Long Lake Native and artist Matt Burnett returns to Long Lake for another installation of Portraits in the Wilderness to complement his current exhibit featuring portraits of Long Laker’s, Bob Dechene, Frances Boone Seaman and Matt’s father, Willy Burnett. The outdoor portraits are currently located on Burns Road Wall on NYS Route 30, Tupper Road. The portraits will be on display through the fall leaf peeping season.
On Friday, September 11th, Matt installed two additional large-scale portraits featuring local Long Lakers, Valerie Galvagni and Jim Swedberg. Matt chose Jim Swedberg because of his connection to Long Lake, the Adirondacks and the Hudson River. Jim has rafted the river for years and recognizable as the person steadfastly holding in place with his camera. When folks raft the Hudson, they will cross paths with Jim, he may be the one person who has rafted the river more than anyone else.
The second portrait showcases local nurturer, childcare giver and mother to all, Val Galvagni. Val raised her own family in Long Lake and then took on a new generation of millenials growing up in Long Lake at a time when there was very little childcare available to working parents. Val stepped in and took on the challenge because she loves children and welcomed the opportunity.
When asked how she felt to be painted and celebrated Val said. “It made me very giddy, I’m so flattered” As a childcare giver Val is part of the fabric of the community. Val says she does love children and having them connect to her is just part of who she is. Val was stumped when Matt asked her to be a part of the portrait collection so she suggested including children in the portrait.
Matt’s first art installation for the Town of Long Lake was a collaboration with Scott Fuller for an outdoor exhibit entitled “E-Lumination” in 2011. Matt has since been working with the Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department to continue to build on his large scale wilderness portraits to connect the natural world to a sense of place and community
Matt’s portraits are currently on display on the Tupper Road, NYS Route 30 along the Burns Road Wall just north of the Long Lake Bridge. There is also a large-scale portrait of Buttermilk Falls still on display on Deerland Road, a short distance from the sharp curve near the start of North Point Road.