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Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Where Oceans Converge


The last time there were this many surfers in the building, they were watching Pottz and Dora in 1990.

It had been exactly 20 years since my last visit to the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences campus for a screening of Bill Delaney's "Surfers, The Movie."

Rocked the house in '90.

The eccentric rants of Mickey Dora filled a dimly lit auditorium as he described teachers, preachers and bosses going over the falls behind him.

Everyone hooted. Growing up on the Jersey Shore in the 80's, contact with surf pros and the surf industry in general was non-existent. The traveling surf film was the exception and the LBIF was always a reluctant host to the raucous crowd.

Nestled in between the scrubby pines and the multi-million dollar estates of Loveladies, just a few hundred yards from sandbars that chuck all winter, the LBIF has a long history of bringing arts and sciences to the Jersey Shore. Despite what MTV would have you believe, intellectual culture is alive and well throughout the sandy outposts of the Garden State.

"Where Oceans Converge" is an installation that brings together art and surfing with a combination of painters, sculptors, mixed media specialists, visionaries and photographers from both the East and West Coasts.

Art from East and West. The "Mixed Swell" sculpture is by LBI's Joel Dramis.

Featuring works by local artists Julie Goldstein, Chris Pfeil, Ann Coean, Joel Dramis, and Mark Tesi, as well as Left Coasters Wolfgang Bloch, Kassia Meador, Andy Davis, Russell Crotty, Blakeney Sanford and Alex Weinstein, the group show is a diverse combination of surf inspired art, paintings, sculptures and photographs.

Good turnout. Great artwork.

In addition to the main show, the LBIF was also host to a fundraiser for the many artists who were involved in Pine Gallery, a short-lived but incredible retail/gallery space for surf inspired art and culture. In December 2008, Pine burned down with many of the artists involved losing works of irreplaceable art and clothing. In many ways, the "Where Oceans Converge" installation was a continuation of the ideas nurtured by Pine founders, Tesi and Goldstein. With huge attendance for both the fundraiser and the artists reception, it's safe to say this will not be the last surf inspired installation at the LBIF.

"Where Oceans Converge" runs until August 17th so if you're down the shore this weekend, check it out.