One of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” is coming to Riverhead this month.
Booker T. Jones, originally know as the leader of the MG’s, the house band at Stax Records, where he played for an array of iconic soul singers such as Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, will perform at The Suffolk Theater on Sunday, Feb. 16. Read all about it and find out how to buy tickets on northforker.com.
Greenport’s mural man, Terrence Joyce, likes to listen to Indian music in his home studio and use dance-like movements to achieve broad paint strokes.
This method, says the 68-year-old artist, is the best way to channel his inner spirit out onto a towering canvas.
Unveiled at Greenport’s St. Agnes R.C. Church last Sunday, his latest 42-by-78-inch mural, “My Kingdom Is Not of This World,” depicts three phases of Jesus Christ’s life.
The main focal point and centerpiece of the triptych shows Christ at his trial, standing before the Roman judge Pontius Pilate. In addition to angels and Jesus’ mother, Mary, Mr. Joyce has included the disciples and Mary Magdalene.
“I’ve never seen a picture with Christ before Pilate with Mary Magdalene and the mother,” said Mr. Joyce as he touched up the mural last week. “Mary Magdalene has a bad rap in Western culture, but she was with Christ throughout his whole mission and was the only one noted that was under the cross the whole time … The mother was staying only a couple of miles from Jerusalem, so she would be there. That’s my feeling.”
Over the course of eight months, Mr. Joyce has painted studies, or smaller versions, of the mural, to help him move the project along, and he has also drawn from live models.
Mr. Joyce went to a seminary high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, run by a monastery and later studied at the monastery’s novitiate in Verona, Italy. His most recent project is close to his heart because of his religious background, he said, noting that he enjoys painting spiritual imagery, such as angels.
“I believe there are many planes of existence that we all live on simultaneously,” he said.
The New York City-born artist first rented a summer home on the North Fork about 28 years ago in exchange for two paintings. In September 2012, he closed his downtown Greenport gallery after five seasons and has since helped organize the Greenport Maritime Festival’s first “Little Merfolk” contest this past September.
Mr. Joyce has freelanced as a muralist for nearly three decades. Some of his most notable works are displayed at Lincoln Center and in Central Park’s Wollman Rink. Locally, his murals are in Eastern Long Island Hospital’s chapel, Claudio’s restaurant in Greenport and Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport. In all, he says he has painted more than 200 murals.
He is also writing a book about his latest project to share tips on mural work.
Commenting on why he enjoys creating such large-scale paintings, Mr. Joyce said he believes the size of the artwork is uplifting — it forces your eyes to look up.
“My instinct is to paint big,” he said. “[Murals are] a way that people can surround themselves with something that’s of interest to them.”
It’s a lamentable story that locals are all too familiar with: downtown Riverhead was a veritable ghost town just a few years ago, with empty storefronts dotting large stretches of East Main Street.
To help counteract the sense of glum particularly felt during the holidays, East End Arts launched a campaign in 2010 that gave locals the opportunity to decorate the windows of vacant storefronts with festive scenes. The nonprofit has held a Holiday Window Decorating contest each of the past three years.
But now, thanks to the recent influx of businesses to downtown Riverhead, none of that will be happening this year: Pat Snyder, the executive director of East End Arts, said the most of the storefronts she and other members of the Council would have decorated are, to the relief of many in the community, now occupied.
“It was our gift to the community to fill up the space, make it look nice during the holidays and encourage people to come downtown,” Ms. Snyder said. “There were vacant windows and the town we loved needed love. The windows we typically would have used are now mostly occupied by businesses, so that’s a good thing.”
Mattituck resident Mark Sisson, whose group “People for the Ethical Treatment of Elves” took second place honors in last year’s Holiday Window Decorating contest, called the change a sort of “double-edged sword.”
“On one hand, it’s great stores are filling up in downtown Riverhead,” he said. “But on the other, it’s too bad that we don’t get a chance to have this fun thing for the holidays.”
A few of the once-vacant storefronts locals used to decorate are now occupied by stores include Twin Forks Bicycles, game shop TheWarStore.com, and Vines and Hops Café, Ms. Snyder said. Twin Forks Bicycles moved into downtown Riverhead in February 2012; TheWarStore.com and Vines and Hops Café both opened their doors this year.
The former Woolworth building on East Main Street, which Ms. Snyder said also used to get the decorative window treatment, will soon bustle with activity itself. Ultimate on Main is expected to open a large gym on the building’s ground floor by the end of the year, and another tenant, Goldberg’s Famous Bagels, plans to open its doors in an adjoining space by the start of 2014.
“There’s nothing like a live, animated storefront with people inside,” Vines and Hops Café co-owner Jeff McKay said. “Having that storefront come alive with patrons – it’s a great feeling.”
Handmade ornaments, one-of-a-kind jewelry and unique knits and crafts will be among the gifts on display at the East End Arts’ Annual Holiday Gift Boutique. An opening reception will be held today from noon to 5 p.m. in the East End Arts Gallery in Riverhead.
The event is free, open to the public and refreshments will be served.
The gallery will feature a large selection of hand-crafted heirloom ornaments. There are art-ful gifts at a wide variety of prices. All the items in the boutqie are unique creations by East End Arts member-artists. This year, 45 local artists are participating.
Guests can meet the artists at today’s reception. The boutique runs through Dec. 22. For more information, click here.
Southold native and McGann-Mercy student Ella Watts-Gorman, 13, will make her television debut next month when she stars as Louisa von Trapp in NBC’s production of “The Sound of Music, Live!” airing Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.
Starring country singer Carrie Underwood as Maria and “True Blood” actor Stephen Moyer as Captain Georg von Trapp, “The Sound of Music, Live!” is a three-hour presentation based on the Broadway version of the timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
An 8th grader at Bishop McGann-Mercy, Ella is no stranger to the stage. Her first starring role came at just six years old, when she played Dorothy in an Islip Arts Center production of “The Wizard of Oz.” In 2011, she played the title role in Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre’s production of “Annie.”
“It’s so much fun,” Ella says of her newest role as Louisa, the mischievous third von Trapp child in “The Sound of Music.”
“I don’t want it to end. It has, so far, been the best experience of my life,” she says.
To read more about Ella and “The Sound of Music, Live!”, pick up a copy of this Thursday’s Riverhead News-Review or Suffolk Times.
North Fork Community Theatre presents ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,’ beginning Friday night at 8 p.m.
For more information and a slideshow, check out northforker.com.