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05/26/13 3:44pm
05/26/2013 3:44 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Denise Yazak and Evan Maxwell draw a character form Metroid, (in a space sponsored by Times/Review Newsgroup).

The streets of downtown Riverhead were a little brighter Sunday. Not just because the weather was nice, after rain the day before, but also because it was the 17th Annual Community Mosaic and Street Painting Festival.

The event is sponsored by East End Arts and closes down Main Street between Roanoke Avenue and East Avenue so people draw their artwork right on the street, using chalk, an art form that dates back to the 16th Century.

“We’ve never been rained out, and we we were really thinking this might have been the year we were, so we’re thrilled we weren’t,” said Pat Synder, executive director of East End Arts.

The event is done for the community and also to raise scholarship money for EEC’s School of the Arts, Ms. Snyder said.

This year, she also showed off some of her students. Sheree Elder, who was a student at EEC from the age of five to her high school graduation, served as master of ceremonies Sunday. Ms. Elder went to CW Post for arts administration and now works in the development department at the Parrish Arts Museum in Southampton, Ms. Synder said.

And singing the national anthem was Danielle Allen of McGann-Mercy High School, a vocal student at EEA since she was five, who has performed at the New York City Thanksgiving parade and is a member of the National Festival Chorus at Lincoln Center.

The people drawing in the streets came from all over, which some traveling from as far as Queens to be in the festival.

Christina Lettich of Port Jefferson station was spotted drawing by a waitress in a Friendly’s restaurant who urged her to participate in the street painting festival, her mother, Lisa said. Not only did Christina do so, but the waitress came too, Lisa Lettich said.

Ms. Snyder said the theme of this year’s festival was diversity.

05/26/13 12:37am
COURTESY PHOTO  |  Colleen Hewson of Syosset had her artwork chosen to represent this year's

COURTESY PHOTO | Colleen Hewson of Syosset had her artwork chosen to represent this year’s Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival.

Every Memorial Day weekend for the past four years, Colleen Hewson has shown off her artistic skills at the East End Arts’ Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival.

At this year’s festival, which starts Sunday, Ms. Hewson’s artwork will be prominently featured. The 17-year-old Syosset High School student created the artwork that’s being used to represent this year’s festival. Ms. Hewson said she loves to draw, paint and take photos. Next year she plans to attend a university in Austria to take a general studies program with a goal of earning a degree in early childhood education.

The festival is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. on the grounds of of East End Arts and along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead.

The event features plenty of entertainment, including live music and gourmet food trucks. A rain date is Monday.

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