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Resident Displays Her Craft

A local resident has reason to dream as she molds a second life as an artist.

With about 10 years as a homemaker in Massapequa Park in the bag, Lucille Fishstein took some classes at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills and suddenly found her self with two art exhibit appearances and one award for her work. But it did not happen overnight — about eight years ago she went to an art show in Heckscher Park and met Gina Mars, an instructor who would inspire her in the pursuit of creativity.

Then two years ago she enrolled in the League’s ceramics program under the tutaledge of Mars.

“I always had an interest in art, but I was a happy homemaker for a long time,” said Fishstein. “Mars inspired me so much when I met her, and I remembered her all these years later. Now, it’s even more inspiring to be her student.”

Fishstein’s most recent work, a ceramic scultpure completed in Mars’ Art League class, will be on display at the league’s bi-level, atrium style Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery until Feb. 2, with an artists’ reception taking place the same day at 3 p.m.

The league believes having students exhibit their work is important for several reasons; as an opportunity for self-evaluation, for developing an appreciation for professional modes of presentation and for the gratifying pleasure of seeing one’s accomplishment recognized and shared with friends, family and the general public.

For Fishstein, it affirms her dedication to her newly formed craft.

“It’s very gratifying to take a piece of clay and just mold it into something that started as an abstract vision,” she said. “Personally, I enjoy the fine detail. It is a very relaxing medium.”

Fishstein said the Art League has helped get all those abstract visions out of her head and into a tangible piece of art. She often goes into the class stumped for ideas or where to go with a particular idea that has already begun to manifest itself in clay. Her instructor always seems to have the right answers.

“I go into class with an idea, but maybe I can’t figure out what exactly it is I want to achieve,” she said. “I ask Gina [Mars] what the best approach would be and she always has the answer. The fact that I can go into the Art League and be part of something so organic and so creative makes me what to achieve my goals.”

The Art League often encourages its students to submit work to various exhibits; even if the student doubts the worthiness of their work. The ongoing ceramic show features a combination of work by students, instructors and technical assistants in the department. However, the labels on the art pieces make no distinction of the artists’ position at the league.

Fishstein said their is a strong sense of pride in being one of the students on display at the gallery, but since she is so new to the art world, she still struggles with the inevitable frustrations of creativity.

“The frustrations come, but I always keep working with the piece until I feel I’ve achieved what I am looking for,” she said. “It’s hard to say when a piece is done, I just know when I get there.”

And whatever the art world brings into her life, Fishstein will mold it according to her vision — and fire it up in the kiln.

“You never know unless you try,” she said. “If you have the desire to be an artist, there are so many different types of art and you shouldn’t restrict yourself.”