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INTERVIEW: Artist Steve Alpert On Opening His Home Studio For One-Day Art Exhibition In Support Of Quogue Wildlife Refuge

T.J. Clemente

Steve Alpert's Desire. (Courtesy Photo)

Steve Alpert is a very interesting artist. The former CBS and NBC editor and documentary filmmaker is now perhaps best known for his paintings. The nationally renowned fine art painter is presenting a benefit show, Desire, in support of Quogue Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, August 22. The Open House Art Exhibition will be held at Alpert's Home Studio in Quogue from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

On view will be oil paintings such as Desire, which was inspired by a trip to the Amazon region in Peru, and recalls Claude Monet's Water Lilies seres that Paris' Musée de l'Orangerie was built specifically to accommodate. Also on display will be more recent paintings such as Duck, Summer Sun, and At Rest that capture the magnificence and uniqueness of the East End's landscapes. The exhibition will be outdoors and Covid protocols will be observed.

Alpert explained his connection to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge noting, "We live about four tenths of a mile from the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. From our backyard, my wife Dorothy and I see part of it. Through the years, my wife, Dorothy, and I have been hiking there hundreds of times. Although we have been donating to them over the years, this year we are doing more."

By doing more, what Steve Alpert means is he is having an outdoor exhibition/sale of his paintings and donating a percentage of the sales to the Quogue Wildlife Refuge. He said, "Every year there has been an outdoor sale sponsored by the Quogue Historical Society, usually the second Saturday in August. I used to participate in some of the shows in Westhampton Beach, but not for a long time. I usually don't do outdoor shows anymore. I noticed everything this summer had been canceled, studio tours, the Westhampton Beach Library, the Quogue Library, those were canceled, as was the Historical Society show. So, there were no opportunities to sell any paintings.

He continued, "I thought why not have an exhibition on my beautiful back deck with a full view of Quantuck Creek. Also, I realized all the usual fundraising events were canceled and many times I had played in the Quogue Wildlife Refuge golf outings, which were wonderful. I knew they needed help and I wanted to sell some paintings, so I thought maybe do a joined forces event. I contacted Liz Hartman, who had done the Quogue Library Tour, I met her, we became friends, and she said she'd like to represent my work. We chose the Quogue Wildlife Refuge with her making the calls and that's how it all happened."

Then Alpert discussed how over the years he has created paintings that highlighted the US Military. He is incredibly proud of them being on display at the Pentagon. He mentioned his generous gifts of paintings for veterans' causes. He shared, "Paintings have a job to do, sometimes they are to be decorative in a living room or a dining room, kitchen or what have you. But they also have a social job like raising money and raising consciousness. I am presently working on a project, Proudly They Served, a series of 12 portraits of women veterans - the last one being Senator Tammy Duckworth, whom I had the pleasure of meeting recently."

In his backyard on Saturday, August 22, with safety protocols including social distancing and mask wearing in effect, Alpert predicts there will be about, "15 to 20 pieces for sale."

Desire Open House Art Exhibition has a rain date of Sunday, August 23.

Desire Open House Art Exhibition will be held at 29 Old Main Road in Quogue. For more information about the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, visit quoguewildliferefuge.org. For more information about the Steve Alpert, visit www.stevealpertart.com.

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