Environmental awareness is the key theme of “Lost Long Island,” artist Annemarie Waugh’s public installation at the former indoor Riverhead Farmers Market on East Main Street. The exhibition is on view until Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Waugh, who was born in central England and lives in Setauket, is one of more than a dozen artists who recently took part in JumpstART, a 6-month long professional development series hosted by East End Arts in Riverhead. The program culminated in an evening of public art earlier this month.
Sheldon Gordon of Riverhead Enterprises loaned the former Riverhead Farmers Market for Waugh’s exhibit, she said.
Waugh’s installation includes hand-cut watercolor paintings of environmentally threatened creatures across Long Island attached to a string. Called “Hanging by a Thread,” the project highlights how vulnerable certain plants and wildlife in our area have become, she said.
“When I initially stated the project, I wasn’t really sure what aspect of public art I wanted to do,” she said. “I began by going to the Historical society in Riverhead and I was looking through all their amazing slides of how Long Island used to be … that got me thinking, ‘My god, Long Island is really changing because of us people.’”
Some of the wildlife depicted in Waugh’s work includes piping plovers, honeybees, quail, bats and alewife. Plants like eelgrass are also featured. To visually demonstrate the exhibit’s theme, she has erased some of the animals’ bodies in several pencil drawings.
“We should pay attention to these animals,” she said.