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Art and music inspire their creators in Heckscher Park

Donna Coane, 19, of Commack, works on an

Donna Coane, 19, of Commack, works on an acrylic-on-canvas painting inspired by jazz music at the Live Art Fusion music and art event at Heckscher Park in Huntington. (July 7, 2013) (Credit: Amy Onorato)

The band begins -- a single saxophone riff -- and painter Michael Krasowitz, 55, of Huntington, draws a thin line of yellow across his canvas. As the music, a lively improvised jazz, builds and falls, Krasowitz’ painting evolves into a vibrant abstract of colors and shapes, as much open to interpretation as the music that inspired it.

“The music can change and the art can change,” Krasowitz said. “The idea of having to react to something spontaneously, that’s what really makes it happen.”

On Sunday, the Heckscher Museum in Huntington welcomed local artists to draw inspiration from live musical performances at the Live Art Fusion outdoor music and art event at Heckscher Park.

“We’ve had events that use music, but they were always separate,” Sarah Salamone, Heckscher Museum school program coordinator, said. “This was a way to bring them both together; music while creating.”

The event is a part of the 2013 Summer Arts Festival Series, produced by local musician Rich Rivkin. With each event is an opportunity for both local musicians and artists. From classical rock revival, to jazz and jam band varieties, each event focuses on a different genre of music, intended to create a different visceral response from the audience and participating artists.

“At these events, there is a cyclical feedback, an energy process that motivates the artists and the audience,” Rivkin said.

Rivkin created the festival in 2011 while searching for a new way to stimulate creativity and draw attention to the local music scene. This is the second time the festival has visited Heckscher Park.

Underneath a large tree by the pond, three local jazz-and-rock-inspired bands played individual sets throughout the afternoon. Even those not painting were welcome to sit and enjoy the music.

Set up in the shade to escape the heat of the day, artist Justin Mayer, 32, of Centerport, poured bright blue paint across a rough, canvas tapestry stretched out in the grass. Using a palette knife, Mayer spread the blue paint delicately over the canvas, letting it mix into patterned squares alongside a layer of red paint he poured moments earlier.

“Maybe a landscape, I can see some portrait here too,” Mayer said about his evolving art. “It will all come out eventually, I’ll find it through the music.”

Tags: Huntington , Heckscher Park

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