Guest Spot: Seeking artists for Greenport’s carousel

Located on the harbor waterfront in the center of Greenport Village, the carousel is the focal point of Mitchell Park. The Village of Greenport is continuing the restoration of the vintage 1920 Alan Herschel/Spillman Engineering wooden carousel. For this phase of the important project, more artists are being sought to paint the 14 rounding board panels that comprise the circular rim above the horses. Selected panel imagery will portray North Fork subjects such as Native American whaling, square-riggers, gaff-rigged sailing sloops, ice boating, windmills, lighthouses, bucolic country life and other moments from eastern Long Island’s rich culture and history.

Selected artists will be asked to paint scenes in the long panel format of the rounding boards. Greenport Village will supply the 1/8-inch birch-faced gessoed panels for painting and quality oil paints for the project. Artists will supply their own brushes and workspace. With a signed contract from the Village of Greenport, artists will have no more than one month to deliver the finished panel. Subsequently, all 14 panels will be installed on the carousel. One or more artists will be selected from a portfolio viewing process. Portfolio submissions should include full color, detailed realism with a full value range. Portfolio submissions should be photographic representations — either hard copy color print, digital images on CD/DVD, or on a thumb drive at a resolution of at least 250 – 300D.P.I., and fully labeled as to medium and size. Portfolio submissions are due to the Greenport Village Clerk’s office no later than 2:30 p.m. on Monday, April 13.

The continuing restoration of the Mitchell Park Carousel is of great importance to Greenport’s downtown. This past year, I had the opportunity to ride carousels in both Paris and San Francisco. As a recent member of the Carousel Committee, I had a heightened awareness of the importance of the rounding boards, each portraying a local scene. As they whirled by, I was mesmerized by how the art blended with the view of the actual landscape in the background, presenting a unique narration of the area’s history and culture. When I debarked each carousel, I realized the impact and lure of each ride.

The East End of Long Island is home to many fine artists who have a strong sense of the history and culture of the area. The Village of Greenport Carousel Committee invites those interested to respond to the Request for Proposals (RFP) with complete information found on page 39 of this issue of The Suffolk Times.

Gail Horton is a writer and resident of First Street in Greenport.