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Studio 5404 Holds Acoustic Showcase

When artist Lori Horowitz opened Environ Visions Designs at 5404 Merrick Road, Massapequa in June she had a vision of bringing cultural arts to the south shore of Long Island. Her vision came to fruition on Friday when close to 100 people from all parts of Long Island attended her Acoustic Songwriters Showcase in her newly named art gallery called Studio 5404.

“Studio 5404 is now becoming more of a cultural arts center,” said Horowitz. “We are trying to integrate the arts, support the arts, and network different artists together so they can work and create art in different media and support one another.”

While guests mingled among the beautiful and unique art exhibits, they were entertained by three local musicians and songwriters, Jerry Silverstein, David Bailey and Massapequa resident Stella Davie.

The meeting between Horowitz and Davie came as a result of an Anton story about Environ Visions Opening. Davie, the mother of twin 12-year-old boys and a 9-year-old girl, was born and raised in Scotland. She had a theatrical background and is a performing songwriter.

“One day I saw in the Massapequan Observer, there is a gallery opening. I was so delighted to hear a woman was doing something so adventurous and creative so I basically burst through the door and said, ‘Welcome to the neighborhood, how can I help?’ Lori (who also lived in Scotland at one time) and I hit it off.  She said, ‘Would you play some music for us some night and I said sure, so I was able to rally my friends Jerry Silverstein and David Bailey.’”

Davie belongs to an organization called the Nashville Songwriters Association International along with Silverstein. They are both coordinators of the Long Island Chapter.  

Jerry Silverstein is a Tony nominated songwriter for his contribution to “Urban Cowboy,” which ran on Broadway. A former teacher and now fulltime songwriter, Silverstein was excited about the evening.

“One thing, I like is the synergy of all of the arts,” he said. “When I taught video and theater in middle school, you saw the importance of arts in education, so anytime that you can support arts I think it just helps the whole culture. It is really important that art thrives and a lot of times it is hard for individual arts to reach out, so here is a chance for music and art to come together and bring people into this wonderful gallery, so it’s a nice event.”

David Bailey is a salesperson by day for Stirista, but has been a songwriter for 15 years.

“I was asked to perform some of my original songs which are personal songs with an upbeat message,” he said. “I know Stella and Jerry from NSAI. Stella and I have performed in the past but Jerry and I never have but I hope that this is the beginning of a long friendship.”

The energy and excitement of the crowd was palpable as family, friends, artists, and community neighbors enjoyed great conversation and music. Perhaps the person traveling the farthest was Steven Lee, a flight test engineer for the Airforce, who traveled with his family from Atlanta ,Georgia..

“I know Lori from high school. We worked on the yearbook together. She was the art editor, I was the technical editor,” he said, adding that they had not seen each other since 1978. “She sent me an invite on Facebook and I said, I’ll be in town so I will come by.”

Each musician took turns singing their own songs. Silverstein sang a poignant song entitled, “A Little Piece of Boston,” a tribute to the victims, survivors and heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing which left many people misty eyed.

Horowitz thanked the audience for coming and promised more great events in the future. She said her vision is to, “bring more songwriters, poets, sculptors, painters and all of the arts to come together, network, and develop more art by coming together and meeting everyone.” She also said was open to suggestions for more events.

While Horowitz hugged and kissed her guests goodbye, the horse she created for “Man of La Mancha” stared down at the scene. This diminutive artist with a vision and big dreams had made her “Impossible Dream” come true. The evening was a smashing success; she succeeded bringing cultural arts to the south shore of Long Island.

The next event, “A Brush with Sandy” is open to artists to express their experiences with Sandy through art. The deadline is August 23 and the show will open September 6. For information go to www.environvisiondesigns.com. Studio 5404 is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment.