to honorMICHAEL PICCOLO An Artist is an Educator and the Canvas is the Textbook, by Michael Piccolo“The subjects of an artist’s works remain beyond the lifetime of the artist and captures a moment in time on a particular subject. Art for me is a very personal statement of my life and I am honored to be selected as an ‘Advocate for Historic Preservation and Education’ this year.Oyster BayTownshipis to me as Springs is to Jackson Pollock, although the similarities stop there. It is here inOyster Bay, 50 years ago, that I began observing the beauty of the area and learned how to capture it on a canvas. As a young boy living in Syosset, I was only a half hour by bicycle’s ride from the beaches ofOyster BayHarbor. My friends and I would strap fishing poles onto our bikes and head off-unbeknownst to our parents, who would certainly not have approved-for a day of fishing, swimming and exploring. It is within those trips where I took notice of the achingly beautiful scenery of the area’s surrounding hills and waterways.Soon after I began learning to paint in oils with an artist named Claire Tilp, who held after-school art classes for children in her finished basement in Syosset. We started off with paintings of books and candles, copying photo art from advertisements, painting floral arrangements, and so forth. However, by the time I started to paint on my own, the beauty ofOyster Baybecame my inspiration. There was a sense of timelessness about the area that I hoped to capture.St. John’sChurchin Laurel Hollow, the surrounding estuaries, old barns and hillside vistas became my familiar subject matter. Mill Neck in particular is a special place to me, and not just because I was fortunate to have lived there for many years. Beaver Creek, ShuSwamppreserve and Beaver Lakeare truly breathtaking at all times of the year, and I have been drawn to their beauty and serenity. Meadow Farm was a beautiful estate that, as a local realtor, I sold to a client who subsequently built a stunning Normandy residence on 13 waterfront acres. I created a portrait of the new residence using a palette of vibrant complementary colors. Chelsea Morning is a quick study of the moat at Chelsea Manor in Muttontown and Sailor’s Lament is a work depicting the boats in dry dock at Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club inCentreIsland.In 2011 I was invited to participate in the Teaching Studios of Art’s Plein Air competition at Sagamore Hill, sponsored by the Oyster Bay Historical Society, where a group of artists combed the grounds to find a perfect spot to capture the beauty of the mansion, the outbuildings and the estuary. I chose to use pastels and created two works: one of the tool barn and the other of the windmill tower. It was a great experience and the show at theAngelaKoenigCenterwas a great success. The windmill tower painting was sold to the President of the Society.Overall, my art Curriculum Vitae is a compilation of late-20th century images in Oyster Bay. I was recently reminded of how art is a form of education by the following story. While reading a recent copy of ‘American Artist’ Magazine, I learned of a previously unknown Long Island artist named George W. Hallock, who lived in Orient, L.I. during the early to mid-20th century. His family owned a large farm there and, not wishing to be a farmer, he spent his entire life painting scenes of the North Fork. A shy and quiet man, he rarely if ever displayed his works. After his death, his sister rescued almost 200 of his canvases sitting at the curbside waiting to be discarded. He has now become a noted American artist who captured the lives of those who lived and worked in the agrarian society here on Long Island almost 100 years ago. This leads me to wish that, one day, someone living in the 22nd century will view my art of subjects coveringOyster Bay with the same awe that I experienced when I first viewed Mr. Hallock’s works.” Michael Piccolo’s artwork described herein shall be donated by the artist for sale during the silent auction for the upcoming “Advocates for Historical Preservation and Education Award” to be held on July 9th at the Mansion at the Woodlands, Woodbury, NY. All proceeds shall benefit the Oyster Bay Historical Society. The "TOP ADVOCATES FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION & EDUCATION" AWARDS RECEPTION takes place on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 6pm to 8pm, at The Mansion at the Woodlands at Woodbury, One Southwoods Road, Woodbury, NY.To register or for more information, call Tracey Gittere at (516) 222-0550 or TGittere@LegendaryEvents.net Proceeds support the Oyster Bay Historical Society's important programs and services! The Oyster Bay Historical Society, http://www.oysterbayhistorical.org/, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating a broad public interest in and awareness of the rich and distinctive history of the Town of Oyster Bay, to collect, preserve, and make accessible to everyone artifacts, books, documents, records, photographs, and other materials pertinent to the history and development of Oyster Bay and to stimulate and educate the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications designed to interpret our past, to reflect on our future, and to bring our history to life in the present.
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