Islip Art Museum Threatened

by Art Fag City on August 10, 2009 · 3 comments Newswire


Jon Bocksel’s Where House and Jiri Kolar‘s Lice, Hunger, Endless Fatigue, exhibited in “Text Messaging” at the Islip Museum

Another museum in dire straits.  According to an email I received this weekend, the Islip Town Supervisor will lay off the entire staff of the 40-year-old Islip Art Museum within the next two months.  We haven’t yet reached the Town Supervisor for comment—the details on why the museum is effectively being shut down are thin at best—but overall we’re not fans of museum closures.  The Islip Art Museum focuses on contemporary and  emerging artists, and is the leading space of its kind on Long Island.  Their exhibition Fashion Forward, which ran through January 2009, was reviewed by Benjamin Genocchio at the New York Times.

I’m pasting the letter below, with a suggested email you can send to the town council expressing your support for the museum.  These aren’t easy economic times, but closing art institutions shouldn’t be the way to cut costs.

Dear Friends,

The Islip Town Supervisor intends to lay off the entire staff of the Islip Art Museum (and the South Shore Nature Center) within the next 2 months. That means that after 40 years of serving the Long Island community and hundreds of East Coast emerging contemporary artists from across the tri-state area, the Museum will soon close.

The Town, the Museum, and the Islip Arts Council are in negotiations — so there is still time to save Islip Art Museum!!

An email of support to the supervisor or other members of the Town Board would be tremendously helpful, and may even persuade them to reconsider. They need to know how valuable this organization is and how very diminished our community of artists and enthusiasts would be without it. Something like this:

For the past forty years, Islip Art Museum has been one of the most valuable resources for both the public and for emerging artists all across the tri-state area. I understand that you are considering laying off the entire staff, a move that will effectively close the Museum. All of our fiscal problems are significant–nonetheless, I urge you not to eliminate this important cultural institution.

(Followed by your name.)

email to: supervisorsoffice@townofislip-ny.gov

The Town Board will consider the layoff list at the next Town Board meeting on August 11 at 2 p.m. Please, if you can, email them before the meeting.

UPDATE: Islip town to vote on layoffs [today] to close $10M budget gap.

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  • Kittie Davenpor

    I currently work at the museum.. That is not the reason for this memo. The Islip Art Museum is one of the few places in NY featuring emerging artists, creating to a specific space, or to a specific theme. The curators have consistently presented exhibits that allow visitors to experience some of the more creative,esoteric and unique aspects of art in the 21st century. Closing this museum will severely limit artistic expression that most museums will not even consider. This is not acceptable. Consider the options, please. Kittie

  • Kittie Davenpor

    I currently work at the museum.. That is not the reason for this memo. The Islip Art Museum is one of the few places in NY featuring emerging artists, creating to a specific space, or to a specific theme. The curators have consistently presented exhibits that allow visitors to experience some of the more creative,esoteric and unique aspects of art in the 21st century. Closing this museum will severely limit artistic expression that most museums will not even consider. This is not acceptable. Consider the options, please. Kittie

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