On Thursday, June 24, 2022, South Bay Art Association held there general meeting, via zoom, with a special presentation by art curator and historian Jay Schuck.

Who is Jay Schuck?

Jay is an independent curator and art historian, locally based out of Medford, New York. He received his B.A. (magna cum laude, 2013) and M.A. (2019) in Art History & Criticism from Stony Brook University. In 2019, he was awarded the inaugural Outstanding M.A. Thesis Award for his paper, Sculpting the Soul: The Bust Portraiture of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Art Curator & Historian, Jay Schuck

He has ten years of curatorial experience and has worked on a variety of large-scale visual arts projects. Jay manages the Patchogue-Medford Library’s Claire Davidson Siegel Gallery and has curated exhibitions across Long Island. His passion for art history has led him to develop several sequential and non-sequential, lecture-based, art historical programs, which Jay have delivered at libraries and other cultural institutions across Long Island as well as abroad. He has also written extensively on the arts of the Greater South Bay area and have been published in ACES Magazine and Greater Patchogue.

Lets just say, Jay is an accomplished individual, and we were honored to have him speak with our membership.

The Dutch Golden Age of Painting

Jay captivated our membership with his detailed exploration of the 17th century Dutch Republic and how the political climate, social classes, and belief systems of the time inspired the artists of the time. Over the 90 minute lecture, the group explored the works of Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael and others.

“The Calling of St Matthew” -Caravaggio

We viewed the slight nuances in Caravaggio’s “The Calling of St Matthew”. This painting is known for its bold contrast of light and dark, but what gets lost is the slight halo over Christ’s head as he calls St Matthew to come with him. The light that shines on the faces of the tax collectors as they count the coins they’ve collected, hoping they will see the light.

“The Night Watch” -Rembrandt

Jay also went into detail about Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch”. This commissioned pieces by Captain Banninck Cocq and seventeen members of his militia. It is known for its size 12 by 14+12 feet, the dramatic use of light and shadow and the perception of motion in what would have traditionally been a static military group portrait.

The details of this piece was incredible. From the eighteen names that appear on the shield (all the names of the individuals that commissioned the art), the center figure (Captain Banninck Cocq) being the largest/center figure, and the young woman in the back carrying all the main symbols of the painting.

What Else Did You Go Over?

“Still-Life with Flowers” Rachel Ruysch

Jay talked about portraits…landscapes… and even a FEMALE Dutch painter. That’s something I never learned in Art History! Who is she you ask? Rachel Ruysch . She was from the Northern Neatherlands and specialized in florals and created her own style. What’s interesting is that a lot of the flowers she used were not in season at the same time. She included flowers that were perfectly in bloom, but then others that were wilted or eaten by bugs, that she also included in her paintings. She did this intentionally to show that in time, all beauty fades and all living things must die.

Want To Learn More About Jay?

Check out his website here and see when his next lectures will be!

Upcoming SBAA General Meetings

We have some fun stuff coming up for our general meetings!


Sunday, July 24th @ Bellport Dock – Plein Air Painting is welcome


Sunday, August 21 @ Post Morrow – Meditation and Create Event