Written by D.F. Karppi Friday, 11 December 2009 00:00
With East Main Street becoming a cultural hub for the hamlet, it was no surprise to see the famous Dr. James Watson and his wife Dr. Elizabeth Watson at the opening of the Gregory Reid show, The World in Focus, earlier last month. Dr. Watson said, “I like the faces, but I’ve always liked faces.” Ms. Watson said, “The work is fantastic.”
The work is totally inventive and fascinating – free, flowing and colorful; filled with symbols and imagery.
Bill Mandelbaum, Esq., said, “I’ve seen his work before. It’s good stuff. It’s nice to see culture coming back to Oyster Bay.”
Artist Gregory Reid of Oyster Bay is well known in the local community. He has worked in maintenance at Friends Academy for the last 30 years, and that is where he creates his artwork. “They always give me a show. I teach a class for two weeks before each show,” he said. Standing in front of one of his paintings, he was talking about the work. In the upper left-hand section of the canvas was a drawing of a plane. There are actually four planes in the sky but he explained. “The first time I went up in a plane to go to St. Thomas was so exciting, I made that first plane larger and more colorful than the rest.”
Mr. Reid works with his canvas, unstretched, on the floor a la Jackson Pollack. “I can’t work on an easel,” he said.
Chase Edwards gallery manager Bonnie Boisits said, “When sold, they are put into a frame using 2 inches on the edges that wrap around the wooden stretchers, creating a very modern solution for displaying the work.” The resulting edge is painted black so that the painting “floats” on the wall.
“It’s a more contemporary feeling and a traditional home can use a non-traditional piece of artwork. Art is an emotional decision. Your choice of art is your personality on display,” said Ms. Boisits. Mr. Reid’s work sells from about $850 to $5,000.
Carol and David Harrington, Friends Academy parents, know Mr. Reid. “He always had a smile for everyone and you knew he always has a new art project he’s working on,” said Ms. Harrington, an attorney and a member of the Locust Valley Rotary Club.
Mr. Reid’s work is fresh and free. “It’s bubbly,” said Bonnie Boisits. “He’s a bubbly guy.”
Ms. Boisits said, “Three of his pieces sold. They are all so different. Children grew up at Friends Academy with his art in the hallways. He’s had collectors of his work here, over the years. He hasn’t exhibited locally before. There are future shows planned for Greg. I got a lot of response off this one. It was very well received.
“I love selling art. I love to help the artists out. I’m a caretaker,” she said.
“There are monthly events planned. People expect to hook up with the galleries where there is food, wine and art. It makes for a lovely night out to stroll and have a little drink and view the art. It brings creativity into your life. Art brings happiness,” she said. For more information please call the gallery at 802-0655.
Owner Bonnie Elizabeth Boisits, formerly of Locust Valley, has had a number of successful galleries in Laguna Beach and Palm Desert, CA, Maui, HI, and Nantucket, MA, and returns to Long Island with a variety of pieces, including paintings to sculptures to functional pieces, presenting works of established and emerging new talents in the world of contemporary art.