is a surreal-impressionist photographer from Locust Valley. Creation starts when I notice potential in my surroundings- local locales ranging from beaches and parks on Long Island, to the grounds of the school where I teach, random scenes from my suburban morning commute, my neighborhood, backyard, and, more recently- and intimately, my dining room, where I photograph fruit and flowers before and after sabotage. While I am not completely averse to sunlight and blue skies, I generally favor the natural light generated from fog, clouds and grey skies, snow, and rain. In such conditions, beholden to the fickle weather, I find myself rushing to scenes I’ve been wanting to photograph.

“Reality is more beautiful than I had ever noticed before I became a photographer. I hunt to immortalize these scenes, which I have seen before, in the depths of my consciousness, and so I hunt to find what is hidden deep inside of me. Surreal-impressionist photography has gifted me a new, serendipitous path for release. In an effort to nurture the field that has so nurtured me, I allocate funds from all proceeds to art programs for organizations in need.”

Peter Bragino

Peter Bragino is multi-discipline, mixed-media artist, designer, treasure hunter, and soul searcher. “I make art firstly because I believe creativity is our birthright as human beings. We were born of creation, therefore we are innately creative and the desire to create is rooted deeply within our souls.  Just like nature, we are always renewing, always, shedding, and always creating anew. We are creation, therefore creativity is a natural expression of our most basic needs in life. I believe creativity is just as important as breathing. My process honors the natural progression of life itself. The same way we build layers in life to become who we are as human beings I allow my creations to take on the same life, the same layering, the same history. This process naturally led me to a mixed media workflow where any medium is a viable medium to complete the formation of the life that the creation would like to take.”

Refuge Series - Peter Bragino and Kevin Corcoran Collaborative - Mixed media on Plywood - Oil Paint and Permanent Markers

The Refuge Series was created collaboratively by Kevin Corcoran and Peter Bragino.  After an inspirational walk through Lloyds Neck on Long Island NY they found an old piece of plywood under the porch of Kevin’s house in Huntington. An initial composition was painted onto the 4’ x 8’ piece of plywood. Once a viable composition had been created they marked the piece into sections and cut the board into the individual shapes of the final pieces. Each composition was then worked into individually by both artists.  The idea of the Refuge Series was to honor the once discarded while breathing new adventures into its weathered face.  The plywood was used as a road map for the design elements and tree that were created on top. They wanted to make sure they honored what had come before and compliment the wood in a way that showed off its natural beauty

The series: Mixed media on Plywood - Oil Paint and Permanent Markers

Peter Bragino -The Rose Tattoo