- Published: March 4, 2016 - 10:49 am
- Last Updated: September 22, 2016 - 6:16 am
- Created: March 4, 2016 - 10:12 am
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Berndt Toast Gang Artists
March 1, 2016 – April 24, 2016. Meet the Artists: Sunday, March 6th, 2:00 to 4:00pm
The Berndt Toast Gang began after World War II, when local cartoonists would visit wounded soldiers in local VA hospitals and draw for them (a tradition that continues to this day with members drawing for children suffering from life-threatening diseases, and visiting the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan). It wasn’t until 1966 that the members decided to meet once a month to talk shop, laugh, and commiserate.
The Berndt Toast Gang (named after the late Walter Berndt who was the creator of the long-running strip, “Smitty”) is one of the largest Long Island branches of the National Cartoonists Society. Since all the members work from their own studio, meeting for lunch once a month seemed the best way to keep abreast of each other’s progress. It has become a tradition that the members raise a toast to a departed cartoonist at every lunch. The Gang has lost many talented people through the years, and added many new friends. Almost fifty years later, the Gang still meets every month.
All the artists pride themselves as being one big family. Their goal is to strengthen the membership of the Berndt Toast Gang, and to share their work and talents with the community.