Sequels to exhibits planned at Marquee Projects


The Gallery at Marquee Projects Inc. kept their doors open last year in spite of the pandemic’s wallop. “We had eight exhibits, outdoor talks and openings abundant with Bellport people,” reports owner/director Mark Van Wagner. “Our 2021 year was refreshingly more optimistic and successful than the previous year, even though we still had to deal with issues related to the virus.”

Guest curators from around the country have been invited, and so far for 2022, Alana Heiss has been tapped. Heiss is the founder and director of Clocktower Productions, a nonprofit arts organization, online radio station, and program partnership with six cultural institutions in three New York boroughs.

Right now, artists Audrey Collins and James Greco are utilizing the Bellport Lane storefront for three months, which began in December, with Greco’s work as a visual storyteller, via nine paintings and one sculpture currently on the floor. Collins and Greco met on Shelter Island, where Collins was restoring a César Baldaccini piece; a friend introduced them. Collins, who creates drawings, works for Lévy Gorvy, an international gallery devoted to modern and contemporary arts at 909 Madison Avenue in Manhattan.

“We were interested in doing a painting/sculpture installation,” she said. Greco lives locally and had exhibited last year at Marquee Projects. Voila! The Gallery at Marquee Projects Inc. was perfect.

Van Wagner and his wife and gallery partner, Tonja Pulfer, will be taking a three-month break that includes Intersect Palm Springs, a boutique fair held at the Palm Springs Convention Center in February, that presents post-war and contemporary art.

“We were invited,” Van Wagner said.

Not surprising, taking into account their imaginative, interesting art exhibits over the last five years of artists from all over the country as well as locally in the refreshing, bright 600-square-foot storefront, with its flowing front to backyard space. The place is a big magnet, especially on summer weekends, offering wine during openings, and the opportunity for guests to speak with the artists and then meander to the green space in the back.

(Van Wagner and Pulfer are always at it painting, caulking moldings and the ceiling, repairing flooring.)

But there are exhibits percolating right now. Van Wagner said there are about eight in mind.

“We’re very excited to be doing sequels to a couple of shows we had last year,” he said. “Somebody, Anybody, Nobody,” will be a varied continuation of “No Body Like This Body,” featuring 13 artists who incorporated fantasy, humor, and, well, real bodies in their work. A sequel to “Pathological Landscape,” which included Greco, will also be featured.

“Even the front window draws you in,” remarked Collins, gazing at the big window utilized to hang art. “It’s very alluring.”

“You have this buzz in the front with the paintings, and nature in the back with the sculptures,” Van Wagner added of the Bellport Lane gallery.

Marquee Projects’ “Cold Air Fine Art” exhibit is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 14 Bellport Lane.


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