For many years, Mike Lipton has adroitly juggled the roles of writer, editor, artist and photographer. Born in Baltimore, Md., he earned a B.A. in English from Oberlin College and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University before embarking on a high-profile career as a journalist working for two of the most popular magazines in the country. After rising to Executive Editor at TV Guide, Mike moved to People, where, as an editor, writer and television critic, he contributed to books ranging from a Seinfeld tribute to Pop Icons of the '90s and, most recently, an American Idol retrospective.
Art, however, has been his first love, ever since taking classes as a teenager at Washington, D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery. His numerous venues have included the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, one-man shows at the Summit Jewish Community Center and the Pine Shores Art Association, the Tuckerton Seaport, the How You Brewin' Internet Cafe in Surf City, N.J.and the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences in Loveladies, N.J. Two of his photographed were purchased for the Washington, D.C. office of Congressman Jon Runyan. He has been profilled in The Sandpaper The Islander and The Press of Atlantic City. In 2012 one of his photographs represented December in the New Jersey Shore Shots Calendar, celebrating the state's best beaches.
Mike and his wife, Teresa, are members of the Pine Shores Art Association (where Mike is webmaster of the PSAA website). Using his North Beach studio as a base, Mike plans to continue turning out acrylics, watercolors and photographs while completing his first novel. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
from The Beach Haven Times, Wednesday, September 10, 2008:
Painterly quality in Pine Shores photo show
By LINDA REDDINGTON
STAFFORD--Ask a group of artists to enter their photographs in the show and the result is a group of photographs that have all the elements of paintings--not only in composition, color, contrast, drama, as one would expect from a good photo, but some works have a nearly abstract quality. . .
Some photos are straight reproductions while others have been artistically enhanced in full or in part, and it's not easy to tell.
Mike Lipton's "Skipped Town" is not just a photo, it's a story told in a photograph that looks like a watercolor. The viewer can see inside a door left ajar in an alleyway. Inside the door, steps lead upward, presumably to a room or an apartment. On the edge of the cobblestone street in the alley are pieces of undelivered mail.
[See "Skipped Town" in Current & Recent Shows and Exteriors]
from The Beach Haven Times, Wednesday, July 23, 2008:
MEMBER? STUDENT? OR FACULTY?
Hard to tell at foundation exhibit
By Linda Reddington
LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP--Students who are currently taking classes at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, instructors and members who may or may not have taken classes or taught in the past were invited to exhibit work in the current show at the foundation.
The majority of art on display this year, for some reason, is by members, though the quality of much of it is such that viewers may not be able to tell the difference between the professionals and gifted amateurs. . .
Digital photography is part of the show, and Mike Lipton, another foundation member, has "pushed" his development of a photo of people waading in the water to just the right degree to make is look like a painting. . .
[see "Waders" in Current & Upcoming Shows]
From The Press of Atlantic City, June 29, 2007:
Former journalist enjoying island retirement
By DONNA WEAVER Staff Writer, (609) 978-2015
LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP — Mike Lipton said Thursday that he feels like he is starting a whole new rest of his life. In February, Lipton retired from People magazine after 15 years as an editor, writer and television critic. Lipton, 58, contributed to books that include a “Seinfeld” tribute, pop icons of the '90s and most recently an “American Idol” retrospective.
Lipton also worked at TV Guide for 20 years.
“I spent my career at two of the most successful magazines in America, but my art was on the backburner that entire time,” Lipton said. “Now I am able to pursue it full time, and in the last few months I have been sort of flourishing.”
Lipton said he loved his career as a journalist but photography, painting and writing for himself are his first love. Lipton is also at work on a novel, he said.
Lipton's home in North Beach is a gallery — well, not all of it, Lipton said his wife wouldn't have it that way. But the walls are covered with Lipton's photographs and acrylic paintings.
“I left magazine journalism, which I focused on my whole life, and now I am focusing on things that I love like painting, photography and my own writing,” Lipton said. “Unfortunately, my wife won't let me use the whole house as a studio.”
Lipton said he considers Long Beach Island a great source of inspiration. Before purchasing his home in North Beach, Lipton owned and sold a duplex in Beach Haven. Lipton and his wife, Teresa Hagan, are now adjusting to living fulltime on Long Beach Island.
“This has sort of become our full-time headquarters. It's a great source of inspiration. Our home is on the Boulevard but about 100 yards from the beach and there's a jetty on that beach, and I am constantly finding something different to photograph,” Lipton said.
Lipton's plan is to travel to all New Jersey shore towns and take photographs of local landmarks, shops and people, to hopefully find a local appeal.
Lipton recently participated in the Long Beach Island artist's tour and welcomed more than 130 people into his North Beach studio.
“I'm finding retirement not boring at all. I really recommend it if you can some day,” Lipton said.
To e-mail Donna Weaver at The Press: