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40th annual art show features local, national artists

Gail Markiewicz, 61, of Woodbridge, Conn., poses next

Gail Markiewicz, 61, of Woodbridge, Conn., poses next to her ceramic sculptures, which were on display at the 40th annual Mary O. Fritchie Outdoor Fine Art Show in Westhampton Beach. (Aug. 4, 2012) Credit: Michael Cusanelli

Westhampton Beach came alive with art Saturday as hundreds filtered among the lines of tents filled with scenic ocean vistas, bowls of glistening fruit and photo-realistic portraits.

The 40th annual Mary O. Fritchie Outdoor Fine Art Show returned to the village green off  Main Street this weekend to celebrate local artistry and culture.

“This is my home turf,” said artist Steve Albert, 60, of Quogue. “I have to be here to see my people.”

The show, which kicked off Friday and continued until Sunday evening, featured paintings, photographs and sculptures from 112 local and national artists.

“I love it here,” said local artist Charles Wildbank, 63, of Jamesport, who has attended the show for 27 years. “I can get feedback directly from the fans.”

The show draws about 5,000 art fans each year and also acts as a networking opportunity for up-and-coming artists.

“I think it’s inspiring,” said Alison Dannenberg, 22, of Connecticut. “It’s interesting to see the different techniques.”

The show also featured a youth art program in which children had the chance to paint with professional artists and art instructors.

Show organizer John David said the event featured 18 fewer artists than last year because of the economy, but he still called the event a success.

“Art opens up people’s imagination,” said David, 69. “It’s very entertaining and it provides something that can lift their personal and emotional well-being.”

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