The Gallery: Hawley Hussey

New Year's Day, 2007. Painted and carved wood.

Introducing Hawley Hussey -- artist, writer, performer and mermaid extraordinaire -- who channels inspiration direct to you from the personalities and mythology of the Coney Island board walk, burlesque and side show performances, and the winter-bathing scene. See more of her work -- and how she managed to transform a dentist office in a hopping art opening -- below...

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Dear Love, I'm jealous of people I haven't even met yet. Painted and carved wood.

Mermaid Hawley (herself a Coney Island personality) works directly on wood, painting and then carving into the color (see detail below), creating a richly textured surface.

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New Year's Day, 2007. Detail

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Birthday (for Dorthea) detail. Painted and carved wood. (that would be Dorthea Tanning)

These tall paintings are part of her "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby" series and are tributes to various burlesque and side show luminaries and settings.

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Your baby aint sweet like mine. Painted and carved wood.

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Detail of Your baby aint sweet like mine.

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Late Night Mermaid. Painted and carved wood.

Hawley, as artist, writer and performer -- has exhibited and performed in book stores, laundromats, on the back of a flat bed truck in a rail yard in Southern California and most recently transformed her dentist's office with paintings from this series. Can you believe I left an art opening at a dentist office, on a monday evening, brimming with blues music, wine and inspiration? Believe it.

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Installation of the "I Can't Give You Anything But Love Baby" series at the sublime dental offices of Dr. Robert Korngut

Dentists, take note! Waiting your turn for a teeth cleaning at this office wouldn't be half bad, right? Her work has also been collected by the Smithsonian, The National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo.

I am also a fan of her "miracle paintings", made in the tradition of Retablo or devotional paintings, on pieces of actual Coney Island driftwood.

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Miracle Painting: Lighthouse. Painted and carved Coney Island driftwood.

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Miracle Painting: Reiki Mermaid. Painted and carved on Coney Island driftwood.

In the words of a devoted fan, "Hawley Hussey's mermaids hover above the sparkling sea in technicolor splendor, enchanting Coney Island with their sublime and dangerous radiance!! Few people glow with as much vivacious enthusiasm as mermaid artist extraordinaire, Coney Island resident, Polar Bear member and one of Lola Staar's favorite customers... Hawley Hussey!!" -Lola Staar (resident heart and inspiration of Coney Island)

Inquiries about the works featured here? Please contact the artist/mermaid directly via email or visit Mermaid Hawley's websiteto see other works. Curious to hear her read from the "World Famous Coney Island Break-Up Letters"? Then you can check out the newly released CD "Beauty Keeps Laying It's Sharp Knife Against Me".

Thank you Hawley -- see you on the boardwalk!

Know any artists whose work would make a home a lovelier place? Send ideas to The Gallery. Thanks!