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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

Looking for a place to work on your bedside manner and start a promising new career in the process? Look no farther than your hometown.

The Vocational Education and Extension Board (VEEB), a division of the county that oversees educational facilities such as the Fire Service Academy and EMS Academy, recently transplanted one of its facilities — The School of Practical Nursing — into a new location right in the heart of Hicksville, where they recently held an open house to celebrate their new home.

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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