Welcome to our new series profiling the creative artists who call Artspace home. , located at 20 Terry Street, held its last summer with the goal of attracting artists to Patchogue Village. We will use this series to introduce you to some of the talented faces behind its doors.
Pamela Hodosky Smith
Hometown: Patchogue Village
Patch: What is your art, and how long have you been doing it?
Hodosky Smith: I knew I could draw and paint from the time I was 6 or 7, I won a contest in school to design a postage stamp and I never stopped creating. I was influenced in high school by my teacher Nick Cordone, a well known Long Island artist.
I graduated with a full scholarship to college, and went to a small school off-island, and I was really miserable. I came home after my first year and refused to leave my beautiful Island, I also didn’t want to leave my family so in 1986 I reached out to the Patchogue community to create exhibition spaces in public spaces around town.
The Patchogue Library, The and when came to town, I exhibited there. I always presented for charity, to make the organizations realize, you can have art here, you should have more art here!
They were very receptive and I tried to leave the door open for artists to come in after me. I exhibited 30 drawings and paintings at the Bald Hill Gallery when I was 30. New York Institute of Technology, Central Islip, invited me to be the first artist to exhibit in their Sunburst Instructional Center.
In 2007 I was invited back to the Patchogue-Medford Library for an exhibit celebrating my 20th anniversary from the first exhibit I held there. I was a speaker at the grand opening of Artspace and I created a kind of bas relief sculpture as a gift and presented it to Mayor Pontieri.
I’m primarily a painter and I started painting 34 years ago but I can draw like DaVinci! I was greatly influenced by Maurice Flecker, past department head of the Fine Arts Department at Suffolk Community College Selden campus. When he passed, they named the gallery there for him.
I was an assistant in his office and he insisted that I was not a painter, he told me I was a sculptor because I was always “carving out” shapes in my canvas. When I started my master's degree in studio art at Adelphi University, Garden City, I began to sculpt in plaster and wax and clay and I realized he was right!—but that was 10 years later, after I graduated from the visual arts department at Dowling College. I became interested in art history and I was a curator for the Slide Library in the visual arts department of Dowling College, I worked to increase the collection from 5,000 images to 11,000 images so my training was extensive while working with Dr. Mary Abell, the chair of that department.
My work has all these influences. My first Master's degree is in secondary education, I trained at Dowling as an art teacher and did my student teaching in the Patchogue Medford School District with my very own art teacher, Marc Soldano at my old school, Saxton Street Middle School. It was beautiful.
Patch: What drew you to Artspace?
Hodosky Smith: My overall feeling is that Artspace came to me! I heard about it coming to town, I’m a founding member of the great organization called “The Patchogue Arts Council,” and they were talking about it on their website. If you have not joined, please do so!
I applied to Artspace and won the spot in the housing lottery they held. I have four kids (Audrey, 16, and Shane, Remy and Annabelle are 14) so I was lucky enough to get one of the three-bedroom lofts.
I decided to come in to be with other artists, I have a teaching certificate in art and I am completing my doctorate in Educational Administration (Ed. D.) at St. John’s University, so the fluid nature of the Artspace artists appealed to my sense of community.
There’s a tendancy to overlook the homegrown artist, to run to NYC or to the Hamptons to find the hot item, I proudly represent my hometown, I joke with them and say “I grew here, you flew here!”.
Patch: What benefits have you found by living in an artist community?
Hodosky Smith:I live in an art museum! I get to grow with an emerging arts organization. It has become a school and I interact with dynamic individuals everyday, it is heady stuff and always feeds and nurtures my creative spirit. We are all born completely perfect, this world makes us feel less, the Artspace building gives it back. There is a free public gallery on the first floor, step in to revitalize your soul, and to buy some original artwork, it is the safer investment for your money.
Patch: What is your favorite aspect of living in the Patchogue area?
Hodosky Smith: I get to raise my children in the place I know and love. I give them the gifts that my parents gave to me-the fantastic schools, the beautiful beaches and good food from the fine restaurants we have in town—a first class public library, the , the . I have traveled across the country and back and it doesn’t get any better than that- God Bless America!
Patch: What are your future goals?
Hodosky Smith: I just finished my second master's degree at St. John’s University and I plan to keep going to complete my doctorate and use it to reach more students-- to compel them to stay creative, not just to accept the mediocre life.
To that end, last spring, the Dowling College Visual Arts Department created the Pamela Hodosky Scholarship for my 50th birthday, and I asked that preference be given to Patchogue-Medford students, and students who went to my beloved and SCCC Selden transfer students.
I strive to give back to my own community, to look out for my own-and why wouldn’t I? In this economic time I want to see my community prosper, not look to a place 3,000 miles away.
I have influenced young people with my art, I hope to influence many more. When we remove art from the curriculum we lose the dynamic spirit of America-the American ingenuity that built our country. It was creativity that sparked 2+2 to become 2+22, you learn the confidence to take the creative leap through art classes!
Stand up for art in your school system, and in your community. What did you learn in art class? If you chose the outfit you are wearing today you are an artist!
Recently, I have been working with the Patchogue Library Reference department and the Artspace artists to compile a complete catalog of Artspace artists for their “Local Artists” collection, to be housed in the Local History room, you can learn more about me and all of the Artspace artists in the Patchogue Library. In the future, I plan to continue to work for more art in the Patchogue area, there are some very exciting projects coming up.
Patch: Where can people see more of your work?
I am always out and about in the Patchogue Village. Many people know I am an artist, many more know me as “the Triplet Mom!” I give private lessons, I sell a booklet that would help the beginner contact local spaces for exhibits. You can find out more about me on LinkedIn, or contact me at email@example.com, you may visit my studio at Artspace-- I own Parse’ Studio. Stay creative!
Live at Artspace and want to be featured on Patchogue Patch? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.