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Reboli Center for Art and History

‘View from the Red Room’ by Joseph Reboli

By Melissa Arnold

For more than three decades, Joseph Reboli dedicated his life to creating art and sharing it with the world. His vibrant oil paintings, many of which focused on scenes in the Three Village area, were beloved not only here on Long Island but around the world for the way they captured the essence of the places he loved. Reboli’s work has been on display in museums, private collections and homes around the world.

Since its founding in 2016, the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook has worked to preserve the legacy of its namesake, who died in 2004, while also highlighting the people and places that most inspired him. Its newest exhibit, on display beginning Nov. 1, will focus on one of Reboli’s unique honors: his inclusion in an exhibit at the White House.

“Joe was a very modest guy, but I think he was really honored by this opportunity, and it was one of the highlights of his career,” said Lois Reboli, Joe’s wife of 14 years.

In 2000, the nation’s capital was preparing to mark the 200th anniversary of the White House. To celebrate, the White House Historical Association planned an art exhibit and companion calendar titled White House Impressions: The President’s House Through the Eye of the Artist. The association selected 14 well-respected artists to participate, with one artist representing each of the 13 original colonies and the District of Columbia. 

Among the chosen artists were Reboli, who represented New York for the month of March, as well as realist painter Ken Davies of Massachusetts, Reboli’s former professor at the Paier College of Art, representing February. 

The cover of the 2000 White House calendar.

The other artists were Domenic DiStefano (Pennsylvania, December 1999), Al Alexander (New Jersey, January 2000), Ray Ellis (Georgia, April 2000), John Barber (Virginia, May 2000), Marjorie Egee (Delaware, June 2000), Marilyn Caldwell (Connecticut, July 2000), Tom Freeman (Maryland, August 2000), West Fraser (South Carolina, September 2000), Richard Grosvenor (Rhode Island, October 2000), Carol Aronson-Shore (New Hampshire, November 2000) and Bob Timberlake (North Carolina, December 2000). Carlton Fletcher of the District of Columbia was granted the cover.

“We made the trip down to the White House in 1999, and the artists got to meet with Bill and Hillary Clinton. It was our first trip to the White House, and definitely impressive to us both,” Lois Reboli recalled. “Joe had been in the Army and he was a very patriotic person. A White House photographer walked around with each artist as they decided what they wanted their piece to be — the photographer was the only one allowed to take pictures. Then the artists took the photos home to work.”

Reboli was the only artist in the White House exhibit to choose a point of view from inside the building. His painting, “View from the Red Room,” looks outside to the South Portico with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. 

The Red Room has served a variety of purposes in different presidencies, from a music room to a meeting space, the backdrop for official photos and family dinners. First Lady Jackie Kennedy once said that the view from the Red Room was her favorite in the White House because it looked out on the American people. 

“When I saw this particular view, I loved the light on the South Portico with the landscape in the background,” Reboli wrote at the time about his choice. “The light’s reflection on the portico contrasted nicely with the dark interior of the room.”   

The painting from the Red Room will be on display at the Reboli Center, along with the White House calendar and original work from nine of the 14 artists featured in the 2000 exhibit, said Reboli Center secretary Colleen Hanson.

“This exhibit was a huge undertaking, and took a lot of detective work in some cases. Lois has been working on this exhibit for more than 8 months. It was a search for contacts with the artists of the calendar, communicating back and forth, and then finally getting the artwork. This was a rather complicated exhibit to put together because of the number of artists involved, the time span of an event that happened more than 20 years ago, and the fact that during those 20 years not everyone had stayed put and that deaths had occurred,” Hanson said. 

“We wanted to share the work the artists did for the White House as well as some of their original work to give a greater sense of who they were and their artistic interests.”

The White House Calendar exhibit will be on display from Nov. 1 through Jan. 26, 2020 at the Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook. Participating artists include Al Alexander, Carol Aronson-Shore, Marilyn Caldwell, Ken Davies, Domenic DiStefano, Ray Ellis, West Fraser, Richard Grosvenor and the late Joe Reboli. For more information, call 631- 751-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org.

'Autumn Pumpkins'

The Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook will host an Autumn Painting Party on Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. For a registration fee of $45, each participant will complete a new painting in the style of Joseph Reboli. The subject matter for this event will be Autumn Pumpkins, a wonderful painting to hang this season. All supplies are included, and no experience is necessary.  

To register, please call 631-751-7707.

'Harbor Reflections' by Angela Stratton

Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook will host a summer exhibit by the Setauket Artists from July 23 to Aug. 4. 

‘Stony Brook Village’ by Joan Bloom

The show, curated by Irene Ruddock, will feature over thirty paintings with many of the paintings reflecting the beauty of Long Island.

Participating artists include Lana Ballot, Ross Barbera, Shain Bard, Eleanor Berger, Joan Bloom, Renee Caine, Al Candia, Gail L. Chase, Jeanette Dick, Marge Governale, Peter Hahn, Anne Katz, Flo Kemp, Karen Kemp, Michael R. Kutzing, Jane McGraw Teubner, Terence McManus, Eleanor Meier, Fred Mendelsohn, Muriel Musarra, Paula Pelletier, Joan Rockwell, Robert Roehrig, Irene Ruddock, Oscar Santiago, Barbara Jeanne Siegel, Angela Stratton, Laura Westlake, Marlene Weinstein and Patricia Yantz.

‘Last Goodbye’ by Lana Ballot

 The Reboli Center is pleased to welcome the group to our wonderful building,” said Lois Reboli, President of the Reboli Center.

Don’t miss the Reboli Center’s summertime display of paintings that adhere to the Setauket Artists motto, “Art for a Lifetime.”  Join the artists for a reception July 25 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Reboli Center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.  1For additional information call 631-751-7707 or visit www.ReboliCenter.org. To learn more about the Setauket Artists visit www.setauketartists.com or call 631-365-1312.

'Summer Cottage'

You’re invited to a special event! The Reboli Center for Art and History located at 64 Main St. in Stony Brook will hold its 7th Painting Party on Wednesday, June 5 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.  The painting parties are always a total sell out, so be sure to register early to insure that you are part of the fun!   For a registration fee of $45, each participant will complete a new painting in the style of Joseph Reboli!  The subject matter for this event will be Summer Cottage, a wonderful summer painting to hang this season!  All supplies are included, and no experience is necessary.

The instructor for the evening is Linda Davison Mathues, an award winning, professional artist with representation in many Long Island art galleries.  Recognizing that there is a real interest in picking up a brush and painting in a fun social atmosphere, Linda and Eileen Sanger formed The Winey Painters.   Their strategies bring something unique to the painting party experience. The projects always are carefully planned around a famous artist, at the Reboli Center that artist is Joseph Reboli. Linda delves into just what makes a particular artist paint in a unique style.  Artists, past and present, lived very interesting lives, and The Painting Party combines art history with the painting.  With Linda’s many years of teaching experience, everyone leaves happy and sometimes amazed at their own hidden talent.

A reminder, Painting Party Seven has a limited enrollment, so sign up early.  To register, come to the Reboli Center or call 631-751-7707 during business hours, Tuesday – Saturday from 11 – 5 or Sunday from 1 – 5.

Come join the Painting Party and have a great time making your own Reboli masterpiece!

 

 

 

The Reboli Center for Art and History,  located at 64 Main St. in Stony Brook Village is offering another fun and informational workshop with Diana Conklin of Everlastings by Diana on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. In this workshop, participants will create a charming vibrant colored wreath for your indoor wall using hand-colored dried hydrangeas. 

Many color choices are available: fresh blue, blue burgundy, green with coral, orange, violet and burgundy blushes.  The complete wreath size is approximately 12 inches. You’ll be encouraged to explore your own style within the demonstrated framework. All materials are provided and, of course, you’ll take your creation home with you!

Diana is a well-known designer and dried flower grower whose wreaths and floral arrangements are much prized. Her creations are beautiful and she will help workshop participants craft a unique personal wreath using her beautifully hand-colored dried flowers. Diana will also share her passion for growing, drying and working with flowers. Attendance is limited. The workshop fee is $45. To register, please call 631-751-7707 or email rebolicenter@gmail.com.

‘Cassio’ by Dino Rinaldi

By Melissa Arnold

‘Stable Door’ by Joseph Reboli

Horses, whether ridden, raced, bred or simply beloved, have long been a part of Long Island’s culture. From the Belmont Stakes in Nassau to the Smithtown Hunt and the Old Field Farm in Suffolk, the majestic animals hold a special place in the hearts of many.

Among them was the late artist Joe Reboli, whose 30-year career was defined by bringing both famous places and ordinary views of the Three Village area to life with great care and realism.

The Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook was founded in 2016 to celebrate Reboli’s life and honor the history of the place he called home. Since then, the center has created a number of exhibits blending Reboli’s work with local artists as well as artifacts from Long Island’s past.

On Tuesday, the center opened an exciting  new exhibit, Artistry: The Horse in Art, which will focus on horses and their environment through a variety of mediums. Among the Reboli works in the exhibit is “The Stable Door,” an oil-on-canvas painting.

Roberto Dutesco’s ‘Love’ will be on exhibit at the Reboli Center through Oct. 28.

“Joe had a way of capturing this community that evoked such wonderful feelings from people,” said Reboli Center co-founder Colleen Hanson. “His painting of a stable door in our exhibit was done for [the late publisher] John McKinney. Joe’s ability to paint white was just astounding — there is more to the color white than many people realize; there are so many shades and hues in it and he captured them all.”

In addition to work from Reboli, the exhibit will highlight three other main artists. Roberto Dutesco, a Romanian-born Canadian artist, is well known for his fashion photography. But in 1994, Dutesco began to explore nature photography with a trip to Sable Island, nearly 200 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. There he photographed the island’s breathtaking wild horses. He has returned to the island six times since then with the goal of inspiring greater conservation efforts through his work. 

‘Zidette’ by Dino Rinaldi

Dino Rinaldi is a Port Jefferson native whose winding career has taken him from illustration to advertising and finally painting full time. As a teen, Rinaldi recalls opening up an issue of the local newspaper and seeing a painting of gasoline pumps by Reboli. 

“I looked at it and thought, someday I want to be able to paint like that. It moved me,” said Rinaldi, who now lives in Setauket with his wife and daughter. “To be able to create art for a living is a dream come true.” Keep an eye out for “Zidette,” Rinaldi’s graphite powder-and-pencil drawing.

Elena Hull Cournot, who originally hails from East Setauket, now provides creative arts therapy in the West Village and owns a studio in Brooklyn. Horses are a mainstay of Cournot’s work, who is known for her large commissioned paintings of horses and soulful works created during her time as an artist in residence at the Burren College of Art in Ireland. Like storytellers who seek to capture the personal essence of their subjects, Cournot strives to spend time with each horse she paints. One of those horses was “Indie,” whose oil-on-canvas portrait is featured in the gallery.

The center’s history gallery will focus on events and places that include horses in a prominent role. The Smithtown Hunt is the only surviving foxhound hunt on Long Island. While it was originally a live hunt when it was first held in 1900, it is now exclusively a drag hunt. The Old Field Farm was built by Ward Melville in 1931 and continues to be a hot spot for the equestrian community. 

“Every year, we sit down and talk about what kind of exhibits we’d like to have. We look at different community events that are going on, and then work to determine the artists we might feature and a theme based around that,” Hanson explained. “This is such an interesting and fun show — there are so many people who love horses and have owned or ridden them at some point. They are beautiful, intelligent creatures that have a wide appeal.”

Hanson also joked that her own history was a factor in the decision. In the decade she spent as the director of Gallery North in Setauket, not a single exhibit featured a horse. Thanks to this exhibit, she’s now hung more than 30 horse paintings, drawings and photos.

The center will hold several special free events during the exhibit’s run, each coinciding with Third Friday activities in the area. Dino Rinaldi and Roberto Dutesco will be at the center Aug. 17; Leighton Coleman, Sally Lynch and Edmunde Stewart will be welcomed on Sept. 21; and on Oct. 19 there will be a screening of the documentary “Snowman,” which tells the story of a simple workhorse saved from the slaughterhouse by a Long Island man. Snowman went on to become a national show jumping champion.   

See Artistry: The Horse in Art through Oct. 28 at the Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook. Admission is free. For information, call 631-751-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org. 

'Hydrangea Cottage' by Joseph Reboli

STONY BROOK: Following the overwhelming response from its previous painting events, The Reboli Center for Art and History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook will host its fourth Painting Party on Wednesday, May 16 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

The instructors for the evening, Eileen Sanger and Linda Davison Mathues of The Winey Painters, will lead participants in creating a new painting using Joseph Reboli’s “Hydrangea Cottage” as inspiration. Artists, past and present, lived very interesting lives, and The Winey Painters will combine art history with the painting. 

With the instructors’ many years of teaching experience, everyone leaves happy and sometimes amazed at their own hidden talent. Registration fee is $45 per person and includes all supplies. No experience needed. To sign up, drop by the Reboli Center or call 631-751-7707.

A beautiful heart wreath in your décor is something special, but a beautiful heart wreath made by you is even better! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook Village will host a Heart Wreath Workshop on Saturday, Feb. 3 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

With the guidance of Diana Conklin from Everlastings by Diana, you’ll get to make a Pinterest-worthy wreath using hand-colored dried herbs (lavender, Artemesia annua and more), hydrangea and other dried botanicals that symbolize love to display in your home. You’ll be encouraged to explore your own style within the demonstrated framework. All materials are provided and, of course, you’ll take your creation home with you! Workshop fee is $45. To register, call 631-751-7707 or visit the Reboli Center, 64 Main St., Stony Brook.

Lucille Betti-Nash. Photo courtesy of Reboli Center

Save the date! Scientific illustrator Lucille Betti-Nash will be the speaker at The Reboli Center for Art and History’s next Third Friday event, Jan. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. Betti-Nash will talk about the importance of communicating science and how science and art have been interconnected throughout history.

Betti-Nash studied art, printmaking and design with Robert White, Edward Countey and Jim Kleege at Stony Brook University in the late 1970s. During her student years studying fine arts she began working for the Department of Anatomical Sciences as a scientific illustrator where she has been employed full time since 1978. The department is home to a variety of world-renowned scientists working in many different disciplines ranging from human evolution to paleontology.

Betti-Nash’s illustrations have appeared in many scientific journals such as Science, Nature, Science Times and PLOS ONE, as well as in National Geographic, Natural History Magazine and several other scientific publications in print and online.  She has illustrated several books on human and comparative anatomy, primate behavior, ecology and evolution and numerous scientific papers and manuscripts on subjects as diverse as dinosaurs, extinct mammals and amphibians from Madagascar and hominid fossils from Africa, as well as providing human anatomical drawings for teaching students in the School of Medicine at Stony Brook.

In the past she and her husband, who is also a scientific illustrator, taught a class at Stony Brook called Anatomy for Artists, started by Ed Countey and Randy Susman. More recently they have been teaching nature drawing workshops in Peru and Brazil.

In addition to drawing the natural world, she is involved with Four Harbors Audubon Society where she leads bird walks every second Saturday in Avalon and Frank Melville parks. Future art projects include illustrating Long Island native plants, birds and insects that visit her Stony Brook garden.

The Reboli Center for Art and History is located at 64 Main Street, Stony Brook. Its Third Friday program is free to the public and reservations are not required. For more information about the event, visit www.ReboliCenter.org or call The Reboli Center at 631-751-7707.

The Reboli Center for Art and History is located in Stony Brook at the former site of the Capital One Bank. File photo

It’s much more than a place to go to appreciate the work of late artist and painter Joe Reboli.

Located at the former site of Capital One Bank across the street from where Reboli grew up in Stony Brook, the Reboli Center for Art and History, which opened a little more than a year ago, blends a collection of art from the prolific painter with works by other local artists, rotated every three months.

Housed in an A-frame white building with blue awnings, the center has showcased the work of artists including Ken Davies, who was Reboli’s teacher and mentor.

Reboli was born and raised on Main Street, not far from where his name is memorialized.

He and his family had a long history in the area. His grandfather ran a business across the street from where the center now stands, and decades later his aunt worked in the same building when it was a bank.

He died in 2004 at age 58 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Since his death, his wife Lois Reboli had been attending makeshift meetings at coffee and kitchen tables across Three Village with a squad self-identified as The Rebolians, working to make sure Joe Reboli’s story lived on.

“[The center is] hopefully a gift back to the community my husband loved so much,” said Reboli, a former art teacher.

The Reboli Center is named in honer of late Stony Brook artist Joe Reboli. File photo

He was on the board of the Three Village Community Trust and Gallery North. When asked by his wife why he attended those gatherings, she said he told her he loved the community and wanted to support it in some way.

“I didn’t really understand it at that point,” she said. “I did after he got sick, and I just really wanted to give something to the community so they would remember Joe.”

As part of the center’s cultural contributions, free talks are given with local artists, and, after a successful musical debut, the center may be the site of future concerts.

Donna Crinnian, a photographer whose pictures of egrets were featured at the center in the fall, called the center a great addition to the community.

“Everybody in the community likes having it there,” she said. “They get a really nice crowd coming in for the speakers.”

Besides Reboli, the idea for the studio gallery came together with the help of Colleen Hanson, who worked as executive director of Gallery North from January 2000 until her retirement in September 2010. She worked alongside Lois Reboli after Joe passed and also helped launch the first Reboli Wet Paint Festival weekend at Gallery North in 2005.  Hanson also worked with B.J. Intini, a former Gallery North assistant and executive director who is the president of the Farmingville Historical Society.

“I made a vow that we would do something for [Reboli],” Hanson said. “If we were to find a space, it had to be in Three Village and it had to have a Joe-like feeling. Now, I pinch myself and think, ‘This is so cool.’ We love this community. We want it to be even better and richer for everybody, and I see this as a beautiful upbeat place where people want to be.”

State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) is credited with helping to make the purchase a reality, Reboli said. He helped the three, self-dubbed the “tres amigas” create a not-for-profit called the Friends of Joseph Reboli, with a mission of collecting, preserving and exhibiting artwork and artifacts related to Joe Reboli. The group filed for federal 501(c)(3) status in 2012.

Reboli had been looking for a suitable place to share her late husband’s work with the public and had been demoralized by a few false starts when she wondered if she would be able to find the right spot.

“If we were to find a space, it had to be in Three Village and it had to have a Joe-like feeling. Now, I pinch myself and think, ‘This is so cool.’”

— Colleen Hanson

It wasn’t until March 2015 when Hanson said she heard of Capital One in Stony Brook potentially leaving the historic landmarked building at a price tag of $1.8 million. Englebright spearheaded securing a $1.3 million state grant that went toward the purchase of the building, and two anonymous $150,000 donations turned the dream into a reality.

“He went to bat to help us get as much funding as we could,” Reboli said of the lawmaker. “He was remarkable.”

She signed the contract Sept. 25, 2015 — her late husband’s 70th birthday.

“It’s everything I hoped for and more,” Englebright said of the center. “I have heard from dozens of people and they are absolutely thrilled that this is a new part of the cultural dimension in our community.”

Englebright said the late artist’s paintings open up a wide range of conversations about the interaction between nature and development. One of his favorites is of three gas pumps in front of a coastal scene on the North Shore.

“He put this scene together that clearly to me is an expression of concern regarding the impact of overdevelopment, on a way of life, and on the beauty of Long Island,”
Englebright said.

In its first full year of operation, the center, which is free for guests, has hosted a range of crowds and events. In May, it welcomed a visit from the Commack High School Art Honor Society. In late October, world-renowned cellist Colin Carr, who has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony and is teaching at Stony Brook, performed at a benefit concert.

He said the way the sound worked its way through the building was an unexpected
surprise.

“When I went in there and played the cello briefly as a trial run, it was immediately apparent that this was perfect for the cello,” Carr said. “It’s always exciting to walk into a new place, whether it’s a room or concert hall or even a church, to sit down and start playing and feel that there’s an immediate rapport between me, the instrument and the space.”

Carr is the one who suggested that the center would be a “wonderful place for a small music series.”

Reboli said she is thrilled with the direction the center is taking and suggested the showcase is far beyond what she had imagined when she first discussed highlighting her late husband’s artwork.

On a Friday in late November, the building hit a high-water mark with about 180 guests in attendance, Reboli said.

“I would have been happy with a wall somewhere,” Reboli said. “This has morphed into something that would have been unimaginable before. Never did we expect to have a place like this. This is a miracle.”