By: Gary Axelbank and Deanna Garcia
September 10, 2019
Like many artists, Ron Terner dreamed to own his own gallery. During this past Saturday’s 45th anniversary celebration at the Focal Point Gallery on 321 City Island Avenue he said, “That dream came true and is still coming true.”
When Terner opened up his gallery in 1974 on City Island Avenue after he finished photography school, his vision was to not only share his artwork and photographs, but to also showcase other artists’ work. Forty-five years later, that vision is still intact.
Each month Terner puts out a call on social media for artists to bring their work to his gallery. On last week’s edition of the Bronx Buzz on BronxNet, he said, “I feel if you’re brave enough to let people see your work, then your art should be shown.”
Terner says it wasn’t always easy for him to express his artistic abilities on City Island. Besides putting up his photography and painting, he also created artwork that represented the human body. He described City Island when he first started sharing his work as conservative. Considering the nudes he had displayed in his gallery, Terner said laughing, “The fact that I’m still here doing that is amazing.”
The show that’s up for the anniversary month of September, includes last year’s remarkable plaster body casts of women and also his latest project of images on crushed foil where he transferred images on thick foil and then crushed it by bending and pushing it together,
“I was always interested in taking photography to a three-dimensional realm,” he said.
Many visitors came for the anniversary and said they enjoy the work Terner creates. “I think it’s fun how he combines photography and sculpture with these three-dimensional works,” said Jasmine Byrd, a Riverdale resident.
Jasmine Murphy, who was a model for one of the crushed foil portraits in the gallery, said, “I walk in here and I see pieces like these bodies and I was just so drawn.”
Others were attracted to the facial expressions that appeared on the faces. City Island resident Antonett Hicks told thisistheBronX that her favorite piece in the gallery is the one of her friend, Murphy. “She has like deep storytelling eyes and I just love it,” she said about the piece. “Art is a part of the culture,” Hicks said, “A part of living your everyday life is just a whole art show.”
Bill Summers, a Long Island resident and photographer, traveled to City Island to support his good friend. “The look of the eyes and expression on the face tells me a lot about people,” he said about one of the pieces.
“I don’t think I could have done this in any place but City Island,” Terner said. “The place where my dream came true.”