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Casey Chalem Anderson’s exhibition will be up through August 14 at The Chequit on Shelter Island. (Photo courtesy of Casey Chalem)

There’s something special about the water out here.

For New York City native Casey Chalem Anderson, it’s inspired her to take an unrelentingly vested interest in it. One that she’s shaped her entire artistic career around for decades.

“The main subject of my paintings, the question I am always asking, is why do I crave being near the water,” she says.

Tomorrow, the Sag Harbor-based artist will be the next to be celebrated with the opening reception of her new 15-piece exhibition as part of The Chequit’s artist-in-residence program. The Shelter Island locale kicked off the series last month with work from island native surrealist Emily Larsen. Anderson’s exhibition was installed on July 10, and tomorrow’s opening reception with cocktails and light bites from 4 to 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

After visiting the East End with her dad, around the same time she was about to take off across the country for college to study at Berkeley in California, she knew she was hooked. “I visited it many times and I loved it,” she says of her future second home here on the South Fork. “When it came time to move back East, I highly considered this gorgeous beach place. The fact that many artists lived here was a big plus. And since I grew up in New York City, with all its rich cultural resources only 2.5 hours away, it was a perfect fit for me.”

“Swept Away” oil on canvas from Anderson’s ample wave collection. (Image Courtesy of Casey Chalem Anderson)

In addition to the continuous inspiration from artistic masters, like Matisse and Monet, Anderson notes her curiosity about what she deems “the colorists, like Mark Rothko and Wolf Kahn. I love to get lost in the color.”

Expressing the beautiful beachy nature of the South Fork is the name of the game for Anderson. As the main subject of her paintings, the content of her pieces runs the gamut from peaceful salt marshes to robust, rolling ocean waves.

“The question I’m always asking is, ‘Why do I crave being near the water?’” says the artist. Primarily painting with oil paint on wood or canvas, Anderson also thoroughly enjoys drawing with pen and ink on paper, dubbing the art form as “an essential part” of her creative process.

In addition to having an exhibition at The Chequit, Anderson’s work can currently be seen at Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor and Sea Green Designs in Southampton.

Check out her bi-monthly blog, “Breath of Salt Air” here.  “You’ll get an image of my new painting and a few words to get you thinking about why you love the sea,” she says. “You also get invitations to my shows.”

Casey Chalem Anderson’s exhibition will be on display at The Chequit from July 10 through August 22. The Chequit is located at 23 Grand Avenue, Shelter Island Heights, 631-749-0018.