Category Archives: Arts

Guantanamo Bay Courtroom Artist Janet Hamlin at Hofstra

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 27, 2013

After hearing an NPR interview (WNYC) with Janet Hamlin, the only courtroom sketch artist allowed to depict Guantanamo Bay military tribunals from 2006-2012, I was excited to learn Hamlin was coming to Hofstra to discuss her work and new book “Sketching Guantanamo.”

Hempstead, New York, U.S. 12th November, 2013. Janet Hamlin, a courtroom artist covering the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay since 2006, shows her charcoal drawings and discusses her work at Hofstra University. Much of the time she was the only journalist providing a visual record of the events at the United States naval base in Cuba, and her new book "Sketching Guantanomo" is a collection of her images. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, U.S. – Nov., 12 2013. Janet Hamlin, a courtroom artist covering the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, at Hofstra University. (©2013 Ann Parry/ann-parry.com)

Seeing several of Hamlin’s original large sketches on brown paper and hearing the challenging – and, at times, surprising – restrictions placed on her Guantanamo work, were highlights of the artist’s visit, which ended with a book signing.

Want more? SEARCH:  Hofstra Chronicle + Janet Hamlin

Photo gallery –  Janet Hamlin “Sketching Guantanamo” Courtroom Artist

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SPARKBOOM Off the Walls art Block Party 2013

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
September 3, 2013

Three world-renowned street artists  – Sonic Bad, MasPaz & Phetus – each used their own distinctive styles to collaborate on metamorphosing the back walls of the Huntington Arts Council into a vibrant vast work of art, during SPARKBOOM’s “Off the Walls” art Block Party, on August 24, 2013.

Huntington, New York, U.S. 24th August 2013. SONIC BAD, legendary street artist JESSE RODRIGUEZ from the Bronx, graffiti painting wall on the back of Huntington Arts Council building, during art event Off the Wall Block Party, by SPARKBOOM. (Ann Parry/nn-parry.com)

Huntington, NY, U.S. 24th August 2013. SONIC BAD painting at Off the Walls Block Party by SPARKBOOM. (© 2013 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Visitors experienced this graffiti happening, four bands,  performance artist Steven Zaluski in his rolling metal sculpture “Sphere of Hope,” and more. SPARKBOOM Long Island art events showcase talent, present aspiring artists, and give artists opportunities to network.

Plus, that night, visitors at the council’s Main Street Petite Gallery viewed the 12 winning posters for its “Post No Bills” public art contest.

Click: slideshow – SparkBoom “Off the Walls” Block Party

Click: photo gallery – SparkBoom “Off the Walls” Block Party

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Stanley Drucker Concert 2010

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 20, 2010

Last Saturday, world-famous clarinetist Stanley Drucker gave a concert presented by the Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association at Calhoun High School. Naomi Drucker, his wife and fellow clarinetist; and Marilyn Sherman Lehman, pianist, also performed, to the added delight of the audience.

MERRICK - NOV 13, 2010: Stanley Drucker, world famous Clarinetist formerly of New York Philharmonic for 60 years, performing during MBCCA concert (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Nov. 13, 2010. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker, formerly of New York Philharmonic performing during concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

While dropping off concert flyers at the Drucker home the week before the concert, I told Mrs. Drucker I’d like to take photos during concert night. She looked up, smiling. “Since you’re a photographer,” she said, “you might enjoy our photos.”

What an understatement! And suddenly I was on a fun and moving tour of photos, posters, and other artwork throughout their home, including guest bathroom – all which helped bring to life the professional musical careers of the Drucker family: dad Stanley and mom Naomi, classical musicians; son Leon, double bassist Lee Rocker for The Stray Cats; and daughter Rosanne Drucker, alternative country singer.

Stanley Drucker, world famous clarinetist and former member of New York Philharmonic for 60 years, and Naomi Drucker, clarinetist and her wife, performing at MBCCA Concert, New York, November 13, 2010 (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker, and clarinetist Naomi Drucker his wife, and pianist Marilyn Sherman Lehman performing at MBCCA Concert. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Naomi Drucker is an enchanting wood sprite come to life, which made me look forward to the concert not only for the music, but for the chance to photograph such warm, charismatic Long Islanders.

MERRICK - NOV. 13: Marilyn Sherman, pianist, after performing with Stanley Drucker and Naomi Druciker in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Association, November 13, 2010, in Merrick, NY, USA (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. November 13, 2010.  Pianist Marilyn Sherman performing during Stanley Drucker concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc.  (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

It can be quite challenging to capture concert photos of instrumentalists, where about 95% of the photo is dark costumes, grand piano, and stage curtains and the rest is face, hands, and a tuxedo shirt that all seem to be about 9-light-stops away. I used my Nikon D200 with Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens, and did my best – including 1600 ISO and exposure compensation – but it’s motivated me to seriously consider getting the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, so I can use my Nikon D700 for similarly extreme lighting situations in future.

MERRICK - NOV. 13: Stanley Drucker, clarinetist; with (R) wife Naomic Drucker, with bouquet of flowers during curtain call after performing in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Association, November 13, 2010, in Merrick, NY, USA (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. November 13, 2010. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker with his wife clarinetist Naomi Drucker, during curtain call after performing in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Assoc. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Though Mr. Drucker retired last year after a stellar 60 year career with the New York Philharmonic, he remains an active international performer.

When I think about how our Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association* was formed a few years after Mr. Drucker joined the NY Philharmonic, I’m in awe of his legendary career.

*MBCCA was founded in 1953 by Betty Mordoff Hendrix, my mother Mary Ann Parry, Leon Summit, and Bertha Winter.

Stanley Drucker Concert:   Gallery  |  Slideshow

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Duelling Divas’ Humor on the High Cs

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 14, 2010

The Duelling Divas brought Humor to the High C’s during their recent Long Island concert, presented by the Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association.

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas stars, sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds - wearing Roman cloaks and singing ?Mira, O Norma? and ?Casta Diva? from Bellini's "Norma" - in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. February 21, 2010.  Duelling Divas, (L-R) sopranos Birgit Fioravante and Wendy Reynolds, singing ‘Mira, O Norma’ from Bellini’s ‘Norma’ – in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Sopranos Birgit Fioravante aka The Baroness and Wendy Reynolds akaLa Bouvier, and pianist Heather Coltman aka Paige Turner are beautiful musicians and inspired comic actresses.

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas stars, sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds - wearing Roman cloaks and singing ?Mira, O Norma? and ?Casta Diva? from Bellini's "Norma" - in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. February 21, 2010. Duelling Divas sopranos (L-R) Birgit Fioravante and Wendy Reynolds sing from Bellini’s ‘Norma’ – in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association at Calhoun High School. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

My mother and my brother John were opera singers, and I remember listening, from the time I was a very young child, to opera playing on the stereo with Mom singing along. Well, I enjoyed the grand opera and grand hi-jinx of the Duelling Divas in Merrick even more than many Metropolitan Opera productions I’ve caught in Manhattan.

What great fun it was seeing southern belle La Bouvier parry The Baroness, who went from regal to fierce to deflated as she emptied her jeweled flask, while Paige Turner valiantly, vainly refereed the Duelling Divas during their überspirited jealous rages.

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas concert with sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds and pianist Heather Coltman in bloody fight, one using sword to block hatchet swung at her face, in Mad scene from Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. February 21, 2010. In Duelling Divas concert, sopranos (L-R) Birgit Fioravante and Wendy Reynolds thrust and parry in Mad scene from Donizetti’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Duelling Divas have super loyal fans from throughout the country, and quite a few traveled from Manhattan and beyond to attend the concert and then chat with the Divas afterward. For audience members seeing the Duelling Divas for the first time, many said how surprised they were that the three classical musicians were so funny. Others said how they were surprised the hilarious comic actresses were such accomplished opera singers. Brava, Divas!

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas concert - starring opera sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds and pianist Heather Coltman - in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA.  February 21, 2: Duelling Divas concert – starring opera sopranos Birgit Fioravante & Wendy Reynolds & pianist Heather Coltman – in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc.  (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com,

Jump at the chance to see the Duelling Divas when they charge into your area. Until then, here they are in an interview and opera performance:

Duelling Divas 2010 concert photos:   gallery   |  slideshow

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