07/20/14 2:00pm
07/20/2014 2:00 PM
Mary Dowd of Greenport browses art nouveau titles Saturday at a temporary bookstore operating at Art Sites Gallery in Riverhead. Around 400 art books were donated by the family of Southold resident Bob Peters, who died in December. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Mary Dowd of Greenport browses art nouveau titles Saturday at a temporary bookstore operating at Art Sites Gallery in Riverhead. Around 400 art books were donated by the family of Southold resident Bob Peters, who died in December. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Bob Peters wasn’t an artist, but he deeply appreciated the work of those who were.

So when the avid collector, who lived in Manhattan and had a home in Southold, died unexpectedly in December at age 75, his family found themselves wondering what to do with his massive compendium — particularly his impressive library of thousands of art books.  (more…)

05/30/14 9:00am
05/30/2014 9:00 AM
The art work of Mac Titmus will be on display at the Southold Historical Society.

The art work of Mac Titmus will be on display at the Southold Historical Society.

“A Passion for Colour,” an exhibit of original art by Mac Titmus and Christopher Alexander, will be on display June 3 to 14 at Southold Historical Society’s Cosden-Price Gallery in the Reichert Family Center on Main Road. A reception will be held Friday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m.  (more…)

05/11/14 6:00am
05/11/2014 6:00 AM

Cutchogue New Suffolk Library

A juried group art show can be seen now through June 30 in Cutchogue New Suffolk Library’s upstairs gallery. Geoffrey Fleming, director of Southold Historical Society and co-author of “A Shared Aesthetic: Artists of Long Island’s North Fork,” is serving as juror.

Artists whose work was selected are Charlotte Droeger, Christine Dupuis, Bill Behrle, Diane Alec Smith, Gary Long, Karen Rich, Jacqueline Penney, Bob Kuhne, JoAnne Corretti, Joan Fabian, Saul Rosenstreich, Ann McCaughey, Marla Milne, Linda Nemeth and Adelaide Amend.  (more…)

04/26/14 5:00am
04/26/2014 5:00 AM
'Village Scene by Whitney M. Hubbard. (Credit: Southold Historical Society)

‘Village Scene by Whitney M. Hubbard. (Credit: Southold Historical Society)

Southold Historical Society will host its annual art auction Saturday, April 26, at Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue. A preview will begin at 6 p.m., followed by bidding at 7.

Current local artists whose work will be offered include John Crimmins, Laura Westlake, Dominick DiLorenzo, Jada Rowland, Lee Cleary and Barbara Zegarek. Local artists from the past include Caroline M. Bell, Whitney M. Hubbard, Albert Latham, Otto J. Kurth and Franklin G. Brooks.  (more…)

03/11/14 4:00pm
03/11/2014 4:00 PM
A work submitted for the exhibition by Olyvia Vayer took home first place. (Credit: East End Seaport Museum)

A work submitted for the exhibition last year by Olyvia Vayer that took home first place. (Credit: East End Seaport Museum)

Students from all East End high schools are invited to participate in the 2014 East End Challenge, in which they will be asked to create a science or engineering project on the theme of the “Littoral Zone,” and then express those results through an art form.

The littoral zone, the subject of this year’s challenge, is the part of the sea closest to the shore, which includes wetlands, estuaries, barrier islands, tidal marshes, beaches and dunes, and extends out to deeper waters.  (more…)

10/27/13 10:00am
10/27/2013 10:00 AM
RACHEL YOUNG | Chris Rowett uses his solar carving technique on a piece of driftwood outside his home in Baiting Hollow.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTOS | Chris Rowett uses his solar carving technique on a piece of driftwood outside his home in Baiting Hollow.

Seated in a patio chair on the back lawn of his Baiting Hollow home on a recent Sunday afternoon, Chris Rowett positioned a two-foot piece of beach driftwood on his lap.

Mr. Rowett finds the wood on local beaches.

Mr. Rowett finds the wood on local beaches.

He held a large magnifying glass a few inches from the wood and waited. In just seconds, the magnified sunlight had burned a dark line onto it.

Mr. Rowett, 31, is a solar carver. Harnessing the sun’s energy, he uses magnifying glasses of varying sizes to burn designs into driftwood he finds at nearby Long Island Sound beaches. He can etch almost anything, but the majority of his pieces feature sayings like “NOFO” and “Long Island, New York.” More detailed pieces incorporate drawings with nautical themes like sailboats, suns and seahorses.

“I’ve always been into art,” Mr. Rowett said. “I used to paint and draw. This is just a different medium for me to use.”

The ease with which he approaches his craft gives him the look of a seasoned professional, but Mr. Rowett, who grew up in Blue Point and works full-time as a physical education and health teacher at Comsewogue Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station, has been solar carving for only two years.

He was at a beach in East Marion one day, he said, when he realized that if he held a magnifying glass over driftwood on a sunny day, it produced a scorching effect.

By manipulating the magnifying glass, Mr. Rowett discovered he could create letters and pictures on the wood.

“I just kind of fell upon it,” he said. “I started playing around with it, making letters, then went off that.”

At first, Mr. Rowett made solar carvings as gifts for friends and family. During the summer and early fall, when the sun is at its hottest, he usually designs three or four pieces a day. A simple design, like “NOFO,” takes just a few minutes, he said. More elaborate pieces take up to an hour.

Now, solar carving is much more than just a hobby for Mr. Rowett. Woodside Orchards in Aquebogue began selling his pieces this year and his work will soon be for sale at East End Getaway, a boutique opening this month at MacArthur Long Island Airport in Islip.

Mr. Rowett recently put the finishing touches on a piece of driftwood with butterfly etchings that he custom-designed for the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center in Riverhead. After he appeared in a feature on News 12, Mr. Rowett was contacted by the aquarium about designing some pieces to be sold at its gift shop.

“His work is very interesting,” said Nadine Ferrara, gift shop assistant manager and assistant buyer at the aquarium. “To do that with a magnifying glass and not have a template or anything is amazing.”

Mr. Rowett said he finds his recent -— and unexpected — recognition exciting.

“Everything is growing,” he said. “It’s hard because I can only make so many pieces, because each piece takes about an hour. When it’s sunny out, I feel like I have to burn. But it’s enjoyable.

“It’s exciting to have a few people appreciate my work.”

ryoung@timesreview.com