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Old Westbury, New York, U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘Out of Sight’ (bronze, 2011) - two young boys with kites - is on view at 'Re-Visiting the Familiar: Seward Johnson at the Gardens' sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. Westbury House is in background. (© 2022 Ann Parry, AnnParry.com)

Seward Johnson’s fun sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
July 16, 2022

Seward Johnson Exhibition • 6/18 – 9/25/22 • buy Advance TicketsMap

UPDATE: Extended thru September 25, 2022

Re-visiting the familiar

“It’s easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous” – Seward Johnson (1930-2020)

One of my birthday week traditions is going with family or friends to photograph something special. This year I went with Bob to ‘Re-Visiting the Familiar: Seward Johnson at the Gardens.’

The Old Westbury Gardens exhibit has over 30 Seward Johnson sculptures showing people doing everyday things. It runs from June 18th to September 5th, 2022.

my Photo Gallery – Seward Johnson at the Gardens (Plus, click each photo below to see larger one.)

A Reason to Smile (bronze, 2004):

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘A Reason to Smile’ (bronze, 2004) – a wry take on the painting ‘Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo Da Vinci – is on view at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Other than seeing some photos of the present exhibit on Old Westbury Gardens’ facebook page, I didn’t know what to expect. I soon realized this was fun art, rather than fine art, though fine art inspired some of Johnson’s most iconic pieces.

The  statue ‘A Reason to Smile’ (see photo above) was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The statues of dancers on the West Porch (see 3 photos below) were inspired by Pierre Auguste Renoir, the French master Impressionist painter.

Time for Fun (aluminum, 2000) – country couple:

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022.  Visitor BOB STUHMER is having fun with ‘Time for Fun’ (aluminum, 2000), which is on view at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. The statue is inspired by painting ‘Dance in the Country,’ by Pierre Auguste Renoir. (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Time for Fun (aluminum, 2000) – country couple:

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022.  ‘Time for Fun’ (aluminum, 2000) – a country couple dancing outdoors, the woman holding fan high, and wearing red hat – is on view at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. The statue is inspired by painting ‘Dance in the Country,’ by Pierre Auguste Renoir. (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Whispering Close (aluminum, 2000) – city couple:

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘Whispering Close’ (aluminum, 2000) – a city couple dancing outdoors, the man wearing black tails, the woman with elegant dress and long gloves – is on view at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at  Old Westbury Gardens. The statue is inspired by painting ‘Dance in the City,’ by Pierre Auguste Renoir. (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

HEADS UP:  There are no pamphlets about the exhibit. Considering how small the maps, or large the pamphlets, would have to be, this seems both reasonable and ecologically friendly.

Instead, close to the parking lot, there are large panels displaying a map of the grounds, basic info about the exhibit of statues, and a QR Code to direct smart phones to online info:

Testing Togetherness  – bronze, 2010 [ full view ]:

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘Testing Togetherness’ (bronze, 2010), seen in closeup – a young couple lying on grass, with girl’s head on boy’s chest- is on view at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

I had more spontaneous, quick conversations with fellow visitors than during any earlier visit to Old Westbury Gardens.

Though strangers may typically avoid staring at each other, at this exhibit, we often stared at each other from a distance or even rather close. Were we approaching fellow visitors or trompe-l’œil statues?

Time and again, I’d cross paths with someone smiling who’d say something along the lines of, “Did you see the statue of a couple lying down under the tree? I was sure they were real people, even when I got closer, but they didn’t move…”   (see above photo)

The Landlady (aluminum, 2004):

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘The Landlady’ (aluminum, 2004) – an older woman sitting at a table with holding open ledger – is on view in Westbury House at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. The work is inspired by the painting ‘L’Arlésienne’ by Vincent van Gogh.(© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Membership

Except for Old Westbury Gardens members, visitors must purchase tickets in advance. The exhibit is free with admission.

There are several big reasons I’ve kept my OWG membership active, despite Covid: it’s mainly an outdoor venue; I can go, or not, on the spur of the moment, and there’s no cost factor against making short or multiple visits to one event.

Sweet Sixteen  – 1981  [ side  rear 1  rear 2 ]:

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘Sweet Sixteen’ (1981) – from the ‘Reading’ group, and showing a girl sitting atop bench, reading a book – is on view at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at historic Old Westbury Gardens (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

I used my Nikon Z9 mirrorless camera with the Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 lens to capture all photos except ‘Waving Girl,’ which I captured with my iPhone (see last post). Though I LOVE my Nikon gear, they’re not light, and it was a hot day.

So, after a couple of hours of photographing statues mainly in the west area of the grounds, it was near dinner time, and Bob and I left.

I look forward to returning to “bump into” and photograph more statues at the Gold Coast estate before the Seward Johnson exhibit ends.

Creating  (bronze, 1981, 1984):

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘A visitor takes a selfie with ‘Creating’ (bronze, 1981), a statue of a man sketching a landscape, during the ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

‘It often happens that when you look at familiar things through someone else’s eyes you see them as you have never seen them before.’ – John Mole, ‘It’s All Greek to Me!’  2004

Waving Girl (bronze, 1982)

Seward Johnson Sculptures at Old Westbury Gardens 2022

Old Westbury, New York, U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘Waving Girl’ (bronze, 1982) – a young woman waving as if to call to someone across the West Pond, is on view at ‘Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. Captured using iPhone 13 Pro (© 2022 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)


FEATURE PHOTO (top of post) other views: side  closeup – Old Westbury, N.Y., U.S. June 24, 2022. ‘Out of Sight’ (bronze, 2011) – two young boys with kites – is on view at ‘Re-Visiting the Familiar: Seward Johnson at the Gardens’ sculpture exhibition at Old Westbury Gardens. Westbury House is in background.


Seward Johnson at the Gardens: my Photo Gallery

OldWestburyGardens.org

SewardJohnsonAtelier.org 

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Merrick, New York, U.S. October 24, 2021. Merrick Fall Festival, presented by Merrick Chamber of Commerce, has family fun, including carnival rides and food.

One of a kind Merrick Fall Festival

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (annparry.com)
October 28, 2021

Though this year’s Merrick Fall Festival sponsored by the Merrick Chamber of Commerce was scaled down, there were bands, booths and fun food to enjoy. And children could, and did, spend hours on the rides if they were lucky enough to have an all day pass.

Guitarist in band at north end:

““Merrick,

Merrick, NY, USA. Oct. 24, 2021. Guitarist performs in band outdoors at the Merrick Fall Festival, sponsored by Merrick Chamber of Commerce. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Scott Brinton:

““Merrick,

Merrick, NY, U.S. Oct. 24, 2021. SCOTT BRINTON, executive editor of Herald Community Newspapers, helps at the LI Herald booth during the Merrick Fall Festival. Also, Brinton is a special assistant professor in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communications at Hofstra University. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

SPIRIT SKY DRUM:

““Merrick,

Merrick, NY, U.S. Oct. 24, 2021. SPIRIT SKY DRUM musician performs at her booth at the Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Ryan Cronin:

““Merrick,

Merrick, NY, U.S. Oct. 24, 2021. RYAN CRONIN, Democratic challenger for Nassau County Comptroller, meets visitors at the Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

One of a Kind:

““Merrick,

Merrick, NY, U.S. Oct. 24, 2021. Chalk markings indicate location of the “One of a Kind” booth at the Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)

Merrick Chamber of Commerce booth, & stage:

““Merrick,

Merrick, NY, U.S. Oct. 24, 2021. The Merrick Chamber of Commerce booth is next to a band performing on a portable stage during the Merrick Fall Festival. (© 2021 Ann Parry/AnnParry.com)


FEATURE PHOTO (at top of post): Merrick, NY, U.S. Oct. 24, 2021. The Merrick Fall Festival, sponsored by the Merrick Chamber of Commerce, has family fun, including carnival rides and food.


Merrick Fall Festival 2021: my photo Gallery

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