Artist to offer explanation of his work

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Francisco Villagran of Port Washington is one of four Long Island artists with work currently on view as part of the Nassau County Museum of Art “Vernacular Visions” exhibit and will be in the museum’s Contemporary Gallery on Saturday, June 20 from 3 to 4 p.m. 

As a speaker in the occasional “Artist in the Galleries” series, Villagran will greet museum visitors and respond to questions about his art and career. The exhibit will be on display through July 12.

Villagran, a native of Mexico, is well known for his artistic concept, Hispanic Latin Pop Art. He was inspired to pursue this style through an association with Andy Warhol, and later, with Jennifer Lopez.

His painted ties, in particular, portray well-known symbols and celebrities of the Latino world. He defines his art as taking part in “a contemporary expression of the Latino presence and its influence with the American society and culture.”

“Artist in the Galleries” is free with museum admission. Reservations are not needed.

“Vernacular Visions” reflects the diversity and vibrancy of Long Island’s artistic community through the work of three prominent painters and a sculptor: Susan Cushing of Southampton, Richard Gachot of Old Westbury and Villagran and Burt Young, both of Port Washington.

Cushing’s highly stylized narrative landscapes are inspired by the decade of the 1970s and are reminiscent of the lifestyle photographs of Slim Aarons and the post-modern figural style of Alex Katz and David Hockney. Cushing’s casually elegant paintings, each a snapshot of the colors and themes of summer, can be seen as metaphors of life lived to its fullest.

Gachot’s witty sculptures are created of found objects. He explains: “An array of found objects of different sizes, shapes, colors and textures on my workshop floor is like a drawer full of paint tubes-a medium for me to work with or combine with painting and carving.” Gachot says that the objects suggest “ideas I want to express.” He says his rules are simple: “Make do with what you have, and have fun doing it.”

Best known as the coach of Sylvester Stallone in the “Rocky” movies, Young’s personal visual narratives explore the neighborhoods and characters that populate his life on Long Island and the environs of New York City. Colorful and exuberant in their portrayal of the novel and unexpected incident, Young’s art comprises a very popular second career after a lifetime in film and television.

The Nassau County Museum of Art, One Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor, is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Docent-led tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; tours of the mansion are offered each Saturday at 1 p.m.; meet in the lobby, no reservations needed. Tours are free with museum admission. 

Family tour and art activities are offered Sundays from 1 p.m.; free with museum admission. Call (516) 484-9338, ext. 12 to inquire about group tours. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and above) and $4 for students with ID and children aged 4 to 12. Members and children under 4 are admitted free. 

Call (516) 484-9337 for current exhibitions, events, days/times and directions or log onto nassaumuseum.org.

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