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Faces of Artspace: Tracy Todd Hunter

Meet Tracy, a jewelry maker, designer and writer living in Artspace Patchogue.

, located at 20 Terry Street, held its last summer with the goal of attracting artists to Patchogue Village. This series introduces you to some of the talented faces behind its doors.

Tracy Todd Hunter

Hometown: Patchogue

Patch: What is your art, and how long have you been doing it?

Todd Hunter: I create jewelry. I am an interior designer, writer, astrologer & tarot card intuitive.

Patch: What drew you to Artspace?

Todd Hunter: I wanted to come to Artspace because I was intrigued about living in an artists residence with other artists and creatives. The aesthetic features of the building and loft living on Long Island also attracted me. Lofts are typical of an urban environment and I believe that most artists dream of living in a loft in Manhattan. I can't afford to live in a loft in Brooklyn or the City, but a loft in Long Island with access to the Great South Bay, Fire Island, The Hamptons and the proximity to New York City does rival living in the City (sans the traffic). The open and spacious features are conducive for creativity. So you could say that one of my dreams came true right here in Patchogue.

Patch: What benefits have you found by living in an artist community?

Todd Hunter: The Artspace artist community has many benefits. First living among people that have creative talents is absolutely amazing. You never get bored because you see different pieces of works in progress daily. There is always something to pique your interest. Whether it is the sound of a piano playing when you enter the hallway because and Linda are having rehearsals for an ...or the smell of food or a cake being baked by Gerald, "The Occasional Baker"...then you witness the activity of and Erick constantly coming up with phenomenal creative ideas with computer graphics and animation projects...Colin with his unique style of painting that makes you really think...then you see Dana's "raw" and thought provoking photographs taken at the old Pilgrim State Hospital on the wall outside of her loft.

On top of that, you have hallways adorned with artwork. By the way, did I mention that I am describing the floor that I live on? You see, each floor is like a separate "neighborhood" housed under one roof. When I leave the building, I can make a left and stop by the and check out their current exhibit. If I want to watch a movie, I go two doors down to the and watch a movie without leaving the cover of the building. The LIRR, , , The and a dizzying array of restaurants and businesses are within walking distance.

Patch: What is your favorite aspect of living in the Patchogue area?

Todd Hunter: My favorite aspect about living in Patchogue is the diversity. I grew up two blocks west of Artspace. I attended the local schools, worked locally and in New York City and then moved away for a short period of time. Upon my return I've noticed the positive changes that have taken place. The "buzz" is back...the town is vibrant again. Mayor Pontieri and his current team of trustees have done a wonderful job of keeping Patchogue alive and exciting. This village could have become blighted and just an average town. The mayor and his staff prevented "average" (and why have crab when you can have lobster) by staying on top of things, seeking changes and funding to keep Patchogue from going down hill and keeping Patchogue noticeably on the map as a place to visit or live.

Patchogue has big city amenities and small town charm. I am very PROUD to say that Patchogue is STILL my home from birth til now. What I would like to see in Patchogue is a few more African American owned or operated businesses or eateries in the mix to share and contribute to Patchogue's success.

Patch: What are your future goals?

Todd Hunter: As the founder of "Of Colors A Creative Collective" along with Courtney Pure the Creative Director, we would like to continue to promote our objectives. "The Of Colors mission is to organize artists and creatives and to mentor, teach, encourage and promote cultural history and the arts. It is inclusive of all with a special focus on new and budding artists, people of color, youth, the disabled (people with special needs) and senior citizens. A special interest is in those that lack resources and the backing and support of an organization or venue. The end result is to stimulate the creative mind, build confidence in skills, locate a venue to create and exhibit their work, and/or to perform in public and private settings." As an honoree via NY State Senator Lee Zeldin and the Town of Brookhaven Black History Commission for my works with Of Colors, Artspace and the African American community, the interest in Of Colors and Artspace was overwhelming at The Black History Night Dinner and Celebration.

I am the curator for The Black History Exhibition at Artspace and the Brookhaven Town Hall titled, "IT'S ALL ABOUT SUCCESS...And The Art". The show continues to Feb. 29 and has a mixture of art that has been described as "eclectic, tribal, ethnic, wonderful and beautiful".

I definitely like the organizing aspect of putting shows together and interacting with artists. Many residents from Artspace were involved in the Black History Night Celebration. Tyrone Spann an Artspace resident won the "Cooking Challenge" and catered the event with his wife Ronette. Artspace Artists created or provided some of the artwork for the Brookhaven Town Hall and for the Artspace Exhibition. It was a "Trifecta" of sorts for Artspace Residents and allowed the community to see the strong volunteer spirit of these talented people that reside at Artspace that work together to create and share their artistic gifts with others.

Patch: Where can people see more of your work?

Todd Hunter: To see my work or to make an appointment, call 540-632-1777 or visit www.ofcolors.org or http://www.facebook.com/ofcolorscollective.

Live at Artspace and want to be featured on Patchogue Patch? Email michael@patch.com. All of the Artspace profiles are together on the Faces of Artspace Topic Page.

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Michael Smith April 10, 2012 at 03:40 PM
I'm definitely part of the crowd that stands up and shouts "That's my cousin Tracy!" It's such a pleasure to have watched him grow from many struggles that he did not ask for or deserve and nothing but pride fills my heart. Good for you Tracy. Keep on pushing toward the prize and never forget the lessons of life, particularly the work ethic that Nana, Pop and my mom planted in our minds and hearts. Michael Smith
Linda nieves Diaz April 17, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Loved The Article. By the way Patchogue is so bueatiful again!!! Many blessings to your success!! Linda Nieves(Diaz)

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