As the 2015 summer season began on the North Fork, Long Season Farms co-owner Laurie Cirillo was looking for a way to compete with larger farmstands who have huge vegetable displays and attractions.
So instead of expanding the size of her operation, Cirillo enlisted the help of her part-time worker and Laurel resident Raven Janoski, 17, who has a great interest and aptitude for art. Raven, a Mattituck High School senior, came up with the idea for a giant postcard with a “folk art rendition and a Long Island feeling,” referencing landmarks from all around the North Fork and making them her own.
Laurie envisioned that people would come by the farmstand to take selfies with the painted “postcard” mural.
“At first, the challenge of designing and executing a nearly 20-foot long painting was daunting to say the least, especially since it would be in a place that everyone could see,” said Ms. Janoski. “Sure, I love art and I absolutely was excited for this new project, but I didn’t have as much faith in myself as my lovely boss Laurie did.”
Raven used house paint to paint the three panels of four-by-eight plywood. When it was finished, she put on three coats of polyurethane for protection from the elements. The project took her about 40 hours to complete in total.
“After four years working at the stand, this was something we had discussed briefly every summer, but it wasn’t until this past August that I began the nearly month-long project,” said Ms. Janoski. “I can honestly say that it was definitely the most challenging, but equally rewarding, art piece I have ever done. The folk art rendition of the North Fork was simply magic to paint, and I am so pleased to have been able to freely create and imagine it, while working at the stand.”
Long Season Farms is located at 1017 Main Road in Aquebogue.