‘I was raised in a home filled with art and beautiful colored glass objects. Beauty was everywhere exalted.’
“I grew up in East Meadow, and I consider where I grew up as my spot in the world. I was raised in a home filled with art and beautiful colored glass objects. Beauty was everywhere exalted. My mother transformed spaces with her creations. Even the mermaids she’d sculpt on Jones Beach were spectacular.
“Always an artist and writer, my mother Betty preferred figurative work, versus my preference for abstract. She was a ‘humanist expressionist.’ I was blessed with two creative, erudite, accomplished parents as my role models. Mom took me to every museum and gallery exhibition and gave me an art history education.
“When I went to Vassar for my undergraduate degree, I took art history and studio art courses. Mom was always urging me to pursue art and would enter my work in art shows — without my knowledge — and then announce to me that I won an award or was accepted in a show, including at the Firehouse Gallery, where only adults were supposed to be accepted. We exhibited together in Greenwich Village at Le Figaro Café while she was also showing at a gallery in SoHo.
I am currently a member of Huntington’s B.J. Spoke Gallery and represented by the West Hempstead Sunflower Fine Art Galleries.
“I attended the Art Students League in NYC with her as a teenager, and she asked Marshall Glasier what he thought of my potential, and he said that there was no limit to what I could achieve.
“At the age of 80, Mom’s health began to decline. She suffered through a house fire, a major car accident, open heart surgery, major dental infection, rheumatoid arthritis and then a vascular neurological disease. I took charge of Mom’s care, and that included hiring a licensed and recommended art therapist to help her express herself. I took up painting again after 25 years.
“Four years later, I won two national awards and have since built up a reputation as an exciting and accomplished original fine abstract artist on Long Island, and nationally, even winning awards in international juried exhibitions.
“I am currently a member of Huntington’s B.J. Spoke Gallery and represented by the West Hempstead Sunflower Fine Art Galleries. I have been a copywriter and marketing communications director and briefly a high school teacher and adjunct professor, and now I am happiest as an artist … My mother was right!”
Interviewed by Meagan Meehan