It’s probably obvious to say local naturalist and Kings Park resident, Jan Porinchak’s focus is on nature.
As a for Kings Park Patch, Porinchak opens his readers’ eyes to the natural world found in the beaches, forests and ecosystems surrounding Kings Park. As a natural artist, he draws and illustrates that world, taking things that are beneath the surface to the canvas for the less adventurous to wonder at, and it’s no wonder that his work is winning awards and accolades state wide.
Porinchak’s work was included in an exhibition in Albany titled Focus on Nature XII: Natural History Illustration, which runs from April 2012 until the end of the year. His work, along with 93 other pieces, was selected out of 503 entries submitted by 219 artists. His piece, titled Life Under the Surface, was one of 10 selected as Jury Award Winners.
“The Focus on Nature XII exhibition is like no other in the world,” said Mark Schaming, director of the State Museum. “It continues a long New York State tradition of presenting cutting-edge illustrations that reflect the latest knowledge of natural history.”
To create the artwork, Porinchak, who also teaches art at Jericho Middle School, literally went under the surface, donning scuba gear observing the sea life that would make up the piece.
“I became aware of the amazing density and variety of life found in the Long Island Sound and the interconnectedness of the creatures found there,” said Porinchak. “I was really compelled to 'throw a wider net' and add a number of other species into the composition.”
The piece was commissioned by the town of Brookhaven and will be reproduced as interpretive signage at West Meadow Beach.
Porinchak’s work is currently on display at and at Cold Spring Harbor Library and Environmental Center.
“If I’ve conveyed a little taste to the viewer of the spellbinding, glimmering, tumultuous world under the waves with this illustration, I will be pleased,” said Porinchak.