Since moving to a studio in Long Island City, Donna Levinstone has become part of the artists’ community in the area and is also finding a new source of inspiration.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Levinstone said that she has been painting since she was a young child and decided to do so professionally after college. She creates black and white and color pastel landscapes and said that she has always been very interested in communicating about nature and the sky specifically.
“I’m very awestruck by the sky,” explained Levinstone, who still lives in Manhattan.
Although Levinstone does skyscapes, she also did a cityscape when she created a 9/11 series. She said the terrorist attack had a very big impact on her work that went beyond that one series.
“It sort of wasn’t okay for me to just do a landscape anymore,” Levinstone said, adding that it taught her to be true to the emotion and what’s going on in the works. She also said she would like to do something for the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
When her studio closed in Manhattan about three years ago, Levinstone said she “really wanted to explore other areas,” which is how she came to Long Island City.
“I really love Long Island City. There’s something about the light and the sky,” she said, adding that she feels a certain openness there and that it has a “wonderful small town feeling.”
Levinstone, who has exhibited all over the world but mainly in New York, said she also loves the artist community that LIC has to offer.
Although Levinstone has always been creating skyscapes, she said that being in Long Island City has now inspired her to do some cityscapes. This will be the first time she has created cityscapes since the 9/11 series.
Now, she is planning on doing a city series. Some of her inspiration has come from the views out of her studio window.
Levinstone is currently part of the inaugural exhibition of selected artists at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, located at 11-05 44th Road, third floor, in Long Island City. The exhibit opened on October 24 and will remain on display until November 28.
“I’m excited about the Jeffrey Leder Gallery. I think we need one [a new gallery],” Levinstone said. “It’s a wonderful space. I think that’s a really nice addition to the community.”
From December 5 to January 9, Levinstone will also have a solo exhibition there, which will include about 24 pieces. She said she is looking forward to being able to show some larger pieces.
In addition to her artwork, Levinstone said that she still conducts art therapy workshops, including ones for those with cancer. She said she always tries to give back to the community and has also donated her artwork to different charities and causes.
For more information about Levinstone’s work, visit www.donnalevinstone.com.