Floral Park Resident Named One of The Top 25 Advocates for the Arts

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Cocktail reception to be held on January 25 at Bellmore Movies

“When I wake up, I think ‘what am I going to paint today?’” said local artist Mary Gosden. A traditional porcelain painter, the Floral Park resident was recently named as one of the Top 25 Advocates for the Arts by the Long Island Arts Council of Freeport and will be honored at an awards cocktail reception on Wed., Jan. 25, at Bellmore Movies.

Growing up in Syracuse, NY, creating art and music was something Gosden showed a profound talent for. Since the age of 6, she knew she wanted to be an artist, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in music education from Syracuse University. After getting married to Floral Park Village Historian Walter Gosden 18 years ago, she moved to the village and learned the skill that would define her artistic career.

She recalls when she first came upon a piece of painted porcelain in a neighbor’s china cabinet, but thought the art went out with Queen Victoria. She soon took classes in Elmont and slowly made a name for herself in the genre. “It’s not a well-known fine art…anything that you would paint on watercolor paper or on canvas, I paint it on porcelain. I then fire it in-between each layer of paint in the kiln and the paint sinks into the glaze,” she explained.

According to Gosden, the Chinese developed their technique of applying certain pigments made from minerals to their porcelain, then heat them at very high (1200+ degrees farenheit) temperatures. This extreme temperature causes the glaze to melt, thus allowing the pigments to become a part of the glaze. There are many terms for this technique such as China painting, porcelain painting, on-glaze and mineral painting.

“It’s a fine art that’s been around for over 2,000 years, but it never seems to get the attention that watercolor and oils do. It’s got a lot more technical aspect because of the firing aspect,” she added.

Gosden is currently lecturing across the country and Canada to teach other people how to paint porcelain. “I specialize in Art Deco. Of course, living near the city, I love architecture and it always inspires me. So my subjects are always unique to people who paint flowers and fruit and things like that,” she explained.

Working in various media, from colored pencil, murals, watercolor and pen and ink, she can make just about anything into a piece of art. “I fuse glass in the kiln and make jewelry out of fused glass and meld wine bottles,” she said.

For fans of her work, Gosden holds a sale in her home a couple of times a year and weekly classes in her studio to teach people how to paint porcelain. “Mostly my sales are on commission. If anyone needs a special gift or personalized item, they call up or go on my website and I accommodate,” she said.

The Inaugural Top 25 Advocates for the Arts Awards cocktail reception takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6 to 8 p.m., at Bellmore Movies, 222 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore. Admission is free, but event registration is required. Proceeds support the Long Island Arts Council at Freeport’s important programs and services.

As part of the upcoming art awards event, Gosden has set personal goal to raise $1,000 in donations to support the Long Island Arts Council’s programs and services. To donate online, visit the website at http://supportmarygosden.eventbrite.com/ or www.marygosdenstudio.com.

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