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Islip Art Museum :: Do Not Lay Off the Staff


Mia Pearlman, the cut paper artist, contacted TOE a little over a week ago with an urgent message.  Excuse the tardiness, I hope this post isn’t too late:


I just received the message below from Karen Shaw, a curator at the Islip Art Museum. Due to budget cuts, the town is planning to lay off the entire staff on Monday, effectively closing the museum.

As you may remember, I created a big installation called GYRE at the Carriage House at the Islip Art Museum last summer and have 7 works on paper in the exhibition WEATHER CHANNEL this fall—if the museum is still open after the entire staff is laid off next week. The Islip Art Museum has long been an important venue for emerging artists to create site specific installations, get studio space, exhibit their work, and introduce their work to the wider public. It is one of the very few local institutions with a focus on site specific installation. It would be tragic if it had to close.

The Islip Art Museum gave me the opportunity, resources and freedom to make a major installation that has since been featured internationally in many books, blogs, articles, etc. I feel very indebted to this institution and I hope that you will take 5 minutes to write a quick note to the Islip town supervisor pledging your support for the museum, and urge them to keep the staff employed and the doors open. Please do not let this amazing opportunity for local artists close its doors!!


Please send a letter/email to the town supervisor!



Mia Pearlman


Here’s what Karen Shaw wrote:

The government of the town of Islip is intending to lay off all the staff of the Islip Art Museum, the letters are going out on Monday.  They seem to think they can do what they want as they might not know that there is support for this institution by a wider community.

As you may know the Islip Art Museum has been a beacon of contemporary art showing artists from all over the world.  We have received much critical attention over the past 30 years or so.  We are the only institution to show such work between New York City and the Hamptons.  We are an educational institution bringing contemporary art to an underserved community. Let the councilmen know that this is a loss and that you care about it.

Please send a letter and an e-mail to the following officials and ask anyone you know to do the same.

Please contact people you know, not just artists, and ask them to lobby on our behalf. Something simple is good, like:

The Islip Art Museum is one of the most valuable resources for young artists in the tri-state area. I understand that you are considering laying off the entire staff, a move that would effectively close the Museum. I know fiscal problems are everywhere–nonetheless,  I urge you not to eliminate this important cultural institution.

Phil Nolan, Supervisor
Christopher Bodkin, Councilman
Steven Flotteron, Councilman
John Edwards, Councilman
Gene Parrington, Councilman

The address is:
Islip Town Board
Town Hall
655 Main Street
Islip, NY 11751

email to: supervisorsoffice@townofislip-ny.gov

August 18, 2009 10:17 pm

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