The Work We Do: Caroline Waloski, The Sirens’ Song Gallery

I’m Caroline Waloski and I am the curator at The Sirens’ Song Gallery in Greenport, 516 Main St.

I’ve been here now 13 years. Not only do I show my own work, but I show the work of local and international artists.

I’ve been interested in art since I was little kid, but I studied at the Cooper Union in New York City and I also studied at Pratt Graphic Center and the School of Visual Arts. I’ve been doing this for quite a few years now. I have also a background in advertising and promotion design, but now that I’m semi-retired, I’m doing my artwork totally.

Primarily, I’m an etcher and a printmaker, but I do painting and I’ve just gotten into doing crafts. So I’ve been doing jewelry and I’m also making usable art, like candlesticks, different little boxes.

I’ve been doing scrimshaw, but not in bone. I’ve been working on wood, and that’s how I got into the jewelry. I was doing little boxes and decorative items that looked like scrimshaw. I would take a piece of wood and I would heat engrave it with a woodburning tool. And then I started to lacquer them so they would be permanent and durable. Looking at them, I thought, maybe if I added color they would be interesting. So I started to polychrome them so the original pieces, that were more just heat-burned into a plain wooden item, started to take on color in another life.

Most of my work has always been using my family as my muse. When my son was very little I started to use him as my subject. Then when I came out to Greenport, because it was a maritime community and a historical maritime village, I started to think of doing more sea-themed pieces.

I started to use the mermaid because we’re all made of water. We’re surrounded here by water. Being a mother and a creator, this amniotic sea with all life emerging from water.

The name, The Sirens’ Song Gallery, came up because of where we are in this maritime village and the lure of mermaids calling you to look at art and see what’s happening.

And to give the call to take a look, like food for the soul.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. Read it first and see more photos every Monday on Instagram @thesuffolktimes and watch the video on