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Local Talent Handpicked for Fine Arts Exhibition:
Juried show’s opening reception this Saturday

By Dana Felser

The Smithtown Township Arts Council (STAC) is currently hosting its 31st Annual Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, and the community is invited to celebrate with an opening reception Saturday, June 16th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Mills Pond House Gallery in St. James.

“This is really a great show,” STAC Director Allison Cruz said. “The work is absolutely wonderful.”

Over 100 entries were submitted from artists across the country, and Juror Amy Smith-Stewart, of New York City, selected the 23 pieces she thought stood out from the rest. Almost half of the artists represented are from Suffolk County, including Haley Hefetz of St. James and Julia Adams of Ronkonkoma.

Ms. Smith-Stewart was chosen to jury the exhibit because of her fresh and unique approach to the arts. A former curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and The Museum of Modern Art (P.S.1/MoMA), and an in-house curator for Mary Boone Gallery in Manhattan, Ms. Smith-Stewart is currently curating three VIEW exhibitions at the Mary Boone Gallery. Her new Smith Stewart Gallery specializes in finding and cultivating new talent while producing a dynamic roster of exhibitions.

Bringing her expert eye to STAC’s exhibit, Ms. Smith-Stewart chose works that span mediums and reach across generations while giving local artists a chance to shine.

“Amy only got a picture and a name when she chose the pieces,” Ms. Cruz said. “Some young people right out of school were chosen, and this is an amazing opportunity for them. They are very proud that someone of Amy’s caliber chose their work.”

Ms. Smith-Stewart awarded First Prize to Christian Routh of Rocky Point, Second Prize to Amy Guidry of Lafayette, and Honorable Mention was given to Jenna Ransom and Eliza Stamps of Brooklyn.

The exhibit can be viewed through Saturday, July 14th during regular gallery hours, which are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.