OUR MISSION FOR MANHANSET CHAPEL
When I first arrived on Shelter Island in 1972, I saw Manhanset Chapel, a beautiful and historic landmark, being used for storage. I went to the owner, Archie Gershon, and made a simple proposal: either take better care of the place — or sell it to me.
I rolled up my sleeves and did much of the renovation myself (I had just come from art school, after all). Soon there was real activity in the Chapel, and the vaulted space began to vibrate with artistic energy. Kids were the first to visit. I think what brought them in were the paper and crayons always available for anyone who wanted to draw. From the start the Chapel seemed to belong to the community, and I embraced that idea.
After my children were born, I moved to the city and we donated the Chapel to the Historical Society — so that it could continue to belong to the Island. When my husband, Stephen Kessler, and I heard it was for sale, we were not going to let this much-loved and historic building become a store or bar or
real estate office.
Now that we have worked together to rejuvenate the
Chapel, we hope to make it once again a thriving
artistic and community center. We'd like to
rent the wonderful space for weddings, parties,
and film shoots — to keep the Chapel in prime
condition, and so we can buy some more
paper and crayons for anyone who wants
to come and draw.
— Randy Osofsky, Owner of Manhanset Chapel