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North Fork's marine history inspires local art

Jim Sabiston, 58, of Bay Shore displays his

Jim Sabiston, 58, of Bay Shore displays his photographs at the third annual North Fork Chamber of Commerce Art Show in Greenport. (July 21, 2012) Credit: Michael Cusanelli

During a helicopter tour of Long Island 10 years ago, Southold resident Alex Ferrone fell in love with the beautiful vistas she saw through her camera lens.

Since then Ferrone has turned her passion for aerial photography into a career. Although she shoots photos from all over Long Island, some of her most beautiful shots include the shores and beaches of Southampton.

“I have the best job ever,” said Ferrone.

This weekend, Ferrone and co-organizer Richard Abatelli held the third annual North Fork Chamber of Commerce Art Show 2012 at Greenport in Greenport Village. The show, which took place at Mitchell Park Marina overlooking Greenport Harbor, featured 21 artists and hundreds of paintings, photographs and drawings.

Most of the artwork on display at the show featured waterfront scenes, nautical settings and local photography inspired by the North Fork’s marine history.

“We have a wonderful community of artists out here, particularly on the East End,” said Ferrone. “This is an opportunity to introduce artists to the galleries and the galleries to the artists.”

Ferrone said each summer the art show has attracted more and more local artists eager to display their work. Many of them live and work on the North Fork, such as Mattituck native Carol Gold.

“Painting isn’t easy - it’s difficult,” said Gold, 69, who specializes in maritime landscapes. “But it’s also so wonderful when that blank [canvas] in front of you turns into something.”

But for some, artwork is not only a hobby; it is a necessary part of life.

“Some people describe it as therapy, I describe it as an addiction,” said Bryan Landsberg, 34, of Riverhead. His work, which he describes as “figurative expressionism” is a blending of abstract figures and more traditional portraits done in mixed media. “It’s just something I need to get out and do.”

The show featured artists working in traditional mediums like acrylic and oil paints, along with digital photography and several unique mediums like Matt Shapoff’s photography he does through a historic photographic process called cyanotype.

“It’s just a relaxing process,” said Shapoff, 40, of Southampton, who utilizes the 19th century technique in which sunlight dries a mixture of chemicals to imprint botanical and marine images on paper. “It’s very free form.”

The outdoor art show was held down the street from several local art galleries, such as The South Street Gallery.

“The whole idea of doing it by the water is really nice,” said Joanne Orian, 49, of St. James, who was at the art show with her husband. “We love it here [in Greenport]. It’s really awesome.”

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