Gallery North in East Setauket is a small nonprofit that has been promoting contemporary Long Island art and craft since 1965—it just celebrated its 50th anniversary last month. Country vistas and lush fields, similar to those in the Hamptons, surround the building. Inside is your classic gallery, the work carefully selected and presented in a clear fashion. Then there are quirky additions to the modern interior, including a walled-off fireplace, an office with large, low windows overlooking the street and a shelf presenting an interesting arrangement of pottery. A second office is connected to the main gallery and feels as homey as a kitchen or dining room. There are several rooms and the paintings range from immense to quite small.
The main gallery is currently surveying 50 years of Christian White’s artwork in the exhibition “Fifty Years of Art,” running through July 10. The paintings, drawings and prints in the show are presented according to the emotions and memories that they inspire in the artist rather than in chronological order. White is well known for his loosely painted local landscapes and is also a master of trompe l’oeil painting, in which he uses a meticulous tempera painting technique. Trompe l’oeil, literally “trick the eye,” is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create an illusion—often, it is used in murals to create the illusion of depth on a flat wall.
In White’s landscapes, one senses a deep attachment to location, whether a nearby beach or places farther afield. He has a real feeling for light and atmosphere as vital elements in the composition. Expect to see a lot of stunning landscapes and poignant portraits. His several still lifes are as cool and refreshing as the plants and coffee tables featured in them.
The gallery’s upcoming events include the 11th Annual Gallery North/Joseph Reboli Wet Paint Festival on July 10, 11, and 12. It’s a tribute to the late artist as well as a celebration of plein air painting. Visitors will have the opportunity to observe some of Long Island’s top plein air painters while taking in the area’s natural beauty, as the festival will be held all along North Country Road.
Following the Wet Paint Festival is “American Icons,” which will feature prints and artwork representing the range and depth of American culture, from monuments symbolizing cherished ideals, like the Statue of Liberty and the American flag, to playful, less serious images; also, there will be images portraying the darker, sometimes violent side of life. The show is curated by Carol Turbin and runs July 24 to August 11.
Then, on view from August 28 to September 25, is “The Art of Math” exhibit, which brings together all kinds of artworks that are influenced by mathematics, resulting in beautiful, eccentric pieces governed by art and science.
Artistic education, creative expression, and local artistic talent is what Gallery North is all about. The 2015 exhibitions don’t stop with the “Art of Math.” Don’t miss the 50th Annual Gallery North Outdoor Art Show on September 19 and 20.
Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, East Setauket, 631-751-2676, gallerynorth.org