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Life on Long Island

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Branded grabbing attention in Huntington

An exhibition at the Main Street Petite Gallery

An exhibition at the Main Street Petite Gallery in Huntington ("Branded") enjoys easy visibility during the darkest hours of the night. (Sept. 17, 2012) (Credit: Ian J. Stark)

If you’ve driven down Rt. 25A in Huntington during the past week, the view coming through the windows of the Main Street Petite Gallery of the Huntington Arts Council building (213 Main St., 631-271-8423, huntingtonarts.org) may have inspired a stop to take a closer look – especially when it’s late in the evening.

Come the early, early hours – 1 to 4 a.m. -- striking objects, figures and faces stand out from within. While the rest of the nearby road is at its darkest, the gallery lights are bright and reveal two rooms of art. Colorful and abstract, it’s hard to ignore.

Luckily, one can do more than just observe from the curb, as this installation is open to the public – albeit mostly when the sun is shining.

Called Branded, the pieces of discussion are the creations of renowned artist Chuck von Schmidt. Born in Kentucky back in 1945, von Schmidt has a lengthy and respected career, with a great deal of his work previously shown in galleries across Long Island and in New York City over the past 30 years. Among many accomplishments, the artist has work that remains in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn, 718-638-5000, brooklynmuseum.org) and the Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase (735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, 914-251-6100, neuberger.org), and was once commissioned to create a sculpture for Pope John Paul II – and in 2005, he personally presented that effort (The Ideals of Aaron) to the pontiff at the Vatican.

Branded is a mixed-media piece exhibition, combining sculpture, video, constructions and other means. Stand-outs of the showing include the man-sized neon profile titled Regarde, while the statue Paper Narcissus dares viewers to see what it hides at its abdomen level.

Set to run until Oct. 22, the Petite Gallery is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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