Art in the Park organizers share details of August event

Organizers of Art in the Park shared with the Riverhead Town Board Thursday more details about the art pieces that will light up Grangebel Park in August.

Fitting the theme “Reflections,” artwork that shines, glows and beams will be found throughout the park and in the Peconic River. This will include a mirrored duck and reflective swimmers that will be floating at different points in the river. On land, there will be fire pits— one shaped like a starfish — as well as lit up butterfly wings that will be a prime backdrop for selfies and glowing umbrella canopies covering three-foot bridges.

The event, set for Aug. 9-11 after the final Alive on 25 of the season, is a collaboration between East End Arts, the Riverhead Business Improvement District, the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, the East End Tourism Alliance and I Love NY.

“We really wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to let the park be more utilized,” said Bryan DeLuca, executive director of the East End Tourism Alliance. The festival is the first step in that initiative to further bring out the potential of the park, he said.

Town Board members expressed support for the idea at Thursday’s work session, saying it will improve the downtown area.

“I love that we’re bringing more arts into downtown,” Councilwoman Catherine Kent said.

It will brighten and clean up the area, and make it more walkable and accessible, Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said. Festivals like this one grow, she said, and will bring a boost to tourism and the economy.

Councilman Jim Wooten said the park has improved from what it was 10 and 20 years ago.

“Every year is better,” he said.

Other art features will include a Tesla signature installation, with 190 linear feet of LED lights, by Clayton Orehek, the project’s curator.

Also, collection boxes will be placed around town to gather old CDs — 5,000, to be exact — that will be used to created a large reflective fish, Mr. DeLuca said.

Photo caption: Art in the Park will feature different kinds of reflective works, including a mirrored duck that will float on a fixed platform in the Peconic River with solar lights shining up at it. (courtesy photo)

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