Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ray Johnson and A Book About Death, open call to artists

Ray Johnson and A Book About Death, open call to artists

Long Island Artworks - Call to Artists

Here is an instance in which Long Islander’s altruism and interest in art and the sea can also benefit the "National Wildlife Federation” and "Save Our Seabirds" in the present Gulf of Mexico oil leak emergency.

If you are interested in contributing work on paper contact Megan Sirianni-Brand through LI Artworks in facebook -

All artwork will be sold for $50 each.
Checks payable to - "National Wildlife Federation” or"Save our seabirds" ONLY -
100% of the proceeds will be donated to National Wildlife Federation

Artists are invited to contribute their work (maximum 24 X 24”, no frame), and all are invited to purchase the artwork of their choice from among those donations, and to enjoy the good feeling that one gets from “LIArtworks.”

Delivery for ARTWORK - Deadline Aug.12th 2010
All work should be sent to -

100 15 Ave Corp.
100 15th Ave
Sea Cliff NY 11579

Day of event - Exhibition and sale to be held at -

The Metropolitan Bistro
39 Roslyn Avenue
Sea Cliff, NY 11579

Saturday: August 14 - 2-6 PM

Thank you. from, Megan
For any questions please go to our FB page LI Artworks or

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sorry for the Slow Down

Intestinal flu has slowed down our crack staff here at CANDO.
We hope to be back to hyperactive posting very soon.
Keep On Creating

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why preserve Van Gogh's palette?

Why preserve Van Gogh's palette?  

Long Island museums’ summer art classes 2010

Long Island’s major museums offer summer art studio and appreciation programs for adults and children, often leveraging the natural beauty of our environment. Any one of these programs would represent time well spent.
Read the entire article at  - Long Island Contemporary Arts Examiner's Articles

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Arts Forum at The New York Times

The Artspace Team
Alliance for the Arts

The Arts Forum at The New York Times

Art Works: A Discussion About Art Space and Communities

Craig Hatkoff, Co-founder, Tribeca Film Festival
Kelley Lindquist, President, Artspace Projects
Roberta Uno, Senior Program Officer, Arts & Culture, Ford Foundation

The Times Center
242 West 41st Street
(between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

Monday, June 21, 2010
5:00 pm Forum
6:00 pm Reception

Reservations are required:
Questions or reservations by phone: (212) 947-6340

General Seating

The Arts Forum at The New York Times is presented by the Alliance for the Arts and co-produced by the Alliance and Trudel|MacPherson with generous support from The New York Times Community Affairs Department. Additional support is provided by
the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Alliance for the Arts' mission is advocacy for the arts in New York through research and audience development. 
Artspace Projects, Inc.
250 Third Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
For more information: Contact  212-947-6340

The Artists Group Keeping it on Long Island

The Artists Group
 Most of you that know us, know we 
L♥ve to KEEP it on Long Island.

We would like to CONGRATULATE KIOLI for pushing the concept 
Thank You from all of The Artists Group

Kioli began in late 2008 as a way for Long Island to help Long Island, to rediscover Long Island and to connect Long Island. Kioli's mission—to keep it on Long Island—has endured over the past year and a half. And if the first iteration of planted the seed, the brand-new is going to grow and blossom. Visit the new and you'll see what we mean: A fully realized home for everything the 118 miles of our home has to offer. A vast calendar of events. Seamless integration with L.I. Discounts. Long Island news from the Long Island Press. In-depth information on kioli's founding members—Island institutions that have a vested interest in the kioli movement and desire to see LI shine. And so much more. Head over to the new kioli website and remember what it means to be a part of Long Island. 


Monday, June 14, 2010

Contact The Artists Group

We are currently working on connecting an email address for your convienience 
You may contact The Artists Group or leave a comment here on the blog.


The Artists Group


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Megan Sirianni-Brand to Organize Benefit

Megan Sirianni Brand is organizing a Fine Art/Music benefit - all proceeds will go to IBRRC and NWF - Both on hand organizations helping the wild life effected by the BP oil spill. If you would like to contribute art work or perform at the benefit, Please contact Megan on FB for more info -

You may log onto facebook to find Megan.
You may also contact us at CANDO if you would like to 
perform or participate in any way.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Into the American Wilderness"

  NY Council for the Humanities Reading Between the Lines Series -- 

"Into the American Wilderness"

Thursday, March 11, 2010 - Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 7.00
In a unique collaboration, the New York Council for the Humanities has joined forces with the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association to offer Reading Between the Lines: Into the American Wilderness, a monthly reading and discussion series that runs from March 11, 2010 to June 10, 2010.
Maxwell C. Wheat Jr., the first Poet Laureate of Nassau County will facilitate the sessions which will be held in a series of four Thursday evening meetings on March 11th, April 8th, May 13th and June 10th. The theme of each will focus on ... Should be rethinking our definition of the wilderness … and the interactive discussions will center around four provocative books about the role the natural world has played in the American experience, paying particular attention to recent events.

The discussion books were selected by the series sponsor, the New York Council for the Humanities. The series opens with a discussion of “The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City” by Robert Sullivan. Sullivan serves as the explorer, historian, archaeologist and comic bard of the land beyond New York City.
The second discussion is of Edward Abbey’ s book “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” Abbey was one of the last century’s prolific nature writers. His “The Monkey Wrench Gang” is an Abbey classic, written in a humorous tone about a band of ecological saboteurs who take on urban expansion in the American Southwest.
The third discussion in the series centers around a humorous and sometimes poignant book, “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail” by Bill Bryson. This meeting will consider his proposals for conservation of the American wilderness.
The series concludes with a conversation about “Dead Cities” by Mike Davis. This collection of essays examines urban landscapes and challenges people to rethink their definition of "wilderness."

For more INFO - Calendar of Events -

Monday, June 7, 2010

Help Plan Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay, New York – Downtown Oyster Bay has been selected as the site for a 48-hour make-over. DoTank:Brooklyn is a well-regarded national consortium of planners, designers, and architects based in New York City. They will be providing their services for free over a two-day period to help transform a portion of Audrey Avenue Extension in downtown Oyster Bay.

Local leaders and community members will join them to participate in a short-term planning exercise on June 12-13, 2010. Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto has been very accommodating of the event, providing full support of the Town for these efforts. Improvements being made during these 48 hours will build support for plans and actions over the next 48 months, that will ultimately help to promote sustainable design and lasting change over the next 48 years.

Oyster Bay Main Street Association President Ellen Roché, speaking of the event, said “This highly visible high-impact event will provide the Oyster Bay community an opportunity to actively get involved in revitalization efforts. We hope this event will serve as a catalyst attracting interest and attention that will in turn help to attract resources for future improvements.”

Michele Browner, President of the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce which is helping to lead the event, said “This is about economic revitalization of the Hamlet, and the whole community coming together to make Oyster Bay an attractive place to live, work, do business, and play.”

A growing list of participants and groups are represented in the event, including:
  • The Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce is involved in planning and many Chamber members will be represented each of the two days.
  • The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum Preview Center at 100 Audrey Ave and the historic Long Island Rail Road Station will be open both Saturday and Sunday.
  • A Railroad Museum Café will be just south of the station, with food and drinks offered by V’s Hot and Sweet each of the two days.
  • Bliss Studios will offer a yoga class at 9:30am on Saturday, a ballroom dancing class at 6:30pm on Saturday, and a Zumba class 9:30am on Sunday, at 101 Audrey Ave.
  • A Healthy U will have ice cream and drinks on sale, with seating outside their store at 98 Audrey Ave.
  • Children’s art work from Not Just Art will be on display in a pop-up café also located at 101 Audrey Ave.
  • The Oyster Bay pop-up store at 91 Audrey Ave will feature gifts and merchandise from area historic sites and Oyster Bay organizations including Buckingham Variety StoreRaynham Hall Museum, Friends of the Bay, the  Theodore Roosevelt Association, the Hispanic Cultural Center and numerous others.
  • Teaching Studios of Art will be offering a free art class at 115 Audrey Ave on Saturday from 3-5pm.
  • Renaissance Property Associates has graciously made several of their buildings in the area available for pop-up stores, workshop space, and a café.
  • For a complete and up-to-date listing of events, please visit

Members of the public are invited to participate in activities to be held throughout the weekend.
  • Farmer’s Market with produce, prepared food, and numerous other vendors, will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 2pm, in the parking lot north of Town Hall West.
  • Pinata making workshops will be held at 11am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday at the Bandstand between Town Hall and the U.S. Post Office.
  • Community Planning Workshop will be held on June 12, from 1-3pm at 101 Audrey Ave, where community members and planners will talk about future changes in the next 48 months to 48 years.
  • An Outdoor Movie will take place Saturday, June 12, at 8pm in the pop-up park beside the historic Oyster Bay Long Island Rail Road Station at the end of Audrey Ave.
  • Theodore Roosevelt in Oyster Bay Tour will start at 91 Audrey Ave on Sunday at 2pm.
  • Guided Bike Ride will take place Sunday, at 3pm, and leave from the Railroad Museum Plaza.
  • Live music, sidewalk chalk drawings, board games, a water feature, sandboxes, and other activities will provide fun and excitement for families and people of all ages.

The Oyster Bay Main Street Association, which is helping to organize the event, is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to enhancing and promoting an attractive and thriving downtown, while maintaining its historic integrity.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Elaine Benson Gallery House

The Elaine Benson Gallery House
Over the past few weeks so many people have called, written, emailed, and stopped me on the street, that I feel I owe it to the community to provide information and to respond to the questions, tears, love, and public outcry, over the loss of my family home, located next to the Elaine Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton.
Elaine (my mother) and Emanuel Benson moved here in 1965 from Philadelphia where they both had worked for the Museum College of Art. The following year they bought the property at 2317 Montauk Hwy across from the Post Office in Bridgehampton. The gracious house was large enough to house the couple as well as visiting artists, and was the home of the original Benson Barn Gallery. The house was unlike any house I had known from Philadelphia. It was built in the 1800’s and there were architectural details that fascinated me. The ceilings upstairs weren’t flat. The angles came in from different directions and there were old curved glass windows upstairs and in the front door. There was “gingerbread” trim around the eaves and a curved staircase with an amazing banister. The floorboards had been painted which seemed sad but you could see they were wide and old. In my room there was a huge walk-in closet. It was my favorite house of all time. That first year they put a swimming pool in the yard. My stepfather planted a vegetable garden in that rich Bridgehampton loam. In 1966, the barn and out buildings were renovated and added on to.
In the time that this house was built, Bridgehampton had relatively few houses. The old timers picked the best places to build. They avoided the beach and low-lying areas because of floods and storms. The sight they chose for the old “Sayre house” was breezy and cool in summer. There is an amazing maple tree that is fortunately unharmed even now, after the bulldozers have destroyed the old house.
This was a much smaller community in 1965 and although the Hamptons were clearly established as an artist colony, there were no galleries where those artists showed their work or congregated.  In 1971 Emanuel Benson died of lung Cancer. I moved here to be with my mother shortly after his death. I finished high school and went on to open a boutique on Main Street in 1974. It closed in 1986 and I went off to Mexico to be with my husband.
In 1993, after some years of living in Mexico as a painter, I came back to Bridgehampton, moved back into my mother’s house, and went to work as her apprentice. She was incredibly generous with her information, her friends, her time, and her house. I had a separate entrance, bathroom, and my own kitchen upstairs. The house was set up as two completely independent apartments. My mother and her third husband, Joseph Kaufman lived on the ground floor and I had the upstairs to myself unless they had houseguests.
As it happened my mother was widowed again in 1996 and I was widowed in 1997. My mother had already been diagnosed with cancer but chose to keep it a secret. She wanted to tell no one. She said it would hurt the gallery and she didn’t want anyone to look at her with pity.
The Gallery centered our lives in the Hamptons. It was never very profitable but my mother lived in the house and loved her life there. She died at home surrounded by three of her four children and some of her ashes were buried under a cherry tree in the front yard. The tree lives on in a new location with a view of the water.
My mother entrusted everything to me but also said, “Give it a try. Give it three years and see what you think.” I gave the gallery eight years after she died. In that time, we renovated the house and gallery completely. The grounds were gorgeous. It wasn’t anywhere near as interesting or as much fun without Elaine Benson and I didn’t have a partner so I had no time to pursue anything else. She was the life of the place. I could not and would not ever fill her shoes. Hundreds of people came by and admired thousands of works of art. People told me Elaine Benson stories. So many people came and told me how she had helped them. They thanked me for continuing. Even after her death, tens of thousands of dollars were raised for charity. Many emerging artists got their start and we had two “Hampton Art History Shows”. I followed the same formula as my mother did for most of that time. I cleaned the place up, repaired the old buildings, got rid of all the bramble and overgrowth, and painted the house and galleries. I replaced the roof of the gallery and the ceramic shed that was falling apart. As always we had openings every three weeks in the summer with preview benefits for local charities. We helped many charities with these benefits. The Bridgehampton Child Care Center, CMEE, the Retreat, and The Nature Conservancy, The Group for the South Fork, Hampton Shorts, the Meet the Writers Book Fair for Southampton College, ARF, EEGO, and LTV are among the many organizations that held their fundraisers in a tent, in the sculpture garden, and in the buildings of the gallery.
I did not give up the gallery property and our wonderful Gingerbread Victorian without first trying hard to find a way to continue. Before my mother died she told me there was a problem with the Certificate of Occupancy. She thought it would be an easy thing to deal with but said she was too old and sick and she didn’t have time. She knew I had a lot of experience building and renovating houses. It was only after I purchased the property from my siblings that it became clear that although the house had its C of O, the barn was on the books as a “bar”. I was told it would cost me over $50,000- and three years to make it all legal. It would not pay for itself from sales. The business paid for itself  but there wasn’t much left over and the property was expensive to maintain. I was living in my own house at that time. I kept my mother’s house heated, kept it clean, and used it for entertaining. It was bitter sweet without Elaine’s presence.
After the first year, throughout all forty-two years of the gallery, it was made up of three unheated, uninsulated, single story buildings that could not be used on a year round basis. It seemed better to hire a great architect and try to build a new building. After many meetings with Preston Phillips, the most talented architect I know, we found the best solution to the problem of how to “save” the gallery: build a structure attached to the existent house that would mimic the original architectural elements and roof line and look like it had always been there. It took three years and a lot of compromise (the town wanted 26 parking spaces and a promise that the second story of the existent house could only be used for storage) but finally the building was approved 100% by the town board. We had their blessing and they said that Preston Phillips was the most polite person who ever presented a project to them.
After we had town approval for our new building I tried to raise the money to build the new gallery. By that time I had realized the project was too big for me alone so I tried to form a new organization called, “Friends of Elaine Benson”. I even tried to sell the concept and plans to a potential new owner. It had seemed to me we could make the Museum of Art History of the Hamptons. In my dreams I could be on the board in the beginning and ultimately the gallery/museum could live on without me. It could have income producing rental spaces, on the second floor of the addition, on a year round basis, as a part of the new plan. It would have been beautiful. It ended up as only a dream, but a beautifully designed one at that.
When Joe Farrell offered to buy the property, he said he would try to save the house. He suggested that because he is a builder, he would be in the best position to save the old structure. It was in good shape at the time so I was surprised when I read in a newspaper interview with Mr. Farrell that he was going to tear the house down. That was before the closing on the property. We had an agreement of sale only. There was a ‘follow up” article at the time where I admitted to being very upset and Mr. Farrell called me and offered to renege on the purchase. Unfortunately I felt I had to go through with the sale and I realized that the new owner would have the right to do whatever he wanted, in accordance with the laws of the town. I knew that the process of getting town approvals is a long and difficult one. I understood I couldn’t stop progress. I agreed to the sale and said I would be mature and understand that once I sold the property I would have no control over it. At least the Farrells gave me permission to take the front door, with curved glass panes, the banister, the decorative windows from the upstairs of the house, and the gingerbread trim that my mother and I loved. I couldn’t bear to see them destroyed. It was a part of the agreement that I could ‘save’ the things I cared about the most even though I couldn’t save the house. I admit this was not the most beautiful house of all time, it was simply the most beautiful old house I had ever known well. I wept at the idea of losing it. Even knowing the house would come down it was a shock when it was bulldozed. It had been announced in the papers many times. There were public hearings in front of the planning board. The plans were in the Press. The Farrells were very clear about their intentions.
Mother always said, “We are liberals who hate change”. What is done is done. I can’t turn back the clock. What I can do is stay positive. I have forty-two years of gallery archives to finish organizing, scanning, recording, and then find ways to make them public. I need more interns and even grant writers. My desire is to open the records to students and professors, to writers, and aspiring painters. There is a wealth of visual information and the excitement I feel about this part of this story/history cannot be taken away. There is enough information to encourage many books.
My mother lives on in the legacy she left, the friends and artists who remember her, and in the book she wrote. She lives on in the cherry tree and in the archives. She lives on in our hearts.
Post script: Preston Phillips wrote a letter to the editor that appeared in this paper on January 8th, 2009. He wanted to make it clear that the town did approve our design for a building that could provide office space, a gallery, and protect the old house. Fortunately he documented and measured our old house and took photos of any of the architectural details that were not recorded in the plans. These plans exist for posterity and can be made available for the historical society or to anyone who wants to build an exact replica.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Great Traditon of a fringe festival comes to Long Island, NY - "The Science of Fringematics"

BREAKING NEWS - The great tradition of fringe comes to Long Island, NY

For Immediate Release                                                             Contact–Debra Ann Kasimakis - Producer
June 2010
2010 Long Island Fringe Festival  
“The Science of Fringematics”
Three Days in September 24-25-26

Brookville – New York - Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in it’s 30th year of presenting the finest in world class entertainment on Long Island, will again open its doors and host the Second Long Island Fringe Festival September 24, 25 & 26, 2010. The Artists Group, a Hicksville based arts organization, has gathered together cutting edge dance, music, theater, performance poetry and visual artistry in a celebration of “The Science of Fringematics”

Evening performances on Tilles mainstage, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, will include dance by Dance Visions, Circle of Dance Repertory Company, Just Left of Center Collective and each evening will highlight C.W. Post Dance Faculty and Alumni. The R and B sounds of The Coolfish Band, the pop stylings of DoubleSpeak, classic rockin’ Suck it Easy Band and Jessica Semins will charm the audience with music. The art of the word will also be showcased as we present “Poets with Passion” and a dramatic reading of “Sistas on Fire”. Check listing for each evening’s line up.

Saturday and Sunday will present individual daytime performances featuring: “The Letter”, a bittersweet love story, opening our theatrical presentations, which also includes a dramatic reading of “Sistas on Fire” by Marcia McNair and the Post Theater Company’s version of “Romeo and Juliet”. The Long Island International Film Expo will have two screenings per day of selected films from the 2010 Expo. Check listing for daily line ups.

There will be an Opening Reception Friday evening from 5-7pm featuring, “Fringe Underground”, a display of The Art of ZIG and the music of DJ-Pete-EG. Saturday and Sunday from noon til 6pm free activities occur in the Atrium of Tilles Center and will include Hoop Dancing, spoken word, music & a LIVE interactive visual art event with Alli Berman renowned, world wide Puzzle Artist.

Individual tickets for daytime performances are $7.00. Ticket packages are available in many price levels up to the $90 All Access Pass which grants you admission to all performances of the festival.

Tickets go on sale June 4, 2010 at the Tilles Box Office, by phone at TILLESCHARGE 516-299-3100 and online at and

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wicca, Witchcraft & Wizardry on Long Island

A look inside Long Island's pagan community

By Jaclyn Gallucci on May 27th, 2010
Main Street in Smithtown is just like any other Main Street on Long Island—local pubs, delis, and places you’ll find the best and worst coffee you’ve ever had, all within a 1-mile radius. Just outside the center of town, winding roads are dotted with small churches scattered among sprawling ranches with wind socks flying from front porches and lawns that stretch to meet cherry tree-lined streets................see full story.
Long Island Press