Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The way Joan Weiss sees it, there’s always more than meets the eye.Her images really reside in the mind. Whether she’s honing in on details others might easily overlook, or capturing layers of meaning hidden in plain sight in a landscape vista, this acclaimed Long Island photographer brings an artistic aesthetic to her work that makes a lasting impression.Not bad for someone who could neither draw nor paint as a kid growing up in Brooklyn—and never saw her artwork stuck on the refrigerator door by her parents. But she did borrow her family’s trusty old Brownie, and that passion for photography—though it took some significant detours over the years as she pursued a high-pressure career as a medical writer and editor—stayed with her.After she retired a couple of years ago, this Jericho resident devoted herself to becoming a full-time art photographer. What she’s accomplished since 2015 is impressive: She’s been elected to the Board of Directors of the Art League of Long Island and had four solo shows on Long Island, with more to come.This Sunday marks another milestone in her photographic odyssey that has taken Weiss from Coney Island to Vietnam, when her exhibit, “Illusions & Impressions,” opens at the Shelter Rock Art Gallery in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset. On display from March 25 through April 24, it’s fitting that the largest show yet of her work takes place at a gallery considered by many professional photographers as the best venue on Long Island aside from museums.“I will be showing 40 photographs, a few of them on the ‘gigantic’ side,” Weiss told the Press, adding that some are five-feet wide. “That will be new for that gallery, but I think it shows those particular photographs to their best advantage.”Admittedly, her work is edgy, impressionistic and even surreal—and at their best breathtakingly beautiful.In her photography, she says, “I see textures, and layers, and the way objects interact in geometric patterns to form other creations. I see shadows and reflections, and the blur of human motion, and sometimes an incongruous fusion of these elements.”Her formal training began at Cornell University when she amazed her friends by signing up for early Saturday morning photography classes. After graduating with a B.S., she went to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she would often be the one wielding the camera instead of the reporter’s notepad. The year was 1968.“It was a turning point in my life,” recalled Weiss, who was known as Joan Solomon back in those days. “I had become sort of the unofficial class photographer,” she said. In April that year, Columbia students protesting the Vietnam War began a nonviolent occupation of campus buildings and subsequently classes were suspended.“So we just wandered around the campus during the day looking for where the action was,” Weiss said. “We would often hear in the middle of the night that there were riots on campus and the police were going after students. So we, of course, got up to join the action. We were all in our 20s then and had no fear. If the police caught you, they either crushed your skull with their batons or arrested you. One night my shoe fell off and I fell down. I was terrified. A couple of my friends got me up and dragged me off campus.”Interestingly, her next big solo exhibit, “Vietnam Now,” will be shown at the Art League of Long Island in Dix Hills from May 3 to May 31, featuring about 30 photographs she took during her trip through that war-torn south Asian country last January.But it would be wrong to draw the conclusion that her work is overtly, or even covertly, political. It’s more profound than that, and harder to categorize.“I sometimes feel like I’m in a dream, where things are not what they seem but serve as clues to a deeper, more elusive truth,” Weiss explained. “That truth is revealed to me more vividly through the camera lens than through the naked eye.”As Weiss gained confidence in her art, she began to realize that she doesn’t see the world as others do—and she has grown to appreciate the difference. “When I travel and members of my group look in one direction to snap a photo, I invariably aim my camera in the other,” she said. “I find interest and beauty where others might see the mundane. I see glitz where others might see grandeur.”To create a compelling image, she says she takes “a practical approach” that she’s willing to share: “Go out in atrocious weather. Get into impossible positions. Ruin your clothes.”And so she does—willingly. But what she brings back with her camera makes it all so worthwhile.Joan Weiss’ photography show, “Illusions & Impressions,” runs from March 25 through April 24, with an opening reception on March 26 from 1-3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, 48 Shelter Rock Road, Manhasset. Call 516-472-2933 for more information.
Junior forward Teah Gant competed for the Badgers in the NIT last year, when UW was lost in the first round.[/media-credit]Although it has been seven years since the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament, the Badgers are no strangers to postseason success.In five WNIT appearances, including this year, Wisconsin boasts a 14-3 record, including a perfect 9-0 in third round, quarterfinal and semifinal games. With so much success in the WNIT, the Badgers are well aware of the road ahead of them in the next two weeks.“We understand how quick the turnaround can be in the WNIT,” head coach Lisa Stone said. “We also hope that we can play every game at home, so it’s important that we encourage our fans to come out and ensure that we have a good fan base.”Just two years ago, Wisconsin made an impressive run in reaching the WNIT final with a young team, a situation much like the one the Badgers find themselves in right now. With only one senior and three juniors on the roster, UW hopes to use this year’s WNIT to build toward an NCAA Tournament berth next year.“It’s awesome to be playing in any type of postseason game, and we understand that,” junior captain Rae Lin D’Alie said. “Obviously we want to push for next year to be in the NCAA Tournament, but right now we’re in the NIT, and we’re happy with where we are right now.”With just three upperclassmen on the roster, the Badgers know no matter the outcome of the tournament, the experience they earn from playing against strong competition in a single-elimination format will prove essential in a potential NCAA berth in 2010.“What we’re doing with this tournament this year is preparing us for next season,” Stone said. “It’s like it was a couple years ago when we had a very young team. We’re inspired by the fact that we’re still playing and we have the opportunity to get real-life game experience, March game experience.”D’Alie, along with fellow junior Teah Gant and senior Caitlin Gibson, was a member of the 2007 WNIT runner-up squad. Unfortunately, the 5-foot-3 guard fractured her hand within the first five minutes of the championship game as the Badgers concluded their season with a 72-56 loss.Sophomores Alyssa Karel, Lin Zastrow and Tara Steinbauer joined D’Alie, Gant and Gibson in last season’s WNIT appearance, one that ended abruptly in a disappointing loss to Villanova after a first round bye. Alana Trotter, a redshirt sophomore, also experienced the postseason with the team but did not play as she was forced to sit out last season after transferring from Ohio.With all but four players having one or more years of WNIT experience under their belts, the Badgers are confident in their ability to make another run in this year’s tournament.“The experience really helps,” Gant said. “We have some young players who haven’t had this experience yet, so just being able to get in the tournament in my first two years helps a lot. It’s really a test of your mental toughness at this time of the season because your legs are tired, everything is tired, and you’ve just got to push through.”Entering the tournament, Wisconsin went 15 days without facing an opponent, and it showed on the offensive end as UW managed just 19 points in the first half Sunday against Kentucky.The Badgers found a way to get it done in the second half, however, scoring 30 points to outlast the Wildcats 49-45 and advance. Although the box score wasn’t pretty, the Badgers’ experience in the postseason has shown them that their only concern at this point in the season is surviving each game to advance to the next round.“As a team it was a sloppy game, but it was sloppy for Kentucky too,” D’Alie said. “But we got a ‘W’ and that’s all that counts. Really, if we play the same and we get the ‘W’ again Thursday, I’d be fine with that too, as long as we win.”