Each time Long Island artist Lynne Sauer-Kretzer went to New Orleans with a church group to build homes after Hurricane Katrina she came back feeling good. And grateful. And inspired. Right now she’s contributing her time, talent and energy locally, by co-ordinating an art show and sale – with a silent auction – at the Huntington Beach Association on Saturday April 21, 11 a.m., which will feature the work of Long Island painters. The proceeds will go to help restore the beach front, which has suffered great damage from severe storms over the last couple years. “Volunteering to set up the art show has changed my life by helping me to form meaningful relationships with people I would never have met,” she says. “I am able to lend encouragement and help to those in need. In turn I also receive the help I need. – I have so much respect for, and am inspired by the artists that I am networking with. I am warmed by their generosity and free spirits.”
The work of ten artists will be featured in the show, including Philip Jordan of Jordan Mural Design, an accomplished decorative mural artist specializing in trompe l’oeil, faux finishes and other decorative designs; Jo-Ann Coretti, voted Best Artist of Long Island by Long Island Press; Emily Eisen, artist and Licensed Brain-Body Fitness Instructor; and Estate painter Gerry Grace. A complete list is available on the event’s Facebook page.
For those creating and contributing to this event and for all who show up to support it, there is more to gain than the obvious richness drawn from viewing and possibly taking home some great art, engagement with interesting people, and a day at the beach. LiveScience.com reports that a research study from the University of Louisville published in the Journal of Research In Personality found “that the more people participated in meaningful activities, the happier they were and the more purposeful their lives felt. Pleasure-seeking behaviors, on the other hand, did not make people happier.” Nicholas Kardaras, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor at Stony Brook University who writes for the Psychology Today Blog reports about a researcher’s work with students in a class titled “The Science of Well-Being” at George Mason University. The study “explored ‘feeling good’ versus ‘doing good’ as two possible variables in the personal happiness equation,” he writes. “What did they find? The sense of well-being that accompanies “esteemable” (i.e. volunteer work; acts of kindness or service, etc.) has a significantly longer shelf-life.”
Making a difference can result in a new outlook, new friends, even new professional contacts. “Coming together to enjoy an afternoon of art helps the community bond together,” says Sauer-Kretzer. “We are collectively sharing our creative gifts as inspiration to each other and the community at large.”
We can all do our part to build community and reap those benefits. Click on the link for The Long Island Volunteer Center which has a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities.