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.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 00:00
The Mayor’s Annual Snapper Derby had plenty of kids, fish and fun on the Pryibil Beach Pier in Glen Cove this past Saturday. On the pier were lots of parents and children fishing for prizes. Below the pier the snappers in the water were only too happy to cooperate with the children trying to catch them. For a while it looked like the children were “catching” and not fishing.
According to Phil Ferante, vice commodore of the Glen Cove Anglers Club, this event has been going on for more than 25 years. He said each child that registered was given a fluorescent yellow shirt with all the sponsors on the back along with a hot dog and drink. Children were divided up into a junior division of 6- to 10-year-olds with a senior division of 11- to 16-year-olds.
Friday, 22 August 2014 00:00
The Glen Cove City Council’s decision to allow amplified music at outdoor cafes at last week’s special meeting was music to the ears of The View Grill manager Frank Venturino. The council voted 6-1 in favor of the decision to allow music from the period of Aug. 12 to Sept. 30. Councilman Efraim Spagnoletti was the only council member to vote no on the resolution.
“We just want to have some background entertainment for our patrons while they are at our restaurant,” said Venturino. “We don’t plan to get wild with the music. We just want to support local talent who entertain people with a microphone and maybe an acoustic guitar from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.”
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
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.
Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00
Kristen Gillman earned a come-from-behind two-up victory over Brooke Mackenzie Henderson in the 36-hole championship match of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, being conducted at the 6,297-yard, par-70 Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove. The final match was held on Sunday, Aug. 10.
Gillman, 16, of Austin, Texas, was three down through 26 holes to Henderson, 16, of Canada. But Gillman, a junior at Lake Travis High School, birdied five of the final 10 holes to complete the remarkable rally.