Written by Stephen Levine Friday, 19 July 2013 00:00
The year is 1780. Historic ships sail across the foamy, blue Long Island seascapes during the War for Independence. This setting was recently created through a gallery of historic nautical art, which featured ship models and artwork by Mineola native, Ed Cortez.
According to Cortez, the gallery will continue to be open on weekends until July 21 at 130 South Country Rd. in Remsenburg, N.Y. Cortez has one painting on display, two drawings but his biggest contribution is his ship models.
“I always had a love of sailing,” said Cortez. “Although I lived in Brooklyn, which isn’t known for sailing we had a close friend of the family who lived in Connecticut and we used to go sailing all the time. I knew I had become artistic so the two became a natural combination.”
Although this natural combination, which turned Cortez into a ship modeler began in his mid-20’s, this is the first time his artwork will be on display. Cortez has been building ship models all his life and never looked into exhibiting them until someone told him about the nautical paintings of Fred Bender. He thought it would be a perfect fit to include his ship models to this theme for the July 5 gallery.
“It usually takes me about six months to build ship models,” says Cortez. “There is a lot of hard work and attention to detail involved.”
In addition to the artwork represented at the gallery, there was also a special revolutionary war style concert. The theme of the time period was captured by playing the music that was popular during our Founding Fathers time period, including Yankee Doodle, Pachebel’s Canon in D and Johnny’s Gone For a Soldier.
The patriotic theme of the night and exhibition was perfect for the Mineola native who considers himself “very patriotic.”
“I really think we have a lot to be grateful for in this country,” he said. “We owe a lot to the young men and women who protect our freedom. A lot of people don’t realize the tremendous sacrifice from right here on Long Island. One out of every ten soldiers during the Revolutionary War didn’t come home so it was a tremendous sacrifice for the time and we should be grateful.”
Cortez sees the event as an opportunity for the community to see some great artwork they may not normally get to see. Typically audiences would see only canvas artwork and not models of ships at an exhibition like this one. Cortez considers it a great way to celebrate the classic American holiday and for him a proud moment in a long time hobby.
“It actually feels great [to have my artwork on display],” said Cortez. “Every artist wants to have their work on display and this is my opportunity.”