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Bayside group celebrates 40 years of history

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The society was founded on April 24, 1964 by Joseph Brown, whose daughter, historian and TimesLedger columnist Joan Brown Wettingfeld, will be 0honored Sunday with a 2 p.m. tea at the Officers' Club on the fort.

On Saturday at noon the society will open "A Celebration of the Arts," an exhibit of work by local artists that will be on display until May 29.

A champagne reception will be held to present work by 32 artists, many from Queens and Long Island, with sculpture, photography, oils and watercolors among the selection of art.

"It's an assortment of really talented local people," said Geraldine Spinella, executive director of the historical society.

Most, but not all, of the work is for sale, Spinella said. Past artists from a Fort Totten painters' circle have sold their work at the show.

"I love having pictures that are original works of where I live," Spinella said. "It's your hometown."

A $5 suggested donation to the society includes the champagne reception and a tour of the exhibits at the Officers' Club.

The weekend's events will be followed by other celebrations this year in honor of the society's 40th anniversary.

An "Eccentric Flea" antiques and crafts fair will be held May 23 and the brass band New York City Swing will give a free community concert at the fort June 27. More events are in the planning stages for the fall.

"It's going to be a fabulous year at Fort Totten," Spinella said.

For more information about these events, contact the society at 718-352-1548.

Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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