Art on the Beach

The Ocean Beach Historical Society offers the only dedicated gallery space in town and reopened for the season with a wine and cheese reception on July 16. The work of local artists Charlotte Bravin Lee and Wendy Erdmann will be featured until July 31 in an exhibit, titled “Timelines and Tiles.”

“I’m a documentarian,” said Charlotte, who handled the “timelines” portion of the show. “My work is an exploration of my mom’s and my lives from the 1960s through the ’90s and into the 2000s.” Many of her watercolor and gouache paintings feature familiar scenes from Fire Island and beyond, with her younger brother Jackson a frequent subject.

“I was an introvert when I started this,” she added, “but I’ve definitely become more of an extrovert as I’ve gotten outside and done photography work and painting.”

Charlotte has summered in Ocean Beach since the age of 4. A graduate of Kenyon College, she works in the wig shop at Saturday Night Live and freelances in film, television, and theater makeup. Although this is only her second art exhibition, she’s worked as a consultant for other artists’ exhibits.

Wendy’s mosaics are a fixture on the streets of Fire Island. She’s had over 30 commissions, including several at homes on her own block on Ocean Breeze Walk. The boathouse and several businesses including Dockside Pizza also feature her work.

“I became interested in mosaic work after receiving one as a gift,” she said. She taught herself the art of tilework and has honed her craft over the last 30 years. When not working with tile, she works in fabric design.

“I’ve been going out to Fire Island my whole life,” she added. “My thoughts and feelings for the place have never wavered, as so many of us feel whether you’re an oldie or a newbie.” She follows up with clients to repair and maintain her pieces over the years.

After the current exhibit closes, a very popular exhibit featuring live butterflies and their progression from caterpillars will return to the historical society’s space, followed by an exhibit titled “Fashion, Fame, and Fauna” which opens on Aug. 12. The historical society is curated by Linna Salamone and sponsored by the Ocean Beach Community Fund.

The Community Fund will be hosting their annual benefit on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the community house. This year’s theme is “All You Need is Love” and That 70’s Band will be featured, along with a buffet with entrees from all the restaurants in town. Tickets are available at

Firefighter Jake Naso-Kushner turns in his radio.

Chief Ian Levine of the Ocean Beach Fire Department is being honored as person of the year by the Fire Island Synagogue. Carol Kushner shared with us that her son Jake Naso-Kushner retired from the fire department after 30 years on July 3. He joined the department with his best friend Peter Salamone when they turned 18.

Art is all around us. Take some time to enjoy it this week. Hope to see you soon on our beautiful beach.