KAREN LOEW has been a member of Grace Church in Brooklyn Heights for 15 years, although she moved away from her Concord Village home in 2006. She now resides an hour and 10 minutes away in Hudson Heights, but attends Grace regularly, serving as lay reader and usher, tied to the church’s deep sense of community and the friendships she has cultivated there.
In fact, Loew says, “The first person who ever said ‘hi’ to me, Lesley Lull, is still there.”
She misses the intimate 5 o’clock liturgy on Sundays — her favorite time to attend — but it’s no longer a practical time to be in Brooklyn.
In another corner of New York City, Loew serves as chair of the COGAP (Coast Guard Art Program) Committee of the Salmagundi Club, based in Greenwich Village. COGAP is a national program, sponsored by the club, through which professional artists, all volunteers, paint the history, missions and heroism of the U.S. Coast Guard and donate the portraits to the Coast Guard as gifts. Today, the collection comprises some 1,800 works displayed in museums, libraries and government and military offices around the country.
Loew began painting for COGAP several years ago. In May of 2002, the Coast Guard took her to Guantanamo Bay to document port security workers, an experience she calls “very moving.” “The unit that was there, PSU 305 [of Fort Eustis, Va.], was the unit that worked New York port security following 9/11, and then they were transferred to Cuba,” said Loew. “They are mostly reservists, called up for much longer than they expected to be. They are just humble and selfless people. I’m honored anything I can do for them I am glad to do.”
Her painting “GTMO Morning” will be on view at the Pentagon, near the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, through next March.
Another work, her oil on canvas “MSST Secures the Way,” is on display as part of the inaugural exhibition of COGAP Collection 2008 from June 23 through July 11. The work depicts crewmembers of MSST 91104 based in Galveston, Texas, patrolling a large fleet of Mexican shrimp boats. The boats were moored at the port of Brownsville, which provided safe haven during Hurricane Dean in 2007. See the Coast Guard collection at the Salmagundi Club’s lower gallery at 47 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan. The gallery is open to the public 1 to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
To see more Coast Guard art, and other fine art of Loew’s, visit www.kloew.com.
* * *
THE 10TH RELAY FOR LIFE OF BAY RIDGE, BENSONHURST AND DYKER HEIGHTS was a huge success, says Rosemarie Horne, a 22-month survivor and member of the planning committee, “thanks to the generous sponsors, residents and volunteers of those outstanding communities.” The relay’s honorary survivors this year were Spencer Smith, first grade, P.S. 185, Rachel Rodin, second grade, P.S. 185, Shannon O’Brien, 16 years old and Julie Reed, 18 years old.