By David Luces

“I hope I can expose people to some amazing artists and pieces that may have never been seen before,” said Anthony Freda of his vision for Port Jefferson’s newest art gallery, Star Gallery NYC at 206 East Main Street. 

Freda opened the two-room gallery along with his wife Amber with a pop-up event in February and a soft opening in early July, before hosting a grand opening and group exhibit on July 26. 

A Port Jefferson resident and artist, Freda, who is also an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said he wanted to showcase the works of prominent illustrators and artists that he has gotten to know over the years as well as artist’s work that he is fond of. 

Titled Star Power, the show features work from Freda, Tom Fluharty, Gary Taxali, Steven Tabbutt, Victor Stabin, Hal Hefner, Epyon 5, Craig Larotonda, Nick Chiechi, Insu Lee, Jody Hewgill, Dan Zollinger, Billy the Artist, Erik Probst and Estephany Lopez. Some of the artists’ works have been featured in Time magazine, the New Yorker, Huffington Post and the Library of Congress collection.  

One of the standouts of the show is “Bat-Murray,” a spray paint/resin piece on wood by Epyon 5, an artist from Illinois. Taking inspiration from classic cinema, horror, sci-fi and comics, his stencils and spray paint work have caught the attention of collectors around the globe. 

Another highlight is a watercolor painting by Hal Hefner, titled “Diversity Within.” A Los Angeles-based artist, Hefner has produced work for Heavy Metal magazine and created a pop art series titled CONSUME, which has been shown in galleries all over the world. 

In addition to showcasing a variety of artists, the gallery hosts a special solo exhibition featuring pieces by Port Jefferson artist Grainne De Buitlear, whose work is inspired by the vibrancy of the local landscape. 

A graduate of Ireland’s National College of Art and Design, De Buitlear said she started creating landscape paintings just for herself and her friends a few years ago.

“I love the environment around here; I often feel like Long Island reminds me of Ireland,” she said. “I think it’s just in my head — nature, ambience, the sky, the sea.”

De Buitlear said she was honored to be featured in the event. 

“Anthony had come to one of my first shows three years ago and he called me when he was opening the gallery here, and he said he’d like to feature my work,” she said. “I was just happy to be chosen for this, I know how renowned he is and what a great eye he has. It was nice to know he liked my work so much.”

Freda said he hopes to bring more events to the Port Jefferson area in the future, including an art walk sometime in August. “We have some plans in the works; we really want to help revitalize the art scene here in the village,” he said. 

The exhibits will be on view through the end of August. For more information, call 631-828-4497 or visit www.stargallerynyc.com.

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