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Art Lovers Fill the CG Show to Capacity
Story and Photos by Bruce-Michael Gelbert

At noon last Saturday, Homecoming Queen Coco Love cut the red ribbon to open officially what Arts Project of Cherry Grove President Ceejay Rosen announced was the organization’s 57th annual Art Show at the Community House. Local and visiting artists, familiar faces and newcomers, exhibited work in many media—paintings, sketches, photographs, pottery, and so on—to a capacity crowd on this first day of the two day show.

Queen Coco’s selection to receive the Queen’s Choice red ribbon was a photo of a bird called the lilac-breasted roller, which Sam Green, a first-time exhibitor here, had taken while on safari in Botswana, Africa in May. Explaining her choice, Coco told FI News, “The combination of colors was magnificent—the ochre with the blue. It just caught my eye immediately.” Others making debuts were photographers Lucia Sutera, with pictures taken at Arts Project theater productions and the Grove’s Fourth of July Invasion of the Pines, and Robert Conlon, with his Fire Island photos, and Pines artist Duane Neil, showing pencil drawings of Grove and Pines walks and houses.

Michael Abdis brought his stained glass; Lu Strain, her ever-popular ceramic pottery; Jesse, his constructions featuring cut-out paper figures; and Kevin Carroll, his playful but political pieces, including a take-off on Michelangelo’s Adam, wearing a sash that said, “Born Gay!” and “Gayzilla!” a pro-gay marriage-themed sculpture featuring two grooms.

Janice Pullicino showed watercolors of the Grove and the ocean; Cathy Eckdahl, Jeff Greenberg, Michael Fitzgerald, and Frank Cappucci—with his many tattoos and red dyed-Mohawk, a work of art himself—displayed abstract paintings; Eleanor Eick, her paintings of flowers; and John Mansueto, his Fire Island Nature paintings. Larry Crawford, visiting from Texas once more, brought along 12 small, intriguing paintings, with subjects ranging from a rabbit with a corncob pipe to a zebra’s eye to five men, seen from the rear, intently contemplating a car’s engine.

Fire Island landscapes, the deer and birds, and the drag queens on Invasion figured prominently into photos shown by Lorraine Michels, Warren Boyd Wexler, “Gimmi Hoffa” (Matt Rosenblum), Bob Lerch, and Marilyn Jaeckel. Lorraine also included an African safari photo in her display.