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Hicksville Voices

A Plein Air Coffee Chat Among Friends

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with personal friend and Hicksville  artist, Kirk Larsen. Kirk recently returned from a two week Plein Air art competition in Easton, Maryland. The event is the largest and most prestigious juried Plein Air painting competition in the United States. Hundreds of artists apply, but only 50 are chosen internationally; another eight artists from Maryland are chosen, with a total of 58 artists competing over a two week period.

In 13 days, Kirk managed to eke out 20 paintings, 10 of which sold. His positive attitude allowed him to meet the challenges of little sleep and brutally hot temperatures with style and grace. He also had a few interesting stories to share as we sat down to coffee on his front porch.

On the second day of the competition, which ran from July 12 – 20, the artists were requested to paint at Tilghman Island, a rustic town that’s home to generations of watermen. The competitors were asked to find their own subjects. Kirk scouted the area in search of the perfect light, subject material, and coloring. Off in a distance, he had seen a father and son who were engaged in catching crabs with chicken necks. Setting up his easel, Kirk managed to capture the pair as they leaned across the side of the dock in pursuit of their quarry. The painting, which was warm and wistful, piqued quite a bit of interest from buyers and artists alike. The family appeared with only a third of the asking price, all that they could afford. When the dilemma was overheard by a woman within earshot, she stated that the artwork belonged with the pair, and donations began to pour in. Before the end of Plein Air, the entire amount had been raised and the painting had been given to the proud family.

It just goes to show you that when something is truly meant for you, it happens, one way or another.

Another wonderful tale that Kirk shared with me was when he painted a boat, which was entered as his second competition piece. The boat had been a part of the family for many years and had been named after the mom. The vessel had been an important part of family life; however, it was slated to be sold the following week. Having seen the finished product, the family requested the painting, but because of the regulations of the competition, no purchases could be done ahead of time. As Kirk told it, buyers entered the competition area at 7 pm; after much protecting, the family arrived with the asking price and purchased the artwork at 7:02 p.m. I could see by the look in his eyes that he was pretty happy that the artwork ended up exactly where it was meant.

I’m so happy that my friend was able to have a wonderful experience with Plein Air Easton, and I wish him all the best, as he tackles new adventures and produces beautiful works of art. Well done, Kirk — keep up the great work!

News

Hicksville’s interim School Superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso gave a review of the district’s recently completed capital projects and facilities updates at Nov. 19’s board of education meeting. Most of the projects were completed over the summer in each of the district’s schools.

“Thanks to Director of Facilities and Operations, Dave Bell and his staff, we are structurally sound,” said Bonuso. “So much of what we do is in-house which saves the district money and our staff makes the facilities as special as the students they serve.”

The community is rallying together to raise funds for a Hicksville native who has been battling to get a service dog.

Nancy Burpee is a 49-year-old competitive swimmer and single mother with a rare genetic terminal illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes the deterioration of the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and vital organs.


Sports

For the past 11 months, Hicksville’s Marlo Signoracci has been training for IRONMAN, one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there. The triathlon includes a swim, bike and run portion. Signoracci recently traveled down to Florida to compete in IRONMAN Florida. Here’s a look at her experience.

Nov. 1, 2014 will be a day in my life I will never forget and will carry with me forever. It truly was the celebration of the last 11 months of training.

The fall athletic season seemed to move quickly, but all teams had outstanding seasons with all teams reaching the playoffs except for two who had their best season in many years.

In addition to athletic acheivements, all of the varsity programs at Hicksville High School also participated in raising more than $4,000 for several charities this past fall: pediatric cancer, breast cancer awareness and cystic fibrosis.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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