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Family Portraits

Hicksville resident captures

character with her paintings

Some grandparents show people pictures of their grandchildren. But Peggy Bayern shows them portraits.

Bayern has been painting portraits of her family for the past seven years, and will be showing at an upcoming exhibit at the Merrick Public Library. The exhibit will showcase works done by Bayern and 13 other artists who attend Chezar Art Studio.

While Bayern has always loved art, she is new to painting and the arts.  Before retiring, the Hicksville resident completed both undergraduate and graduate work at Adelphi University. She was a math teacher in the Island Trees and East Meadow school districts for several years, before becoming a computer programmer/analyst for Doubleday, Grumman Data Systems and several life insurance companies.

Balancing work, family life and her four children left her little time to do art. When she retired however, she was able to pick up the hobby she had always dreamed of pursuing, taking lessons from art instructors.

“For someone like me, who’s retired, it’s so much fun because you keep learning,” Bayern says.”It’s always challenging, which is the same thing I liked about math. I’ve always loved to learn."

Most of Bayern’s work are portraits of her family. She has 10 grandchildren and five great grandchildren and has painted portraits of all of them.

“I love to do their portraits,” Bayern says. “That’s one of my joys. I like to catch their expressions.”

She says she enjoys doing portraits because it’s personal, and says she’s not just trying to portray the model’s physical attributes, but also their character. It's a skill she's also passing down to her great grandchildren, as she teaches them how to paint.  

Bayern encourages everyone to give painting a try.

“It’s very relaxing and challenging, and it’s a joy that anyone can enjoy,” she says.

When she’s not painting, Bayern enjoys researching her family history, and recently wrote a 40 page book for her family on their ancestry.

The opening reception for Chezar Studio’s fall art show at the Merrick Public Library is Nov. 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. 13 artists will have their work on display all month at 2279 Merrick Ave.