Southold Historical Museum online art exhibit and sale showcase local landscape

Lee Cleary has volunteered at the Southold Historical Museum for 20 years. And since 2018, she has been taking care of her biannual art exhibition and sale “10 Squared”.

“I don’t know, without Lee, if we would have the event or if we would have the same attendance,” said museum director Deanna Witte-Walker. “I think she’s an integral part of it.”

The exhibit, this time captioned “Winter Wonders,” is a fundraiser for the non-profit museum that runs online on the organization’s website until December 15. It’s called “10 Squared” because all of the artwork on display measures exactly 10 inches by 10 inches.

“Winter Wonders” features 54 pieces by over 30 artists, all available for purchase and all focusing on local scenes and landscapes.

Artist Lee Harned submitted pieces for the event for three years. She has lived in North Fork for many years and expresses her love of the countryside through her art.

“The beauty here is just overwhelming,” Ms. Harned said. “Even though I’ve been here for 50 years, I am overwhelmed every day by what I see just as I drive on the roads – and that’s really my inspiration.”

Ms. Cleary, herself a long-time artist, is responsible for communicating with artists, receiving their works, distributing pieces once sold and returning unsold works. She does most of this from her own home.

“I love meeting the artists… they seem to be old friends,” Ms. Cleary said.

Each piece sells for $ 100, which is split evenly between the artist and the museum, according to Ms. Cleary.

The ‘Ten Squared’ exhibit and sale took place in person at the museum before the pandemic hit, when it went live. Although the restrictions are now less stringent, the museum plans to keep the online format of fundraising.

“It’s visual exposure that maybe gets more exposure online… so we’re getting a bigger audience,” Ms. Witte-Walker said. “So we are delighted because, for our mission of educating in local history, it reaches more people. “


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Patrick F. Williams