Meet The Firefly Artists

Mary Ahern

Mary Ahern

Through the twisting paths and obstacles in life the two constants for me have been my Art and my Garden. These are my anchors. They keep me balanced, complete, secure. The arrival of spring flings me from my studio where I’ve been creating my Art all winter, into the emerging garden surrounding my studio. The colors shout optimism to me. The joyous season has begun again. This is where I grow my subjects and gather the imagery for my work.

I’ve been an Artist for eons, exploring as all true Artists do, a myriad of subjects and with enough mediums that fill drawers and cabinets throughout my studio. I’ve been zigging and zagging throughout my journey with all the bumps and joyous bursts I could grab. Some of my work through the years has had autobiographical underpinnings, some of it was icy flat. I’ve worked big and I’
ve worked small. But when it comes down to it, I love color.

I love studying Art History. I’ve been doing it steadily now for decades. My personal library still contains the first book in which I saw the work of Georgia O’Keeffe in the 1970’s. I wept each time I opened it. I had to limit myself to 10 pages a day since I was exhausted from looking, from feeling, from studying. I remember stroking the large pages hoping to absorb something, something
unknowable to me at the time. Her work somehow spoke to my soul.

Though I’ve absorbed some of Georgia’s iconography, when I’m painting in traditional oils I reach backwards to techniques of the Old Masters. I enjoy the process of grisaille painting with the painstaking layers of glazes but I do it with a modern flair. Speaking of modern, I may reach backwards to compositions inspired by Raphael’s Madonna del Prato but I may do the painting
using digital mediums with Siberian irises as subjects.

My classical Art education in New York City was probably the last gasp of formal training before the onset of conceptual and performance art took hold. My professors were all active and renowned in their fields, Wolf Kahn, Herb Aach, Robert Birmelin and Louis Finkelstein. The foundation in color and design they taught is still the basis of all my work. I am indeed fortunate to have studied with professors who opened their SOHO studios and used the NYC art scene as an integral part of their classroom.

The proximity I still have with my studio one hour’s train ride from the array of museums and galleries in NYC is rejuvenating, inspiring and jump starting. My education never ends.

Wendy E. Andersen

Wendy E. Andersen

Pottery is a passion of mine for well over 30 years. My first experience began during college while studying Art Education. At first it was not easy. Trying to center the clay was one of the biggest hurdles I had to accomplish, second was trying to make a simple bowl. After many attempts I finally did it and I was hooked. There is nothing more satisfying, to me than being able to form soft clay into a bowl, plate, vase, cup, etc. and actually use these dishes for everyday needs.

Being an artist, I enjoy producing functional ware and artistic vessels that take shape from a simple lump of clay thrown on a wheel. Adding texture and glazes to complete the form can be fun yet challenging because so much of the end result depends on the firing in the kiln. When a piece comes out of the kiln even better then you had hoped, I always feel so elated yet pleasantly surprised. On the other hand, if a piece is awful, I try to learn from that mistake and try again.

A lot of my ideas come from browsing in stores or from fellow potters who inspire me. I’m also a gardener, love to cook, travel, and I truly cherish my time with family who also give me inspiration and encouragement to challenge myself, each and every day.

I also hope you will enjoy my mini paintings; my very first love as a little girl. A lot of the mini paintings come from larger paintings I painted in the past. I find these tiny paintings to be charming and whimsical. Much of my subjects come from Cape Cod, my favorite place to be.

Beth Atkinson

Beth Atkinson

I have been surrounded by art my entire life. I come from a family of artists who have worked in just about every medium possible so that has made it very easy for me explore any material I desired. I consider myself primarily a printmaker working in etching, woodcut, linoleum, silkscreen and monotypes but I also work in book arts, collage and sculpture as well.

My first love in printmaking was working with relief prints. Carving from linoleum and wood was therapeutic for me. The smell of the wood and the way the knives cut through the material to create the image connected me to my art and made what I did complete for me. The process was just as important and the product. My prints are done in very small editions and most pieces are one of a kind as I usually embellish each print individually which makes each piece unique in its own right.

Much of the work that I do is influenced by my travels and are reflective of my visual and emotional experiences. Some of the work that I create is extremely realistic and detailed and other pieces are more abstract focusing on line and color.

My sculptural pieces are assemblages of ephemera and most of them connect to book arts which is another love of mine. I have always been a collector, saving scraps of paper from different events, ticket stubs, old photographs, small tokens and pieces of my past, pieces of these stories, never able to throw anything away because I was married to the memories that they held. As my art has evolved these pieces of ephemera became a focal point of some of my work. Frequently I assemble these pieces to create a story that is personal to me but may make the viewer create one of their own, maybe triggering a memory from their past as well.

As a whole the variety in my work can best be described as eclectic, but all of the imagery has a connection to what I have experienced through my relationships and travels.

Laura Atkinson

Laura Atkinson

My intersections with the arts have always occurred on the backroads. Born and raised in rural Kansas, my degree is in science, my profession is intensive care nursing, and my passion is photography and visual arts.

Moving frequently around the country, and world, since the age of twenty-two helped me discover the most powerful form of communication for me was photography. I could very easily show what I couldn’t always articulate about rural Kansas, or the tides of Pornic, France, or Brooklyn barbershops, the floors of an intensive care unit, or an NBA locker room.

Capturing what is at once both personal and universal, with the contrast between the two as bold as shades the of black and white they are usually in. My work has been displayed nationally, on mass produced commercial products, and in juried fine art exhibitions. My husband, two children, and I currently call Brooklyn, NY our home.

Marilyn Barker

Marilyn Barker

I’m an self-taught acrylic artist, crafter and sometimes poet! For many years I have belonged to a group of painters, The Harbormasters, who meet at the Huntington Senior Beach House in Centerport. My work has been displayed at several local libraries, the Daniel Gale Real Estate Office on Main Street and the Northport Art Walk. I’m a graduate of Northport High School, SCCC and St. Joseph’s College. My aim as a painter is to add a bit of humor or the unexpected to whatever I create.

Claudia Bedell

Claudia Bedell

I grew up on Long Island’s South Shore. Drawn to water and seascapes, I spent many summers at Jones Beach. This is reflected in my paintings of ocean waves and sand dunes. In later years I traveled to the Midwest, visiting the Grand Canyon and several National Parks. The natural rock formations and the amazing vistas across the Midwest left me with an indelible impression of nature’s beauty. These magnificent visuals led me to painting. I started my journey by taking various Adult Education Classes. With an intense desire to dig deeper, I enrolled in the Stevenson’s Academy of Fine Art under the teaching of Attila Hejja. While at the academy I learned the basics of drawing and the beginnings of painting with oils. Unfortunately, after 18 months the Academy closed due to the untimely death of the owner Attila Hejja. I continued to take classes at the Art League of Long Island for several years, focusing on still lifes and landscapes. The next leg of my journey was studying the Masters of Art with an emphasis on portraits. I attended the Teaching Studios under the tutelage of Nanette Fleur, painting copies of Masters such as Joaquin Sorolla and William-Adolphe Bouguereau. I then continued portraiture classes with live models at the Art Guild of Port Washington, studying under Robert Silverman. Desiring to delve into other areas of oil painting, I studied under other accomplished artists. I have studied under Rob Zeller, Devin Cecil-Wishing, Sharon Pearsall, Howard Rose, Paul Foxton, Jane Hunt and Kathy Speranza, I am a member of the Art Guild, Nassau County Art League, and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. I have exhibited some of my work at libraries on Long Island and at various art associations. After raising my family and working in the pharmaceutical industry I retired in 2017, giving me free time to pursue my love of painting. I now spend most of my time with fellow artists, continue painting classes and workshops and painting from my home studio.

Mary Brodersen

Mary Brodersen

Mary Brodersen is forever exploring new places, processes and ideas. A story teller at heart, her works rarely involve just one subject or medium, but rather weave a complex, thought-provoking experience.

An “A” in mechanical drawing opened the door to Mary Brodersen’s teaching career when an administrator from Yaphank’s Longwood High School went up to SUNY New Palz to recruit Art Majors. She taught there for one year, and then proceeded to spend the next 45 as an elementary school art teacher in North Bellmore.

She says that if she could have, she would have always been a painter. However, everything excites her. Printing, painting, textiles, mosaics, and now woodcut; all she touches and all she sees. “My husband and father were carpenters, so I bring some sense of how to build things, too. I don’t make art because I think it’s what might sell in a gallery. I make what inspires me.”

One particular moment when she realized this involved a collage class she took. She had brought scraps of leftover fabric that she had prepared to help birds make their nests and the teacher told her to put it away. That she wasn’t teaching a quilting class. “I understood. I’d paid for the class. I put them aside and did what the instructor desired, working with paint, studying color and grayscale, warm and cool. I never forgot my own idea, though. Once I’d obeyed, I turned back to it. The finished product got all sorts of attention. ‘What is that? It’s amazing!” people said. It started a whole new era for me!”

“Throughout the years, I tried to always remain current. Children have confirmed this is working,” she smiles, “When I ask them why they’re giggling, ‘You’re so modern!’ they say! … I was always taking classes and visiting galleries and trying to absorb everything. I also made sure to answer a few open calls each year. When my son was young, and I was REALLY busy, I picked up a camera in order to keep whatever had inspired me handy until I could make more time.”

“Eventually, I realized, something was missing – ME! I learned to pass the camera and make sure I was included in the memory. I suppose some of those efforts make me one of the originators of ‘the selfie.’”

Exceptionally well-traveled, Mary visits a foreign country each year. “I’ve been retired for 10. So, last year I was able to manage three.” It began with a trip to Denmark to visit a family farm. She was immediately hooked and has since stepped foot on every habitable continent at least twice. She often ponders what may be the essential symbols of her experience, which she incorp83orates into her work. The Eiffel tower for France, giraffes for Africa. Temples and Trees for Cambodia. In China, she saw a giant lock on the door of concubine quarters in the Imperial Palace, which seemed to fit the sense of tight control she experienced there.

Like so many classic tales of great adventures, though, her travels have often led her to more fully appreciate the beauty right at home. “Hawaii, in particular, really did that for me,” she says, “I was so awakened and inspired by the trip. Then, I came home and my eyes were still open. I began to realize I didn’t have to travel to feel that way.”

“Travel excites me. I bring it all home, and then I experience the same excitement once I get there. That’s what I want to offer with my art. I want to bring that excitement to you!”

Steve Caputo

Steve Caputo

Steve has been observing life since his eyes opened, and for the better part of that time he’s been capturing moments in his photographs, like fireflies in a jar.

A passionate image-maker, Steve’s pursuit of beautiful light, panoramic vistas and mercurial moments has spurred him to create evocative landscape, people and abstract exposures. For 19 years, his “Light of Day” Desktop Calendar (and companion book series) has been a successful business building tool, and sought-after premium. Steve’s recent work in includes the release of his latest book, “Images Wit Words – The Art & Sigh-ence of Punography”, a collection of visual puns, dad jokes and happy accidents that occur when a photograph and its title come into focus at the same time.

Over the past 6 years, he has chronicled the inspiring exhibition of the USA Patriots (formerly the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team), during their annual visit to NYC and the surrounding areas. The images reflect the team’s message that “life without a limb is limitless”. Steve’s work is documented at https://wwast.shutterfly.com.

In addition to his landscapes, Steve is an avid sports and concert photographer, a current member of the Firefly Gallery Artists, a NSUH Auxiliary Photo Contest Winner, and producer of more than 45 Shutterfly sites. His work has been featured in local restaurants, in Long Island magazine and local newspapers.

Steve is a career marketer having founded, built and sold several digital agencies in NYC, the most recent iteration of which was acquired by Accenture Interactive. Much of the agency’s leading-edge work focused on an immersive, “customer-obsessed” positioning, increasing awareness, trial and revenue for global CPG, e-commerce and financial brands.

Steve resides in Greenlawn, NY, and after much encouragement, he’s making the move to share his images with a larger audience. You can see more of his work at www.stevecaputophoto.com and on Instagram @stevec2011.

Jo-Ann Corretti

Jo-Ann Corretti

Long Island Award Winning Professional full time Artist for over 35 years, painting Land & Seascapes, Lighthouses & Historic villages.

Jo-Ann’s specialty is commissioned Home & Garden Portraits, with close to 500 homes rendered across Long Island & out of state. Her commissions also include, Cars, Boats & paintings of Your Favorite Places.

Jo-Ann’s latest little gems are her small holiday scenes that she sprinkles with a crystal dust & are framed in gold or silver. They sparkle so magically.

“My Paintings Reflect the Beauty of Long Island & my Collectors are so Happy to have their walls adorned with the Places that they Love so much…I call it Personal Art…♥ My Paintings bring Joy to everyone, & that’s why I Love being the Local Artist.”

Please visit Jo-Ann’s website at www.JoannCorretti.com or call 631 786-3467
My Talent is my gift from God…My paintings are my gift to You…11:11

James Darcy

James Darcy

Born in Ipswich, MA, I grew up in Rockport and Gloucester, an area rich in the tradition of both fishing and art on the north shore of Massachusetts. The rugged coast and fishing industry would influence many of the topics I choose to capture in both my painting and printing.

As a young boy, I studied art in high school and worked at the Rockport Art Association, setting up shows and doing odd jobs. It was here that I was influenced by many of the local artists. I was privileged to learn and work with such artists as Stow Wengenroth, Don Stone and John Terelak.

I worked in the commercial fishing industry as a young man and moved to New York in 1983. I began working in construction and settled in Northport to raise my family because of the similarities it had to my hometown. I worked as an Ironworker in NYC, then as a carpenter in both NYC as well as Long Island.

Due mainly to health issues I resumed my artwork in earnest several years ago, with concentration in watercolor, graphic art and etchings. The art of plate etching and stone lithography is becoming a lost art due to the increased use of computer imaging. It brings me joy and fulfillment to share my printmaking with others, and to keep the old ways and traditions alive.

Cori Forster

Cori Forster

“My passion to paint is greatly inspired by the world around me. When I am intrigued by an image, I feel compelled to express it on canvas. It may be to provoke an emotion, or it could be to capture a moment in time. I am fascinated with color, texture, and how shapes interact with each other. The subject matter is equally important to me; the composition and how the light falls against the subject all plays a part in my creative process. Whether I’m painting a landscape, still life, figure or portrait, I am always revealing the beauty and awe of nature.”

New York City born, Cori Forster knew at an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in the arts. She began her journey as an undergraduate student at Queens College, majoring in Fine Art. She then transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she majored in Fashion Illustration, to complete her degree.

In the 1980’s, Cori Forster earned her living as a freelance artist. She worked in various design houses and companies including Kelloggs’s Cereal, Jean St. Germain, El Greco’s Candies’s Shoes, Ann Rothchild & Co., as well as illustrated for many clothing catalogs. While pursuing her art career, Cori returned to Queens College and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in art, then preceded to earn a Master of Science in Education.

Being married and raising three children naturally compromised the amount of time Cori had to dedicate to her art. After a decade of teaching in the N.Y.C. public system, Cori felt an unavoidable void which she could no longer ignore. Consequently, when she and her family moved to Long Island, Cori decided to find her way back to her true love: art.

Cori now devotes her time to painting landscapes, nature, still life and portraiture. She mainly paints in oils and focuses on traditional representational techniques. Cori currently studies painting at the Art League of Long Island, Teaching Studios of Art, The Art Guild, and attends many workshops year round. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Art League of Long Island, Trapani Art, Art Guild of Port Washington, Huntington Arts Council, Mills Pond Gallery, and featured in Newsday. In May of 2019, Cori Forster had her first solo exhibition at Yasha Gallery in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Most recently, Cori Forster is now exhibiting her work in the “Firefly Artists Gallery” in Northport, New York.

Ann Fox

Ann Fox

Ann Fox is a retired flight attendant who has lived in Spain and Germany for many years. She currently resides in Northport.

She started painting at age twelve under the tutelage of noted East End artist, Joseph B. Hartranft and went on to major in art history in college.She works mostly in paper collage and oil. She says moving bits of paper around a flat surface is much like sculpting. She adds that after cutting up hundreds of bits of paper and not being able to stand the paper cuts anymore, she switches to oil. She gets inspiration from the places she has been and has lately been working with spray paint.

Ann has participated in several juried shows on Long Island and has won the L.I. Arts Alive Poster Competition, the Long Island Chamber of Commerce Art Competition, and the Greenport Annual Poster Competition. She currently has work being shown at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. Ann’s work has appeared in Art Basel under the auspices of the Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Program and on covers of The Vine Times in California. She is pleased to say her bee and butterfly collage was chosen by CBS Sunday Morning to open a segment on Mohammed Ali. Her oils and paper collages can be found in private collections.

Debbie Granger

Debbie Granger

Artist, entrepreneur and Reiki Master, Debbie Granger, grew up in Northport. Her love for working with stained glass began twenty years ago when she and her husband decided to take a local adult education course. Immediately hooked, she has continued taking classes and otherwise connecting with artists who also work in glass ever since.

“My business is called, ‘A Different View,’ because I like to put glass in windows where is view isn’t so nice,” says Debbie. “I do a lot of custom work, consulting closely with clients. My real passion, though, is following my inspiration. Especially since I began practicing Reiki, I’ve found it fairly easy to tap into. I’ll be walking along or just thinking to myself and suddenly I’ll know: I want to create this.”

With great care taken in selecting color, texture and soldering lines, the finished works evoke symbolism, hearken to fantasy, offer beautiful views, and capture interesting creatures. They range from the deeply mystical to the lightly whimsical, featuring a great wealth of beauty in between.

Jan Guarino

Jan Guarino

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Jan Guarino has built an award winning graphic design studio that has come to be known as a bit of an institution on Long Island. Known as the “Logo Goddess”, Jan applies her creativity and commitment, heart and soul, to helping her clients with branding, corporate identity packages, brochures, direct mail campaign, advertising campaigns, and customer relationship marketing programs. She believes that an effective, comprehensive, well-coordinated marketing program ties together intent, messaging, and design, seamlessly across all channels.

Jan’s fine art talents include painting portraits, landscapes, still life’s, botanical watercolors, and most recently, has extended to include teaching as well. Jan has been exhibiting her work in locations throughout New York for more than 30 years, and in July of 2014 she began taking on students. She is now sharing her personal artistic approach, style, and techniques with other artists through classes at the Art League of Long Island.

Jan has developed the unique ability to blend her artists soul with her vast practical business knowledge to create communications that powerfully resonate credibility, emotion, and authenticity. Her work serves to open doors, initiate dialogues, and cement long term, meaningful relationships between companies and their clients and prospects.

Cathy Hammerquist

Cathy Hammerquist

I grew up in Huntington, Long Island, in a creative family. My father was an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post and later took a job teaching illustration at the Art Students League of New York. Our family loved the Long Island landscape, and for our “after dinner”entertainment we would often go down to the docks in Northport and watch the fishing boats come in. This was before our current beautiful park was built!

My father was always available to teach me painting, and sometimes I would just sit behind his easel and watch him paint.

I paint in acrylic, mostly landscapes and seascapes of local scenes. I greatly admire the Hudson River Painters, and I have tried to emulate some of their techniques in my work.

Katheryn Laible

Katheryn Laible

Katheryn Laible is a writer, a photographer, and handy in many ways. She was recently named a Managing Partner of The Firefly Artists of Northport, whose Main Street gallery grandly re-opened in a beautiful new location in May, 2019. She is also President of Laible & Fitzsimmons, Inc., founder of the Synchronicity Network Newsletter, which draws on decades at the fusion point of interests to serve and celebrate those who care about Art, Science and the Common Good on Long Island and beyond.

Katheryn spent five years as Acting Director of Leadership Huntington, Long Island’s first and only Community Leadership Program. For nearly ten years she was Assistant Director of Vision Long Island, the region’s premier Smart Growth organization. She has served as a consultant, program coordinator, and grant writer for many other organizations, notably the Nassau County Museum of Art and Nathan Hale VFW Post 1469. In 2012, Katheryn participated in a month-long Rotary Group Study Exchange throughout Minas Gerais, Brazil. In 2017, she wandered through a bit of Italy. Most of her work, though, focuses on the beauty of Long Island and her “Northern Paradise” just outside the “City of Ships,” Bath, Maine.

Katheryn is a Centerport native. She has lived across Long Island, just inside the beaches of Delaware and now resides in Syosset with her family.

To see more of Katheryn’s work visit Fine Art Photography: KatherynLaible.Zenfolio.com and Synchronicity Network Newsletter: synchronicitypc.com

Kirk Larsen

Kirk Larsen

One of Long Island’s most collectable and treasured artists, Kirk’s Landscapes, seascapes & nautical images grace the walls of many homes throughout the area, globally and in museums. His painting passions are discovering new places, seeing the commonplace with fresh eyes, the water, the environment and sailing. He’s an internationally known Plein Air painter (painting outdoors in Natural light) and one of America’s foremost Marine Artists

Honored remarkably with over 161 Awards for his art including many best in shows, awards of excellence for many mediums including oils, acrylics, watercolors, sculpture and over 70 solo shows; he still regards the his greatest artistic accomplishment to be bringing joy to others.
He strives to convey the feeling of being on the water to the viewer, the scenes he is humbled to bear witness to and the beauty he perceives captured for eternity by a skilled brush and an open heart. He freely admits he is addicted to sailboat racing. One of his plein air paintings “Last Day in the Shed” (The 1883 Oyster Sloop-Christeen) was purchased by The Museum of America & The Sea at Mystic Seaport for their permanent collection and featured in the Exhibition “Modern Masterpieces, 30 Years of the Museum Purchase award”. In 2015 The Oyster Bay Historical society recognized him with a 3 month exhibition featuring over 56 “Water scenes of Oyster Bay”, the same year he was nominated for Poet laureate of Nassau County.

Recent Awards and Exhibitions include:
Featured in Fine Art Connoisseur,Magazine, Plein Air Magazine & Art of the Southwest

Best Nocturne at Cape Ann Plein Air by Judge Don Demers and “The Spirit of Plein Air-Art Spirit Award”, as voted by the Artists of Cape Ann Plein Air

Honorable Mention in the Oil painters of America 2018 Fall online showcase

ASMA: American Society of Marine Artists 40th Anniversary Marine Art Invitational Exhibition 2018-2019 at Principle Gallery, Charleston, SC

Virtuosos of the OPA 2019 at Cutter & Cutter Gallery St Augustine, FL (Oil Painters of America Master & Signature

The Fredrick S Church Award of Excellence –Salmagundi Club NY 2019

Best depiction of water” in the Plein Air Magazine Salon

To learn more about Kirk, visit www.kirklarsenfineart.com or check out @kirklarsenart on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Jennifer Stearns Lau

Jennifer Stearns Lau

I began my career as a graphic designer. Over the years, my experience expanded to include all aspects of marketing including brand development, web design and art directing photo shoots. After winning the 2005 Gilroy Garlic Festival Poster Contest with a design that featured a rustic sepia image of garlic bulbs, I considered pursuing photography as more than a hobby.

My portfolio includes subjects such as landscapes, cityscapes, race horses, vintage cars and portrait photography. Photography shows include Northport Tasting Room and Wine Cellar in July 2008, July 2011, November 2014, December 2015, April 2016 and a two artist show with her son Theodore Lau in July 2018; Huntington Arts Council Art-rium in 2011, Huntington Arts Council Juried shows in December 2016 and December 2018; Suffolk County Historical Society in 2008.

I have been a primary member at the Firefy Artists Gallery from its inception in 2011, taking the role of co-managing partner with founder Kate Sydney in 2014. Today, I continue to be an active member in the gallery.

In addition to my work with The Firefly Artists, I continue my work as a graphic designer for several local businesses and clients across the country.

www.jenniferlauphotography.com

John Lazzaro

John Lazzaro

John Lazzaro is a documentary filmmaker and documentary photographer based in Long Island, NY. In his approach to photography, Lazzaro draws upon his experiences from documentary filmmaking in order to create a realistic, visual, and thought-provoking dialogue of the macabre. His main focus is capturing abandoned buildings and vanishing architecture throughout New England.

Fascinated by history, storytelling, and visual design, his documentaries address topics of social awareness. Hindsight (2010), offered a painful look at Long Island’s heroin epidemic. His most recent documentary, Masters of Cruelty (2018), takes an eye-opening look at New York’s animal abuse laws as told through those fighting against cruelty cases on Long Island.

His photo book, The Walls Still Talk, documents the decades of neglect and decay of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center in Kings Park, NY as a result of deinstitutionalization. In February 2020 at fotofoto gallery in Huntington, NY, Lazzaro exhibited his latest project, A Vanishing New York, which explores the last remaining abandoned sites in the Empire State.

Lazzaro is a member of The Firefly Gallery in Northport, NY and fotofoto gallery in Huntington, NY. He is also a contributor for Untapped New York.

To view John’s work please visit: johnlazzarophoto.com

Chuck Lembo

Chuck Lembo

My name is Chuck Lembo. I’m an architect, and while I successfully operate my own architectural firm, I have always been interested in photography. My grandfather was heavily into photography, and used to carry his camera to work every day to take pictures of his construction sites, as he worked as a commercial welder. He would take and develop his own pictures, and I am still in possession of many of his originals, documenting the construction of many bridges and tunnels throughout NY City. When I was 13 years old he gave me my first and only camera lesson, explaining how to balance aperture and shutter speed to achieve exposure, using his fully manual 35mm Canon AE-1.

In college I became interested in black and white photography, having to take pictures of countless architectural models for portfolios and presentations. From there, I began to explore black and white infrared photography, as I was fascinated with how the variations in lighting affected various elements, making the pictures look more dramatic and intense. I used my 35mm Nikon N2000 and infrared film to explore and experiment on my own.

After purchasing a new Lumix FZ1000 for use on a trip to Europe, I decided to re-purpose my 15 year old Nikon D70 DSLR and had it permanently modified to take Infrared photos above 590 nanometers. I recently purchased a Nikon D7000, and plan on converting this camera to full spectrum…from ultraviolet to infrared. This will give
me the option to take full color, or black and white infrared, and to explore new and different post-processing techniques in order to achieve varied results.

I spend most of my time taking pictures of architecture or landscapes, and candid shots of my 7 year old daughter…when she’ll let me!

Karen Lind

Karen Lind

I am the descendent of gardeners, photographers and artists. My own garden is spacious, inspired by Monet’s design to always have beauty at his fingertips. It was built from scratch with terraces, stairs and pathways leading a collection of scents and colors. It is an ongoing creative effort with my husband whose interests are trees and shrubs, as well as building rock walls and stairs. As our garden has grown my art has responded to its ever more complex beauty. It has been the inspiration for many paintings and photographs. I have always been interested in using media in unusual ways. In the past, I’ve used combinations of pastel and water color or silver prints with vivid layers of watercolor inks.

For the last few years, I have been using tempera paint to make paper copied from the colors all around, creating a complex palette including hydrangea blues, daylily yellows, rosy reds and a myriad of greens. Then I chose a subject and I hand cut each flower, each petal, each leaf to create collages. In them I seek to explore the individual forms, colors and personalities of each plant as arrangements or as potted plants. Each collage is photographed then transformed in my computer to create a unique image that is printed on heavyweight Epson cold press fine art paper in editions of ten.

The result is an image loyal to the rich color and variety I see in the garden. Each print begins with paper painted au plein air in the garden and finishes as a distinctive print and signed portrait of a familiar flowering plant that may be found in your own garden.

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

One of our newest and youngest Fireflies is Allison Mack, a recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City Jewelry Design Program. Allison received the “27 on 27th” Award from FIT. This competition showcased 27 outstanding and phenomenal students at the school. She also received a “Next Generation” Award for fine jewelry/overall jewelry design.

Allison is also an active member of the Long Island Craft Guild, and has participated in several juried exhibitions.

“My whimsical design style has been influenced by nature, innovative objects daily life and dreams…As I continue to grow as an artist, my design style is always growing too. Inspiration and innovative style flows from exploring and working with new techniques and tools. I maintain and strive for authenticity in my designs always, incorporating the vintage, classic looks I love most into the designs.”

E. Craig Marcin

E. Craig Marcin

My background is in optics and optical design, mechanical and electronic engineering. Working for a majority of my life for the world famous Schneider Optic of Germany. During that time, I was involved with all aspects of imaging with an emphasis on Large Format Photography, Television and Film. Working in various aspects of imaging/photography, with clients such as Ansel Adams, John Sexton and Industrial Light and Magic (George Lucas) has afforded me a rich education in various aspects of visual art.

I started painting about 7 years ago with my first “Kindergarten Watercolor” classes. Since then, continued classes, workshops and an effort to “make art every day” has advanced my capabilities in various mediums.

I was honored to be accepted to the first group of “Artist in Residence” at the Art League of Long Island, where I was able to pursue my art education in various mediums.

In conjunction with the Andrew Wyeth 100th Anniversary Retrospective at the Brandywine Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, I was involved in demonstrating the science and art of Egg Tempera painting. During this time, several of my own Egg Tempera paintings were on exhibition at the museum as well. With a continued connection and comittment by the Brandywine, I will be continuing to demonstrate Tempera and will be teaching classes in this medium.

Check out www.ecraigmarcin.com to see more of Craig’s work.

Drigo Morin

Drigo Morin

Drigo received his BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has also studied at The Art Students League NYC and The Stevenson Academy on Long Island. An oil painter of still life and portraits, he has been concentrating on landscapes the last few years.

“I don’t think you have to go far to find a beautiful passage in nature. Literally look out your front door. How I interpret that in paint will naturally change and evolve with time and ability. I’m looking forward to see where it goes!”

Helen Murdock-Prep

Helen Murdock-Prep

Helen, a native Long Islander, is a Theater Educator, Artist, Cartoonist, Actress and Writer. She graduated from Adelphi University with a BFA in Theater. When first starting out, she formed her own calligraphy business, HAM/KAP Creations, to help supplement her income while working as an actress. She writes and draws the popular comic strip “Shrinking Violet,” and currently teaches the Pre-College Program in Musical Theater at Adelphi University. She also directs the plays and musicals at many local middle schools and high schools. She teaches Calligraphy and Calligraffiti at many Long Island locations, including the Art League of Long Island and right here at The Firefly Artists Gallery. She sings constantly.

She has written and published four books: “High Drama: a novel” (Fiction), “Lettering Life; Calligraphic Inspirations” (Non Fiction), “Rainy Day Friend” (Children’s Picture Book) and “Seasons: The Watercolors of Helen Murdock-Prep” (Non Fiction).

To see more of her work, please visit:
instagram.com/helen.ink, redbubble.com/people/helenink. All her books are available on Amazon.

Catherine Olsen

Catherine Olsen

Catherine Olsen is a lifelong resident of Long Island and currently lives in East Northport where she works out of her home studio. Primarily a self-taught artist, Catherine works in oils and watercolors in a style that is mainly impressionistic. Her subject matter is varied…seascapes, landscapes and still life; however, her focus has been and will be: “simply to paint…..I am grateful to live a life in art…to express myself and the world around me with colors that beautify my world.” The artist has also done illustrations for children’s books.

Over the years, the artist’s works have been represented by numerous art galleries on Long Island, local libraries, public schools and in private collections. She has been the recipient of Town of Oyster Bay awards and the Award of Merit from the Suburban Art League.

Catherine is currently a member of the Art League of Long Island. She has a Master’s Degree in Literature from Long Island University.

Art and art history have been of intense interest to the artist throughout her life. In particular, the Impressionistic era, with its focus on color and light, continues to be a daily source of influence and inspiration for her art.

Irene Sankari

Irene Sankari

Irene entered the world of painting via her Interior Design career. She loved the feel and colors of different textures and patterns, but was not comfortable drawing freehand designs to express her ideas to her clients. At the suggestion of one of her clients, she began to study drawing and painting with the late Attila Heija of the Stevenson Academy. He reassured her that within a few months, she would be painting still lifes in glass, metal and other surfaces. In 2005, intrigued but skeptical, (since she had never drawn or painted in her life), she embarked on this unexpected artistic journey.

After Attila’s untimely passing, Irene continued to study with other artists who were trained in the classical method. Her instructors include Robert Zeller, John Morra, Devin Cecil-Wishing and Howard Rose among others. She continues to study to expand her knowledge in this exciting endeavor.

She is fascinated by the beauty and details that ordinary objects have and she attempts to transfer that into her paintings. She paints portraits, still lifes and landscapes. She has exhibited her art in several libraries throughout Long Island. Irene has lived on Long Island for over 30 years and is honored to join the Firefly Artists.

Kate Sydney

Kate Sydney

Kate Sydney is an alchemist of timeless designs with a modern edge and natural feel. She employs striking gemstones and precious metals in each of her one of a kind creations. Kate takes Mother Nature’s gifts and concocts wearable vessels, which are reflections of the staggering beauty of our planet.

“I create pieces that I infuse my heart and being into. I carefully select each gemstone and think about how I want to showcase the magic it possesses just by being itself. I want my clients to feel like the best version of themselves when they’re wearing my designs….like the glow from the gems might seep into their body and light up their spirit.”

Although she has been making and selling jewelry since the age of twelve (more than 25 years), in 2013 Kate earned a certificate in Comprehensive Jewelry Training from the only licensed and accredited jewelry trade school in New York, Studio Jewelers, Ltd. There, she added fabrication, forging, stone setting, wax carving, and casting to her skill set.

In 2011, Kate co founded an artists cooperative in the heart of Northport Village called The Firefly Artists. In the last eight years, Firefly has showcased the work of over one hundred Long Island artists of varying media.

In 2018, Kate Sydney was selected for two juried exhibitions through the Huntington Arts Council. Her piece, ‘Eaton’s Neck Arrowhead’ was awarded an honorable mention for the ‘Discovering Long Island’ show.

To view Kate’s latest creations, visit her website katesydney.com.

Damian Trusnovec

Damian Trusnovec

Life is about falling and getting back up. It is about seeing possibilities in both tragedy and triumph. It is about learning to be alone and together. It is about loving ourselves enough to change and grow. It is about shedding the layers that hide who we are and revealing our true selves. Life is about change and growth and celebrating the endless possibilities that are in every one of us.

My journey is not much different than yours. Face adversity, get knocked down, come back stronger, repeat. I hope that one of my photos speaks to you and helps you see and reach for the endless possibilities in your life.

Change is the only guarantee in life. Embrace it.

XO Damian

Jonathan Van Brunt

Jonathan Van Brunt

Jonathan Van Brunt studied art at Maine College of Art, where he earned a B.F.A. in Printmaking. He also earned an M.F.A. in Painting from Ohio University School of Art, where he taught two-dimensional design. He has exhibited throughout Long Island and work has been commissioned by contacts in the Financial Print Industry. In addition to his paintings, his graphic work can be seen on the cover of Joseph Vallero’s “Skeletons in the Closet”, and has done the covers and interior illustrations for two children’s books; “Rise of FICO Ninja” and “Credit Kingdom”. He self-published a book of his own paintings, “Painting the Other Long Island: landscape Painting n Nassau County” and his art can be seen on his blog, “VanBrunt Art”. He works in Manhattan and also teaches at Wine& Design in Rockville Centre.

He currently lives in Baldwin.

“I began Landscape painting after years of working with abstract, non-representational subject matter. I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors, and I believe what I learned from working with dramatic composition and contrast allowed me to appreciate the beauty and power of the natural world.”

Jan Tozzo

Jan Tozzo

What intrigues me about glass is its liquidity and the ability to control it, or not, with heat and time.

My glass pieces capture the movement that is inherent in the glass” All of my pieces are created of sheet glass, glass frits, stringers and powders that are cut, assembled and fired multiple times (sometimes 5 or 6) at temperatures between 1200°F and 1600°F to develop color and form. Each firing takes between 12 and 24 hours. Straight pieces meld together to create curves and leave spaces as the heat of the kiln moves the glass. Various objects and handmade molds made of metal and ceramic that can withstand the heat of the kiln are used as forms to shape the glass.

I have studied with leading glass artists in the US, attending workshops at Bullseye Glass Resource Centers, Bonny Doon Glass, Corning Museum of Glass Studio, AAE Glass and Oatka School of Glass learning the technical aspects of kiln-forming glass. Through a great many hours of experimentation my work has evolved and continues to do so as I explore new ideas, sometimes pushing the
technical limits.

See more of Jan’s work at www.glasspiecesstudio.com