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Sea Cliff Muralist Retires To New Canvas

Sea Cliff resident Mark Fay may be about to retire from his teaching position at Munsey Park Elementary School, but the inspiration he has brought to youngsters for decades will remain. During his 29-year tenure at the school, the muralist has adorned the walls with seven murals, which range from seven feet to 90 feet. Prior to Munsey Park, he taught in Port Washington for 12 years and is currently an adjunct professor at Hofstra University.

 

“As an art teacher for 41 years, I’ve tried to inspire my students from kindergarten through post grad to explore their own creativity,” Fay said. “It has been a very rewarding journey.”

Now Fay will embark on a new journey.

 

The artist started painting murals in 1990 and is looking forward to devoting more time to that passion and to pastels, which he’s been working with for 40 years. Both artistic genres are in Fay’s genes. He credits his grandfather as his earliest influence.

 

“My grandfather, Charles Guldbrandsen, was a noted muralist working in New York until the 1970s. His largest project was the ceiling of constellations in the Grand Central Terminal. He and I had several opportunities to paint together,” Fay said.

 

As a youth, Fay was also inspired by his teachers.

 

“I had wonderful art teachers all throughout school growing up in Port Washington as well as my undergrad work at Pratt Institute and C.W. Post,” he said.

 

As for the artists he studied, he drew inspiration from 19th century American painters John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer and William M. Chase.

 

Viewing Fay’s murals, one might feel as if he’s been transported to a gateway into a lush garden or a waterfront gazebo.

 

“My murals are usually landscapes designed with a great deal of input from the client. The possibilities are wide open,” he said.

 

The artist draws inspiration from the changing conditions of light and color in the landscape at different times of the day and seasons for his murals. He uses acrylic paint because acrylic dries quicker than oil paint and paints either directly on walls or on canvas, which is then installed onto the wall.

 

“Both canvas and walls have their own specific characteristics. They both have unique qualities to them. Oftentimes it’s what the client is going to want to do,” Fay said. Fay might opt for canvas if the subject wall has pipes behind it. “Water is my biggest fear, so canvas for that situation is usually a better way to go.”

 

Fay has painted murals for local restaurants, private residences on Long Island and in Connecticut, and Sea Cliff Village Hall, which was a donation he made in 1993 to the village where he and his wife Laura reside.

 

As much as Fay is looking forward to devoting more time to his mural work, he’s equally excited to put more time into his pastels.

 

“Pastel has always been a tremendously exciting medium for me …. It’s so versatile and it’s very direct. As soon as I started using it [40 years ago], I fell in love with it,” he said.

 

Fay is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America (PSA) and has exhibited with that organization at the National Arts Club in New York’s Gramercy Park for the past several years.

 

“We have a show every year,” he said. “It’s an open competition that I’ve been very fortunate to be included in.”

 

Indeed, PSA typically receives more than 1,000 entries from artists across the country and selects about 180 to be exhibited, Fay said.

 

When Fay retires from Munsey Park Elementary School in June, he will continue as an adjunct at Hofstra.

 

“I’m excited about retiring. There’s plenty to do. I’m not going to be sitting home watching soap operas,” he laughed.


News

Local residents were out in full force at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting at Glen Cove City Hall in opposition of a new 7-11 convenience store that is set to be built at the corner of 4th Street and Cedar Swamp Road. According to Stuart Grossman, chairman of the Zoning Board, the meeting was officially supposed to be focused on sign variances for the new store, but residents wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

New York State Assemblyman and Frost Pond Road resident Michael Montesano said that he hopes the board will deny the application for the new 7-11 because of the traffic impact and light pollution the new store will create.

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com