What gay guys get up to on Fire Island captured in new photo exhibition

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Friends on the Beach, Cherry Grove 2012 (Photo: koitz)

The spectrum of LGBTQ life on Fire Island will be on display this weekend at the Historic Cherry Grove Community House and Theater.

A photography show has been arranged by the Arts Project of Cherry Grove. The group invited the photographer simply known as koitz (with a lower-case ‘k’) to put together a small collection of his images. A handful are featured here.

Madly Hatted, Ferry 2018 (Photo: koitz)

Fire Island – which lies a 30-minute ferry ride from Sayville, Long Island, New York – has been attracting gay men since the mid-20th century.

Basque-American journalist and photographer koitz has repeatedly visited the place over the last 15 summers, always with his camera in tow.

Dmitry & His Polaroid, Sunken Forest 2018 (Photo: koitz)

Last year, he published a collection of his Fire Island photos in the appropriately titled book: koitz Gay Fire Island.

That led to the invitation to the exhibition this weekend in Cherry Grove.

Feeling The Blessings, Cherry Grove 2011 (Photo: koitz)

Related: WATCH: Fire Island ferry immortalized in song by singer Seth Sikes

Curator Parker Sargent said in a press statement, “What is wonderful about this collection is that it features the celebration and community of Fire Island and reflects a time of joy and togetherness that we are all ready to recreate in our worlds once again.”

Cherry Grove, 2019 (Photo: koitz)

koitz [pictured below] moved to New York in 1994, studying at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography. He’s worked extensively on the nightlife scene, which included four years working for The Fire Island News. He lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, with his husband, Doug Jones.

Photographer koitz
Photographer koitz

“Fire Island is a very special place, magical in many senses,” he told GayCities last year. “The whole experience begins the moment that you get on the ferry; you just forget your concerns and leave all the prejudices behind.

Gay Pride Parade, Cherry Grove 2019 (Photo: koitz)

“Once there, you won’t see any cars (with the exception of service vehicles on the beach) but you will see elevated wooden boardwalks that link the dock to the houses and the beach, water taxis to travel between the communities, and a small strip of forest between the Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove, affectionately known as the “Meat Rack” – just about one of the friskiest places on earth, if you know what I mean!”

Conducting the Waves, 2013 (Photo: koitz)

The show will run July 17 & 18, 2021 at the historic Community House of Cherry Grove, 180 Bayview Walk, Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY.

Related: Famed Fire Island gay resort community gains historic recognition

Part of a more conceptual shoot: From the Ashes, Meat Rack, 2014 (Photo: koitz)