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Artists find muses in discarded stuff

East End Arts Council's school education director, Steve

East End Arts Council's school education director, Steve Watson, at the council's 40th birthday party at East End Arts Gallery in Riverhead. One of the nonprofit's programs, the East End Arts School, which opened in 1995, offers art, music and theater classes for its 500 students. (Jan. 15, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

To many, the broken circuit board, bent wine bottle and sea shells at the bottom of a large trash pail might be considered junk.

But to Stephanie Smith of East End Arts, they are a source of inspiration.

The pail fills and empties each day, as people stop by with random objects to donate and artists come in looking for some shape or color to inspire them.

“People are dropping things off, artists are taking them away. We have an inflow and an outflow,” Smith said.

The goal for East End Arts is to find artists and poets to compete in an upcoming juried show on “Found Art” — the first time the Riverhead gallery has hosted such an exhibit. The guest juror for the show is Jonathan Pearlman, an East Quogue sculptor who specializes in creating art from found objects.

Entries for the exhibit will be accepted at the East End Arts gallery at 133 Main St. in Riverhead on July 12-14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Size and other entry requirements are posted on the group’s website at

A free “meet the artists” opening reception will be held at the gallery on July 20 from 5-7 p.m.

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