June 26, 2014

Behind the Vines/Outside the Box

Last Sunday, I was asked to give a classical guitar performance at a poetry reading that took place at a vineyard in Stony Brook. The event was set in a grassy area "behind the vines," which gave the day its name. It was a beautiful atmosphere for the arts and a little exploring of the grounds lent an excellent view of a nearby observatory. For my part, I played guitar pieces in the Spanish and Baroque styles and also got to do some spoken word with classics by William Shakespeare and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. With it being a pristine day of blue skies, gentle breezes, and wispy clouds, I very much enjoyed the poetry reading.

Also during this past week, I paid a visit to the Mills Pond House Gallery, where focus on the arts shifted from "Behind the Vines" to "Outside the Box." For their latest exhibition, each of the house's four rooms was dedicated to the works of a different Long Island artist. The displays were quite multimedia and interactive and meant to explore new avenues of artistic expression. At the entrance of the first room, I was prompted to put on a pair of white gloves before opening a small cabinet with a skeleton key. Inside was a representation of a Michelangelo journal that was created by Kyle Blumenthal. As I stepped further into the room, I sensed colorful lighting, a video screen, and music, all of which enhanced the experience of the vibrant pieces that hung on the walls.

Upon entering the second room, the sounds of rolling ocean waves drifted on to my ears. This set a unique tone for the flowing, liquid images that would be represented by the works of JoAnne Dumas. These pieces absolutely shimmered before my eyes.

In the third room, I found a series of dollhouses created by one Paul Farinacci. Looking through the tiny windows, I unknowingly became privy to scenes of domestic violence, isolation, and eating disorders. I experienced an instant uneasy feeling. Very brilliant artwork indeed. Quite fascinating and poignant.

The last room on the tour transported me into floral world of Mary Ahern. Magnificent! Without question, these four artists made up one of the best displays that I've ever seen at the Mills Pond House Gallery. The exhibit will be on hand only until Saturday. If you'll be anywhere near the Stony Brook area in the next two days, I definitely suggest checking it out.

"The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD
lack no good thing."

~Psalm 34:10