New MTK Artwork at the Montauk Chamber of Commerce

by Sue Giustino

Sarah Schreck

Each year, the Montauk Chamber of Commerce holds a contest for artist whose designs will be considered to be painted on the large MTK which sits in front of the Chamber building in town. Sarah Schreck saw the contest on Instagram and decided to submit an entry. Fortunately for us she did, and won. Now we have another lovely piece of art to enjoy while strolling through town. Sarah is a full-time graphic designer, yoga teacher, and a playwright! Growing up in Florida, she moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a master’s degree in arts management, and now lives in New Haven with her partner Jack.

Jack’s family has a home here in Montauk and Sarah spends a few months of the year here with Jack and his family. Sarah commented, “Which makes me the luckiest person alive. I first saw Montauk on a very cold wintery day, and loved it then, so you can only imagine how much I love to come this time of year.”

While here, she enjoys meeting folks and get involved: working at a yoga studio or event, carting around her camera, or running on the side of the highway. She says, “I’m not a full-blown local, but I want to do my best to honor and experience Montauk like one! And I’m embarrassingly friendly, if I do say so myself. I have a lot of gratitude for the friendly folks at the Chamber of Commerce, and some lovely ladies I met through the local yoga community (shout out to Lily and Zoe)!”

About her design she said, “I try to pack as much as I can into my schedule while I’m out east, much like I tried to pack as much as I could onto this sign, to show the many dimensions of Montauk.” Each time you look at the sign, different aspects of it stand out. I spotted beautiful native plants, animals, activities like fishing, biking and surfing [which Sarah described as little “portals” into scenes of actual spots], as well as beach scenes and the Lighthouse which is front and center- all embellished with beautiful patterns of waves and other costal designs.

Sarah explained her inspiration, “The design was inspired by different kinds of tableware, hence a patterned blue and white design, though the color scheme was also inspired by the wampum beads, made from quahog shells, used by the indigenous Montauk people.”

Some of the silhouettes on the sign were directly modeled after photos from CRESLI, a local research and volunteer-run organization. I loved getting to discover their beautiful photo library online, and learn about what they do to educate people about coastal ecosystems! I hadn’t heard of them or their activities before this project, and now I’m excited to check them out!

It really is an honor and a treat to get to paint this year’s sign, it’s led to so many wonderful conversations with passers-by as Jack and I painted it, and to learning a LOT about native species. I hope folks enjoy finding things on the sign that signify what they enjoy most about their time in Montauk! And of course, the most important element of the sign are the people in front of it. So every picture you take in front of the sign completes it, just like you complete Montauk!”

Thanks to the chamber for providing this space for artists to express their reflections of Montauk and for us, the public, to enjoy! Congratulations to Sarah on a job well done. Find Sarah on Instagram: @imsarahschreck