Past Exhibitions and Events
About the Artist:
Yana Frangiskos Copek was born in Athens, Greece, and raised in New York City and Long Island after arriving in the United States at the age of one. She’s primarily a portrait and event photographer, specializing in nautical photography while publishing an annual nautical photography calendar of classic wooden yachts under sail in Oyster Bay, New York.
She began painting, drawing and sculpting at a young age, winning numerous awards. In 1976 she was awarded first place in the New York City Children’s Industrial Arts Competition for creating a Stained Glass Tiffany-style lamp.
She studied fine art, film and photography at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus, as well as decorative painting at The Finishing School. In the years since, she has travelled and photographed in Greece, Iceland, New York, Miami, California, and the high deserts of Nevada. She has exhibited her work in New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey.
Yana currently lives on Long Island and works as a freelance photographer.
Dedicated to the creation & exhibition of fine craft
Artists working in fiber and clay express their ideas about blue in all its shades and contexts in an exhibition opening March 7 at the Oyster Bay Historical Society's Angela Koenig Center. The public is invited to meet the artists and see their work and artist statements at a reception on Sunday, March 19 from 3 to 6 PM. This exciting work is both functional and sculptural and includes ceramic trays, hand-dyed coats, bowls, vases and boxes, as well as felted and quilted wall pieces in cobalt, indigo, slate blue, turquoise and more.
Exhibition juror Judith S. Schwartz, Ph.D., is a Professor at New York University and Head of Sculpture: Craft Media Area. She is a curator and author of national and international exhibitions and articles on contemporary ceramics, and author of Confrontational Ceramics. Her statement served as a starting point for the artists: "The concept of 'Blue' with its rich cultural and historical roots for both fiber and clay beckons associations with ancient civilizations of Egypt, India and Asia. There is no more royal a color. Natural provides indigo for fiber and cobalt oxide for clay. . .Its popularity has not waned. In contemporary art, blue-and-white color motifs are reimagined in every medium."
On Sunday, April 23 from 2 to 4 PM, two artists will present talks on Blue. Clay Artist Sin-Ying Ho will speak about the glories of Chinese blue and white wares and how her work explores the "collision of cultures," where she combines traditional Asian hand-painted imagery with the use of new technologies such as computer generated decals. Fiber artist Bernadette Puleo started her journey of
The Long Island Craft Guild
Clay & Fiber Groups Present...
March 7 - May 7, 2017
Reception: March 19, 3-6 pm
Blues & Brews: April 6, 5-7 pm
Indigo Arts: April 23, 2-4 pm
Artist Talks: May 7, 3-6 pm
Angela Koenig Center
Oyster Bay Historical Society
20 Summit Street
Oyster Bay, New York
exploration of the mysterious Polygonum Tinctorium, or Japanese Indigo, when she ordered some indigo seeds in 2002. She will discuss both the process of vat dyeing with indigo and how she embeds her dyed cloth in pulp to create pulp paintings and experiments with shibori techniques to make resist patterns on silk.
Other activities connected with the exhibition include a "Blues & Brews" event on Thursday, April 6, from 5 pm to 7 pm, and a panel discussion featuring some of the exhibiting artists at the closing reception on Sunday, May 7 from 3 to 6 PM. The Historical Society is at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM to 2 PM; Saturday, 11 AM to 3 PM and Sunday, 1 to 4 PM. For more information or directions, call 516-922-5032.
The Long Island Craft Guild is committed to the development of the crafts movement, and seeks to promote the exchange of information and experiences that will benefit both artists and the community. Membership in the Guild is open to all people interested in the creation and exhibition of fine craft. The LICG is an independent, non-profit educational organization. Since 1956, the Guild has provided educational and informational services, regular meetings and workshops, and a sense of community among crafts people. More information is on the Guild’s website, www.licg.org.
Long Island Traditions Presents
Folk Arts of Long Island and the Hudson River
May 6, at 1 pm on the Oyster Bay Historical Society Lawn
There are many shared maritime traditions of Long Island and the Hudson River, when the region was dominated by water-based transportation. In this program, we will explore boat building and songs of work and play. Participants will include boat builder and model maker Chris Hale, who work at Weeks Yacht Yard in Patchogue and is a master half-model builder of traditional boats from Long Island and the Hudson River. Rocking the Boat, a volunteer youth program based in the Bronx, will demonstrate traditional boat building skills common in Hudson River work boats. Folksong singers Stephen Sanfilippo and Stuart Markus will perform traditional nautical songs common in the region. The program is free and suitable for families and children.
Rocking the Boat graduate and assistant instructor Edmanuel Roman poses with Whitehall pulling boat built by students of the program (photo by Tom van Buren)
Long Island Traditions Presents
Boom and Bust: America's Journey on the Erie Canal
A Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Sunday, April 30, at 2 pm in the Koenig Center
Boom and Bust: America’s Journey on the Erie Canal tells the story of industrial expansion and decline along the Erie Canal, while creatively meditating on economic cycles and the American Dream. The film examines the impact of this economic expansion and decline on the lives of workers in steel, grain, textiles, and shipping. Produced and directed by Paul Wagner and Steve Zeitlin in partnership with Daniel Franklin Ward, Boom & Bust asks the overarching question, in the wake of economic collapse: can the people of America’s cities find meaning and worth? A panel discussion will follow, featuring producers and folklorists Steve Zeitlin and Dan Ward, and Steve Wunder, a retired canal barge boat captain.
Book and Map Repair Basics
Tuesday, April 25, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Koenig Research & Collection Center
Historical Society Director Philip Blocklyn provides an overview of best practices for handling, preserving, and displaying your books, maps, and other paper-based treasures. The program will include some hands-on demonstrations of simple techniques aimed at keeping your collections safe and secure.
The workshop is free to all current Society members ($10 for nonmember students, and $15 for all others). Call 516-922-5032 or email Nicole at email@example.com for reservations. Space is limited!
On Sunday, April 23, at 2 pm, the Oyster Bay Historical Society hosts a gallery talk presented by members of the Long Island Craft Guild, whose exhibition Blue: Artists Working in Clay and Fiber remains on view in the Koenig Center through May 7.
Ceramic artist Sin-Ying Ho will speak about the glories of Chinese blue and white wares and about how her work explores the “collision of cultures,” combining traditional Asian hand-painted imagery with the use of new technologies such as computer-generated decals.
Fiber artist Bernadette Puleo started her journey of exploration of the mysterious polygonum tinctorium, or Japanese indigo, when she ordered some seeds in 2002. She will discuss both the process of vat dyeing with indigo and the technique of embedding her dyed cloth in pulp to create paintings, as well as experiments with shibori techniques to make resist patterns on silk.
The program takes place in the Historical Society’s Angela Koenig Research and Collection Center at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Admission is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 516-922-5032.
Gallery Talk: Cobalt and Indigo in Clay and Fiber
Sin-Ying Ho and Bernadette Puleo
Sunday, April 23, 2 pm
In Faith and Hope
The Hood African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Congregation, Community, and Common Heritage
February 11 through April 23 in the Earle-Wightman House
In honor of Black History Month, the Oyster Bay Historical Society presents an exhibition on the history of the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church and its congregation. As Oyster Bay’s oldest, continuously-practicing congregation in its original building, the Church has deep roots in what was once known as the Carll’s Hill neighborhood in Pine Hollow. In addition to the Church on South Street, the congregation is responsible for the historic Pine Hollow Cemetery – the final resting place of David Carll and other African-American Civil War veterans. Along with never-before-seen records of the early Church, family images and histories of current congregants will also be on display.
The Long Journey Home: Nichols' Eaglet
An Illustrated Lecture With Park Ranger MaryLaura Lamont
William Floyd Estate, Fire Island National Seashore
Sunday, March 26, at 2 pm in the Koenig Center
National Park Service Ranger MaryLaura Lamont returns to the Oyster Bay Historical Society for a presentation on eagle nesting at The William Floyd Estate. The program takes place on Sunday, March 26, beginning at 2 pm in the Angela Koenig Center on 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Admission is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Please call 516-922-5032 for more information.
"They used to talk about the eagles nesting here in the 1920s and '30s. Then they disappeared, just like all over Long Island. I call the program Nichols’ Eaglet, because if it weren’t for the Nichols family donating their land for preservation, as well as the house, the eagles would have had no place to come home to. Now we have our first eagle nest in about eighty years. It’s a very historic event, and I'm delighted to have discovered it.”
Naturalist and Park Ranger MaryLaura Lamont oversees interpretive programs at the William Floyd Estate, as well as serving as the education chair of the Long Island Botanical Society.
A Long Island Traditions Presentation
The Bay of Imbalance
A Film Screening at the Oyster Bay Historical Society
March 16, 2017, at 7 p.m.
The North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association is working with filmmaker Eric Gulbransen on the production of a new documentary, The Bay Of Imbalance. In this informal preliminary viewing, you’ll get an update on the issues raised in the film and learn more from baymen involved with the project.
The program takes place in the Oyster Bay Historical Society's Angela Koenig Research Center at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Admission is free and open to the public.
Challenge: The Ida May Project
March 2 at 7 pm in the Koenig Center
On Thursday, March 2, at 7 pm in the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s Angela Koenig Center, volunteers from the Ida May Project will be on hand to discuss the work to date on replicating an oyster dredge that worked the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor for over 75 years. The program is free and open to the public.
The not-for-profit Christeen Oyster Sloop Preservation Corporation has taken on the replication of the oyster dredge Ida May, now ongoing in Building J at the Oyster Bay Western Waterfront. As part of the mission to preserve the tradition of wooden boatbuilding in Oyster Bay, the Ida May Project has the objective of replicating this historically significant vessel and launching it on a new career as a floating classroom similar to that of Christeen.
Following a screening of the 1981 film Portrait of an Oysterman, the evening’s presentation will reprise briefly the history of Ida May, the origin of the project and the involvement of volunteers in the construction effort, before turning to the building process itself and the progress made so far. Photos will illustrate the work that has been accomplished to date. Following the presentation a panel discussion with some of the Ida May Project volunteers will take a look at their experiences building a traditional wooden boat, their reasons for accepting the challenge, and their thoughts on what it all means to the community. A question-and-answer session will complete the evening.
Building a 50-foot, 49-ton wooden vessel using traditional wooden boatbuilding techniques is an uncommon project, and it is possible that Ida May could be the last of its kind built on Long Island. The presentation should provide an interesting glimpse into a modern-day version of a process that has been carried out for centuries.
The program takes place in the Oyster Bay Historical Society’s Angela Koenig Center at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 516-922-5032 or visit oysterbayhistorical.org
Favorite Things: A New Exhibition
Curated by the Oyster Bay Historical Society's Staff
On View: December 10, 2016, through February 19, 2017
Inspired by Nicole Menchise’s October 2016 Archives Week program on unique, unusual, and unsettling items in the Historical Society’s collections, Favorite Things brings together rarely-seen examples of 19th and 20th century fashion, cartography, chronometry, biblio-artistry, and all-American ingenuity. On view in the Angela Koenig Research and Collections Center through February 19, 2017.
Long Island Naval History in Wartime
An Illustrated Lecture with Bill Bleyer
Monday, February 13, at 7 pm in the Koenig Center
Author Bill Bleyer returns to the Oyster Bay Historical Society on Monday, February 13, to preview his upcoming book on Long Island's maritime history, to be published by the History Press in late 2018.
Beginning with the country's first amphibious landing on Plum Island, Mr. Bleyer will examine the blockades and whaleboat raids of the American Revolution, submarine maneuvers during the War of 1812, Confederate raiders of the Civil War, the sinking of an American warship off Fire Island during World War I, and U-boat espionage of World War II.
The program begins at 7 pm in the Historical Society's Angela Koenig Center at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Admission is free to current Society members ($10 for non-members) and includes light refreshments. Signed copies of Mr. Bleyer's books Long Island in the Civil War and Sagamore Hill: Theodore Roosevelt's Summer White House will be available for purchase.
Painting Daily: Journals at the Source
An Exhibition Inspired by the Diary of Mary Cooper
Earle-Wightman House Gallery
I stumbled upon a treasure trove of my own journals, while at the same time discovering that Mary Cooper began keeping one in 1768... The exhibition explores what we have discovered about Mary's life and mine, and the journals that give a bird's eye view of each person's unique perspective.
-- Beth Vendryes Williams, curator of Painting Daily
Artist Beth Vendryes-Williams explores the tradition of journal writing and sketching in an exhibition where viewers—through a combination of writing, drawing, painting, collage, and photography—examine the many ways journals can creatively document an individual’s feelings and ideas over the course of a lifetime. On view October 23, 2016, through January 29, 2017.
The Diary of Mary Cooper
The surviving entries of Mary Cooper’s diary begin on October 3, 1768, and continue with many gaps to October 1773. It is apparently the only extant diary from colonial New York written by a woman, and so offers an intimate and personal look at the domestic, agricultural, religious, and social doings of Oyster Bay. In 1981, the Oyster Bay Historical Society published a transcription of the diary, edited by Field Horne. As Mr. Horne writes in the editor’s introduction:
Each form of historical evidence contributes to the whole of our knowledge of a past culture. The private diary, intended only for the writer’s eyes, reveals personal thoughts and feelings in a way that other historical records may not. The specifics of a matter may be missing from a diary; unlike correspondence, the private diary does not spell out the constants. But it does admit us further unto the writer’s life than most other documents.
That The Diary of Mary Cooper is an important primary source in the historical record is undeniable. But as Painting Daily: Journals at the Source indicates, Mary Cooper’s writing can also inspire us to look back at the records we may keep of our own personal lives, and at the work to which we devote our days.
Hidden History of Long Island
A Book Talk and Signing with Richard Panchyk
Thursday, January 26, at 7 pm in the Koenig Center
On Thursday, January 26, join Richard Panchyk for a program illustrating his latest book Hidden History on Long Island. The evening's event begins at 7 pm in the Oyster Bay Historical Society's Angela Koenig Center at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Attendance is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Copies of Hidden History on Long Island will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, please call 516-922-5032.
About the Book:
Long Island's history is filled with fascinating firsts, magnificent mansions, and fascinating characters. From Glenn Curtiss, the first pilot to fly a plane on the Island, to Earle Ovington, who carried the country's first airmail, the area has been known as the cradle of aviation. Millionaire William K. Vanderbilt's Long Island Motor Parkway, remnants of which still remain, was the nation's first highway. The desolate ruins of an exiled Albanian king's estate lie in the midst of the woods of the Muttontown Preserve. Captain William Kidd, pirate chaser turned pirate, is rumored to have buried treasure on the island. Richard Panchyk reveals the rapidly vanishing traces of Long Island's intriguing history.
About the Author:
Richard Panchyk knew he wanted to be a writer by the time he was seven years old. He made his first sale, a four-page handwritten trivia booklet written on a folded piece of looseleaf paper in runny blue ink, to a third-grade classmate for a nickel. A native of Elmhurst, Queens, Richard attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School, where he took a class on the history of New York, and has been fascinated by the area's past ever since. He printed a small book of his poems at the age of nineteen and published his first book at the age of twenty-one. Since then he has published twenty-seven books, for a total of more than three thousand pages, including five titles on Long Island's history and seven titles on New York City's history. His first book for The History Press was published in 2007.
Sunnyside Yard and Hell Gate Bridge
A Book Talk and Signing with Dave Morrison
Thursday, January 12, at 7 pm in the Koenig Center
Join Dave Morrison for a program illustrating his latest book Sunnyside Yard and Hell Gate Bridge. The evening's event, held in partnership with the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, begins at 7 pm in the Angela Koenig Center at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Attendance is free and open to the public.
About the Book:
Sunnyside Yard was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad as part of its massive New York Extension, the centerpiece of which was Pennsylvania Station in the heart of Manhattan. Opened in 1910, it is still the world’s largest railroad passenger car storage yard. At the height of its operation in the 1930s, there were 79 tracks, with a capacity for 1100 cars.
Hell Gate Bridge was a joint venture of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New Haven Railroad to construct a direct rail route for trains between New York City and the New England states. The main span is 1,017 feet between the towers, and it rises more than 300 feet from the East River to the top of the towers.
About the Author:
David M. Morrison is a retired branch line manager of the Long Island Railroad, railroad historian, and current co-chair of the Oyster Bay Railroad Station Restoration Committee. He is a charter member of the Railroad Museum of Long Island, as well as the author of five other books, including three Images of Rail titles: Long Island Rail Road Stations, Jamaica Station, and Long Island Rail Road: Port Jefferson Branch.
About the Series:
The Images of Rail series celebrates the history of rail, trolley, streetcar, and subway transportation across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the people, places, and events that helped revolutionize transportation and commerce in 19th- and 20th- century America.
Painting Daily: Journals at the Source
An Exhibition Inspired by the Diary of Mary Cooper
Earle-Wightman House Gallery
Journal Workshop with Beth Vendryes Williams
Sunday, January 8, 1 pm to 4 pm
Artist Beth Vendryes-Williams explores the tradition of journal writing and sketching in a workshop where participants—through a combination of writing, drawing, painting, collage, and photography—examine the many ways journals can creatively document an individual’s feelings and ideas over the course of a lifetime. The workshop takes place on Sunday, January 8th, from 1-4 p.m. at the Earle-Wightman house at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay.
No prior artistic experience necessary. Attendees should bring a journal or notebook, and are encouraged to arrive with printed materials and writings that inspire. A variety of art supplies will be available for use. Some journal/sketch books will be on hand to purchase.
Cost is $40 per person. Space is limited to 20 people, registration is recommended. For more information call 516-922-5032.