Thursday, October 1, 2015

Portraits in the Wilderness Returns to Long Lake

Burnett Galvagni Swedberg installationLong Lake artist Matt Burnett returns home 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.

Burnett Swedberg PortraitRecently, 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.

Burnett Galvagni portraitWhen 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.

Matt is going to have an artist meet-and-greet on on Friday evening October 9th from 4 to 6 pm at the Burns Road wall installation on Route 30. Matt will be doing touch-ups on the portraits, providing narrative background and visiting with anyone interested in learning more about his artistic process.

Matt Burnett is a native of Long Lake who graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh and completed his graduate study in New Media and Cultural Theory at Maine College of Art.  He is the co-director of the Graphic and Multimedia Design program at SUNY Canton.  His home studio is located in Saranac Lake, NY.  To learn more about Matt and to see his portfolio check out


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Alexandra Roalsvig has been the Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for her native Town of Long Lake since 2009. Prior to returning to Long Lake worked 17 years in production for the CBS daytime serial "As The World Turns". She and her husband Paul are raising their two children in Long Lake.

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