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Local Artist Makes A Splash

With drinks flowing in a room filled with the laughter and praises of family, friends and art patrons, local artist and Hicksville native, Evan Campanella, proudly displayed his artwork at opening night of his own show at the BJ Spoke Gallery in Huntington.

After being sponsored by a member of the gallery for a member’s choice showing, one of his works helped to turn the limelight on him. Now a member of the gallery himself, his paintings have taken over the entire front room of BJ Spoke for the next month.  

“This is the first ‘Me’ night I’ve had,” Campanella said while showing off some of his latest creations - contemporary, modern, edgy works of art, which he says, is his life’s passion. “It’s just fun – and it’s got to be fun,” he said.

A part of the fun, Campanella said, is listening to what other people think about his work. “I like hearing other people’s interpretations of my work. I know what it is to me, but sometimes people will say something about it and then I’ll think ‘Oh yea, I see that now.’ It’s cool to hear what other people think. Even when I was hanging things last night, some people were walking by saying ‘I know you guys are closed, but I just need to take a look at this work,’” he said. Although most people were amazed by his work and told him how impressed they were, Campanella added that he doesn’t take it to heart if everyone doesn’t love his work.

“Last night, some people were coming in as I was putting my paintings up and some were like ‘I don’t like anything in here’ not knowing that I was actually the artist,” he said. “But it’s got to about having fun and for me, that’s what painting is about. If someone says something really derogatory, I don’t listen, but it doesn’t bother me at all to hear what other people think,” he added.

As chatter took over the room, Campanella explained that he was nervous going into the showing, not because he wasn’t confident in his work, but because he wasn’t sure he actually brought enough with him to cover the room once he got to work hanging his paintings. “I was looking around and was like ‘I am not sure that I’m going to have enough to fill the room!’” he said. However, not only did he have enough artwork to fill the room, but he had enough people that appreciate his art to fill the room as well.

Campanella’s show, In The Light, will be showing at the BJ Spoke Gallery, at 299 Main Street, in Huntington, through the month of June.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Social and Ballroom Dancing

September 5

ECC Open House

September 6

BOE Meeting

September 10



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