DAVIS PARK

By Cathy Gledhill ShislerTo some Davis Park might be a place to come over on the ferry for the day and put down a blanket on the beach and enjoy the ocean and sun. For others our community is full of talented artists. Betsy Gay Hart started The Davis Park Artist Group, which she is part of with collages and photography that are new to her collection this year. Held at the Casino Restaurant, the event is five years old this July. It’s a great event to spotlight our artists at the beach, have a cocktail, purchase something special and take a piece home. Here is a profile of the exhibitors.Betsy Gay Hart is an original jewelry designer and at one time was in 3,000 retail stores in Canada and Japan, to name a few. I had a sneak peak at her new pieces this year her 3-D collages and photography, which show her love of flowers and the beach. She also has a background in ceramics, raku pottery, and decoupage.While I was there I also got to see Joe Miccio’s American Flags Snow Fences. I love the sand dollars and starfish that he uses for the stars. He also has some new ideas for stars this year.Titus Kana is excited to be a part of the Davis Park Artist Group. He grew up in Bellport in the 1950s and 60s. He was inspired by Ansel Adams, as well as his father and grandfather, Herb and Milan Kana respectively, both aspiring photographers themselves. He started photographing Fire Island back when he was a student at Bellport High School in the early 1970s. He began a professional career as a fashion and beauty photographer in New York City. He later returned to his interest in Fire Island images now utilizing a technique that combines infrared photography with colorization. See his work for yourself at www.fireislandvision.com.Giselle Simons is an artist with a BFA in photography from Cornell University. She has always found the natural world intriguing in its visual imagery, forms, materials, and textures and this is an integral part of her art. She collects horseshoe crabs that have been washed up and stranded on the beach. Each shell is a one-of-a-kind original piece of artwork. Using water-based oil paints, the designs and colors she creates is inspired by the natural world. Every shell is fitted with inner supports made of Fire Island driftwood to stabilize the inherent fragility of the dried shell, as well as to provide a sturdy hanger for these unique objéts d’art. They are interesting and beautiful. Her website is www.dunetimesarts.com.Rick Simon is a devoted amateur photographer with training from renowned professional photographer John Bentham; National Geographic programs; and most recently the Crossroads Workshop Company, which combines photography and philanthropy by donating images to non-profit partner organizations. Rick spends his summers in Ocean Ridge and publishes an annual calendar available at the Davis Park Post Office as well as selling his framed photos at the annual Davis Park Craft Fair. Rick is a retired superintendent of schools and high school principal who keeps busy by teaching as an adjunct college professor, a part-time high school social studies teacher, and scooping ice cream at Frozen Cow, a new ice cream store in Long Beach with “the best homemade ice cream on Long Island!”John Young is an award-winning artist who has been creating different works his entire life. His concentration is on creating clay and wood sculptures but he has experience in many different mediums like painting and skilled picture framing. He had the honor of doing a unique framing piece of Mike Singletary’s Super Bowl jersey and many other sports memorabilia and works of art. He has received numerous first place and honorable mention awards from street fairs and art fairs throughout the years. Artist Portfolio Magazine Winter 2010 awarded John honorable mention for the 15th Annual Face Juried International Art Exhibition by Upstream People’s Gallery. He has worked with the patients at South Oaks to create a life-size wood sculpture entitled Urban Basketball and recreated the face of a 9/11 hero out of clay for their family. He too has a website at johnyoungart.webs.com.Bob Spencer is better known for designing homes, as well as his published writing and his activism to take care of this island he loves. His hanging art in mosaic driftwood and beach glass illumes are a side to him that others may know less of, but are no less interesting.Julie Hopkins is an award-winning artist who shows her work in galleries and national and international exhibitions. Her works can be found in private collections in the U.S., England and Australia. She also has been published in a number of fine art publications. Learn more about Julie by visiting her website at www.juliehopkins.com.Susan De Castro is a New York-based artist and professor. When she came to DP in 2001, she fell in love with the beauty of Davis Park, Ocean Ridge, and Watch Hill and has been painting there during the summer ever since. She’s exhibited in numerous shows in the metro area. On Fire Island, she participates in the Davis Park Art and Craft Fair on Labor Day. Susan has won various prestigious awards and her work will be featured in a special exhibit at the Art Students League this November. You can view her work and contact info online at www.suedecastro.comGot news for Cathy’s column? Email her at [email protected].