Wantagh artist wins top award

Takes honor at L.I. Art League’s annual exhibition

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Nicholas Alberti, a 38-year-old artist and Wantagh native, views painting as an opportunity. “I guess for me, it’s just about having the opportunity to create something that, in the end, I find visually interesting or exciting or beautiful to look at,” he said.

Alberti’s acrylic painting “Ironing Out the Details” won an award for excellence at the Art League of Long Island’s 59th Long Island Artists Exhibition in Dix Hills.

The work is one in a series of eight paintings in Alberti’s “Wired” series, so named because of the common theme of electrical cords intertwined with items such as coffee pots, a blender and a three-pronged hanging rack. Several of the paintings have a 1970s retro theme as well, according to Alberti, using wallpaper backgrounds with muted colors and patterned designs.

Artists from across Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens, submitted 721 works in varying media, including sculpture and photography, with maximum heights and widths of 62 inches and 50 inches, respectively, including frames. Sixty were selected for the exhibition by Tim Newton, chairman of the board of directors of the Salmagundi Club, a center for American art in New York City. Eight of the pieces were recognized — four with awards of excellence and four honorable mentions, according to the league’s marketing coordinator, Annette Bernhardt. Besides Alberti’s work, a watercolor, an oil painting and a photograph won the awards of excellence.

Alberti, who now lives in Westchester County, explained how the “Wired” theme began with several simple drawings of intertwined extension cords that he said he drew for fun. It developed from drawings to watercolors, and then to acrylic with added details, all with the theme of intertwined wires. “It just kind of progressed,” he said. “As I was making it, I was trying to find ways to make it more interesting and more intriguing, both to make and to look at.”

One of his other paintings, “Wired #4,” was accepted into the 57th Long Island Artists Exhibition in 2017; and “Wired #5” received an honorable mention that same year in the Art League’s summer exhibition, A Quotidian Life. Last year Alberti received a National Society of Painters award for his work “Infinite Power” at the Salmagundi Club’s annual juried painting and sculpture exhibition for nonmembers in New York City, and his painting “Caffeine Overload” was accepted into the Long Island Biennial at The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington.

Alberti, who has been an artist since high school, said he considers himself primarily a painter. He works in acrylic and watercolors but has also created several works in pencil. He earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at SUNY Albany in 2002 and a master’s in art education from Queens College in 2008. Since 2006 he has taught visual arts at John W. Dodd Middle School in Freeport.

Alberti painted and drew informally until the last several years, when he began getting more serious about his work and entered several of his pieces in various New York group shows. “[In] the last five years I’ve been more seriously pursuing my own artistic career as a painter,” he explained.

To view his artwork, visit http://nicholasjalberti.weebly.com/

The Long Island Artists Exhibition runs until Feb. 10. The pieces that won awards of excellence can be viewed on the Art League of Long Island’s website, https://bit.ly/2Hyahmi.