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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

Members of the Glen Cove Police and Volunteer Fire Departments, along with 200 citizens, the mayor, City Council and County Legislative members turned out on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month at the Doughboy Monument on the Glen Cove Library lawn to honor its veterans.  Leading the ceremony was VFW James Donohue Post 347 Commander Joe Lavery. The morning events started with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Rocco. 

Glitz and glamour ruled the night as the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce Oscar-inspired gala was held at the Crescent Beach Club, where 150 guests in black tie and evening gowns sashed down the red carpet to honor five deserving honorees: Bethpage Federal Credit Union for “best picture for corporate community excellence;” David Leon for “best director in a leadership role;” Victoria Crosby for “best original screenplay in a community role;” Dr. Sheila Delijani of Green Forest Veterinary Hospital for “best animalated feature;” and a memorial of lifetime achievement award was bestowed on Nicholas DiLeo, who recently passed.


Sports

The Glen Cove High School girls basketball team was invited to participate in the prestigious KSA Holiday Basketball Tournament that will be held in Orlando, FL, this December. The tournament brings to the court teams from all over the United States that would otherwise not be competing. It is held in the finest professional and amateur athletic venues around the nation with teams seeded into brackets that will provide an appropriate level of competition. 

The North Shore Women’s Cross Country Team won the Nassau County Class I Championship for the eighth consecutive year. They will be competing in the State Qualifier Competition at Bethpage State Park this month.


Calendar

Annual Shop Glen Cove Showcase - November 19

Native American Feast - November 22-23

NSHS Fall Musical - November 21-22 


Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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