Arnie Hansen, a familiar name and face in the North Shore Sun, was January’s featured artist at North Shore Public Library in Shoreham. In his first solo work exhibition, 14 compositions were on display, 10 collages and four photos. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the scope of his imaginative output.
The collages, in particular, begged for a closer inspection to be fully appreciated. They were variously described as whimsical, psychedelic, striking, colorful and professional — my sentiments exactly.
Since I’ve known Arnie from his six-year stint as a fellow correspondent for the North Shore Sun and a resident of Leisure Village in Ridge, I called to compliment him on his imaginative creations. I asked him how long he’s been involved in art and was impressed to find that he was a graduate of the Pratt Institute (with a B.A. in advertising), and started as a copywriter, went on to become a vice president, account supervisor, then advertising manager of Panasonic, and finally, as creative director/partner of Hansen, Nigro & Wulforst Inc.
When I asked how it all started, he said, “I got straight A’s in figure drawing in college and always had a passion for the arts. What goes around comes around.” When asked what’s next, he replied, “I’m working my buns off trying to finish my autobiography, titled ‘Around the World in 80 Years’ with the subtitle ‘The true life story of a creative director in his own words and pictures.’ ”
When we ended our conversation he signed off in his usual signature phrase, “Keep smiling.” I remember seeing those words on the bottom of every column and they were even better to hear now. It’s a good philosophy and you always end on a happy note.