Tags Posts tagged with "Lois Reboli"

Lois Reboli

An item from the Pursuits Jewelry Collection

For the month of September, the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook Village is showcasing the beautiful work of jewelry designer Vanassa Chan, founder of Pursuits.

A love of design, architecture and fashion is reflected in Vanassa Chan’s Pursuits jewelry designs. It is understandable since she earned her bachelor’s degree in Interior Design in the United Kingdom, and worked for many years as a designer in Canada. Her background in interior architecture has clearly influenced her jewelry lines and can be seen in the way they are created.

An item from the Pursuits Jewelry Collection

Every season’s collection begins with hand drawn designs with brass maquettes, and undergoes many stages of testing to produce a finished item that is bold and striking. “Our pieces are meticulously formed, and finished with care, in small batches in our Toronto studio,” said Chan.

Each collection has a name – the F.S. Collection is the largest with both necklaces and earrings. True to the designer’s intent, these pieces carry Chan’s signature sleekness and are created with versatility in mind. “Each design is our unique take on geometry and is finished with our signature matte plating,” added Chan.

The bold Orb shapes define the O Collection, which are minimal in design, but emphasized with pops of energy and color. Each necklace has a personality all of its own and is stylish and professional.

The 9S Sterling Collection features fine jewelry made of 925 sterling, The glamourous pieces are refined, delicate and dainty.

Pursuits newest collection is the Q Collection. These necklaces are bold and eye-catching with resin buttons and metallic accents strung on a rubber cord with a simple pop-clasp. While they look chunky, they are comfortable to wear every day.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Vanassa at a trade show in Manhattan and was impressed by her unique collections and their abstract qualities. Her desire to create a line with architectural elements, while including a feminine look was interesting.  I thought our patrons and visitors would appreciate her work,” said Lois Reboli, president and founder of the Reboli Center.

Vanassa Chan’s Pursuit jewelry is available at the Reboli Center, 64 Main Street, Stony Brook, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information please call 631-751-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org



ONE PAINTING A DAY A cat painting created by Mickey Paraskevas on Nov. 3, 2022. Image courtesy of The Reboli Center
The community is invited to an art reception on September 9.

Up next at the Reboli Center for Art and History is a unique exhibit titled Every Picture Paints a Story by Mickey Paraskevas, on view now through Nov. 5. 

Mickey Paraskevas is an American illustrator, cartoonist and animation producer, who is best known for co-creating with his late mother Betty the animated children’s television series, Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. Together they authored more than 20 children’s books. 

Paraskevas has worked for 32 years for Dan’s Papers, and has had about 120 cover paintings for the publication. In addition, he has been featured in Time, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Town & Country, Esquire, The Washington Post and The New York Times. He obtained his bachelor’s and Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts.

The exhibit is comprised of almost 365 paintings by Paraskevas that he created each day in 2022. While his work was included in the 2020 exhibition of “Dan’s Covers” show, this is the first time that he is doing a solo exhibit at the Reboli Center. 

“I am very proud of my association with this art center and it’s a beautiful location,” said Paraskevas.

Paraskevas’ new exhibit features vibrant landscapes, animals and still life paintings. During the last 12 years, most of his work has been digital, be it a children’s book or an animated series. Although he loved what he was doing, he missed the physical act of painting. 

“I missed getting up every morning and simply applying paint to paper or canvas. I was burned out working on the iPad,” he said. 

He considered painting on a small scale so he could get the desire to paint out of his system. On January 1, 2022, he made New Year’s resolution -a painting a day for the month. He took several small 8×8 canvases and started a project that was to last a month. He thought that was a realistic goal — he would have 31 small paintings by the end of the month. Then he thought that maybe he could do this longer and if he did it for a year, he would have 365 small paintings, which he accomplished at his studio in Southampton and now most will be on display at The Reboli Center. 

“We are so delighted that Mickey Paraskevas has chosen The Reboli Center to showcase his works of art. His massive collection pairs well with the Joseph Reboli originals that will also be on display,” said Lois Reboli, founder and president of The Reboli Center.

The community is invited to an opening reception on Sept. 9 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guests will have an opportunity to view the show and meet the artist. In addition, Paraskevas will be back at The Reboli Center for a Third Friday art talk on Sept. 15 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to discuss his painting a day project and to answer questions. No reservations are required for either event, but seating will be limited, and refreshments will be served.

The Reboli Center, 64 Main St., Stony Brook is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 631- 751-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org.

Pottery by Russel Spillmann

For the month of September, the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook Village is showcasing the incredible work of ceramist Russel Spillmann.

Spillmann has worked in ceramics for more than 50 years, during which time he has participated in many fine craft shows and exhibited at numerous galleries. His work is included in many corporate, private, and public collections. As a former resident of the Three Village area, he is thrilled to be the Reboli Center’s September Artisan. Lois Reboli, president and a founder of The Center said, “Russel’s ceramics are just amazing and the colors so magnificent that we are pleased to have an affiliation with him.”

Pottery by Russel Spillmann

“I work with porcelain for its purity and translucence. It allows one to look into and through the pot, not merely at it. Through my work, I attempt to resolve function and beauty into a presence; for it is through presence that beauty suspends the soul in timelessness, and it is here the soul expands to sense more than itself,” said Spillmann.

The artist has fond memories of growing up in the area, riding his bike past what is now the Reboli Center and going to the local beaches, where a parade of porpoises would entertain the onlookers. He relocated to upstate New York where he earned his Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Cortland. There he became interested in ceramics as he was inspired by his teacher, John Jessiman, who was instrumental in getting him accepted into the School of Ceramics at Alfred University. At Alfred, he had the opportunity to study under the esteemed pottery teachers, Val Cushing and Daniel Rogers. 

The Reboli Center for Art and History is located at 64 Main Street in Stony Brook. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, please call 631-751-7707.


Fresh Water Pearl Flower Earrings by Jeanette Leonard

For the month of August, the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook Village is showcasing the work of beach glass and jewelry designer Jeanette Leonard.

It is not surprising that Leonard, who grew up on the North Shore in Lloyd Harbor and now resides on the South Shore in Blue Point, has found a passion in designing jewelry from nature’s beach glass.

Hand Drilled Beach Pottery Necklace by Jeanette Leonard

A graduate of FIT, Leonard received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and focused on women’s tailoring (coats and suits) and knitwear. She spent a semester in England studying knitwear. Jeanette worked in Manhattan for ten years as a technical designer and then as a fashion designer. During this time, she would design and embellish tops for women. She frequented the bead stores and started making jewelry.

Leonard began wire-wrapping sea glass after a friend found a piece of sea glass and asked her to make a piece of jewelry for his girlfriend. After a period of trial and error, she successfully mastered the art of wire wrapping beach glass into jewelry.

“I am inspired by the ocean and the treasures found there. I find natural things most beautiful just the way they are in their natural state. To create pieces from fresh water pearl, genuine sea glass, beach pottery, shells and coral gives me an easy jumping off point for my designs. I love the colors that sea glass can be, I love the frosted look the ocean turns into, I love the iridescent luster that pearl and shells have. For me the imperfect is perfect,” she said.

Wire Wrapped Sea Glass Necklace by Jeanette Leonard

Leonard sources her beach glass and pearls form some Long Island beaches, mostly brown, white and green, but the blue and other unusual colors are purchased online. The driftwood is also from Long Island beaches and some is bought in California.

“As an artist, it means a great deal to be on display at the Reboli Center and to be the Artist of the Month!” 

Leonard is the founder of Blue Harbor Jewelry and, the Gallery Director at the Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts (BAFA) in Sayville, where she arranges for artists or groups to exhibit their work each month. She also sells her jewelry at art shows.

“This is the first time that the Reboli Center is offering beach glass jewelry at the Design Shop and it is a perfect fit, as we are located on Stony Brook Harbor. Jeanette’s designs are beautiful and the pieces so exquisite, we are thrilled to exhibit her work during August,” said Lois Reboli, founder and president of the Reboli Center.

The Reboli Center for Art and History, located at 64 Main Street, Stony Brook, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information please call 631-752-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org.


For the month of July, the Reboli Center for Art and History is showcasing the work of jewelry designer Sarah Richardson.

Richardson comes from a long line of artisans so it was only natural that her creative side was nurtured to have a passion for art. She studied Metalsmithing at Rhode Island School of Design and then continued her design studies in Germany.  Afterwards, she moved to New York and designed customed jewelry for a gallery in the West Village. Richardson taught metalsmithing and focused on fine art jewelry. In 2006, she returned to California and set up her own studio.

Sarah Richardson Jewelry includes earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets, as well as a Bridal Collection featuring eternity and engagement rings, earrings and pendants. “All of my pieces are finely crafted using recycled sterling, 18 karat gold and platinum and ethically sourced stones. Any pieces which are vermeil are plated in a heavy 18 karat gold over sterling, with gold fill chains, to ensure long lasting quality,” said Richardson.

“My jewelry is a process of evolving designs,” she explained. Drawn to the organic quality of each individual pod, a repetition of these elements creates geometric form. Using traditional wax carving techniques, each piece is hand carved, then cast in 18 karat yellow gold or sterling.  Using heat to bring the fine metal to the surface, each piece is then polished on the edges creating an interior glow.

Lois Reboli, president and founder of The Reboli Center, saw Sarah Richardson Jewelry at the NY NOW show at the Javitz Center. “As I admired her collection and variety of pieces, I asked if she would be interested in being featured at The Reboli Center and lucky for all of us – she said yes!  I hope everyone appreciates her fine work and designs as much as I do,” said Reboli.

Sarah Richardson Jewelry will be on display during July at the Reboli Center, located at 64 Main Street, Stony Brook. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information please call 631-752-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org

Photos of Sarah Richardson Jewelry

One woman’s pandemic project brings local scents across Long Island

By Julianne Mosher

When the world shut down in 2020, Renee Fondacaro immediately knew she wanted to take on a hobby. 

Always a fan of candles, Fondacaro would have them constantly burning in her Old Field home. She took on a hobby at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by blending essential oil scents with a clean, healthier candle wax base that she would drop off at her friends’ homes.

“I had ordered a candle kit because the pandemic was boring,” she said. “I made a bunch of them and would drop them off to my friends because I felt like it was a little gift that could maybe bring happiness when everyone was so stressed out.”

And they did bring happiness — because they smelled great. Fondacaro’s friends and family began to ask her, “Why are you not selling these?”

So, just about six months later, the mom of three signed up for her first craft fair in October 2020 where she made her first official sale. She and her husband John, who is a veterinarian specialist, decided that instead of a hobby, this was going to be a business. Soon after, they formed an LLC, got insurance and trademarked, and settled on the name “Old Field Apothecary,” as she creates her mini masterpieces right inside her Old Field home.

As a two-time cancer survivor, and retired nurse, Fondacaro is very health conscious. As an avid candle lover, sometimes it’s hard to know what exactly is being put into the air we breathe. That’s why she decided to make her candles at Old Field Apothecary 100% natural.

“It was really important for me to find ingredients that were very, very clean,” she said. “Candles can be very toxic if they’re not made with good, clean ingredients.”

Using clean coconut and apricot cream wax, she melts the mixture into jars that are heat safe for with woodburning wicks that make the perfect crackling sound. She would ask people what scents they were looking for, and now, nearly three years later, she has created over 80 different types, along with linen and room sprays and wax melts. She said the process is relatively simple, the longest part is melting the wax.

Fondacaro, who grew up in Setauket, would travel to local farmers markets and other craft fairs, along with making a website to sell her products. But she wanted to include the community even more. She started to approach local and other Long Island-based stores to start collaborating with including the Three Village Historical Society in Setauket and The Reboli Center for Art and History, The Long Island Museum, and The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook (where the candles are named after famous jazz musicians).

She began to venture out of the local Three Village area, too, including a collab with Kidd Squid Brewing Company in Sag Harbor and the Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay. She is currently planning a scent for a shop on Block Island, too, and for some wineries on the North Fork.

But the Reboli Center is the place that has the most variety. Lois Reboli, president of the center, said that Fondacaro walked in one day and they talked about a collaboration. She couldn’t be happier with their partnership.

“Her candles are exceptional and we are very honored to have them at our place,” said Reboli. “They bring in a lot of foot traffic from people who may have not come into the Reboli Center before.”

Fondacaro said some of her most popular scents are the lavender candles because they’re calming and not overwhelming. She loves the more woodsy, earthy scents. 

“Almost everyone who buys my candles always come back and tell me that they really can see the difference in the way they burn,” she said. “They don’t get headaches. They don’t get watery eyes. They don’t get side effects and symptoms from any toxins, so I love that.”

And there is a scent for everyone: blackberry and musk, coffee bean and cacao, strawberry cream truffle, or “after the rain” — just to name a few. Plus, they’re animal friendly so furry friends can enjoy these new smells, too. 

Candles start at $27.95 and are hand-poured right in Old Field. To view the entire collection, visit www.oldfieldapothecary.com

This article originally appeared in Summer Times, a seasonal guide supplement by TBR News Media.


Artist Laura DiLeone at last year's Wet Paint Festival. Photo courtesy of Gallery North
*See schedule of events for both days at end of article

By Julianne Mosher

It all started as an event to remember a local painter, but now, 19 years later, it’s bringing new artists to light. 

Since 2004 Gallery North’s annual Wet Paint Festival has invited artists from across Long Island to set up shop at a different location to paint the landscape in real time. This year’s festival, on June 17 and 18, will be held at Old Field Farm in Setauket.

Open and free to the public, the Wet Paint Festival will have something for everyone. Located at 92 West Meadow Road, Old Field Farm is a historical Long Island show grounds with a long equestrian tradition. According to its website, the farm was built by philanthropist Ward Melville as the North Shore Horse Show Grounds in 1931. For over half a century it attracted thousands of riders and spectators to equestrian competitions, many of which were successful charitable fundraisers. 

Artist Angela Stratton at a previous Wet Paint Festival. Photo courtesy of Gallery North

The farm was privately owned until 1986 and was then acquired by Suffolk County to prevent commercial sale of the property or possible subdivision and development as it stood vacant and began to deteriorate. The site added that during this time, the county initiated a search to identify an appropriate entity to take on an extensive restoration required and manage Old Field Farm and return this prized local institution to its rightful place in the community.

Now several decades later, Gallery North chose their annual two-day event to take place at this scenic location. According to Executive Director Ned Puchner, they are expecting at least 50 artists to come by, set up shop and paint plein air. 

“The festival is always in a new location and gives local artists the opportunity to not only paint the local scenery, but meet the public,” he said. “It’s also a great way for artists who are new to painting to try it out.”

 The festival started out as a tribute to local painter Joseph Reboli who was popularly known for his beautifully crafted landscapes that often depicted local area. His widow, Lois, helped create the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook. As president of the center, she has been involved with the Wet Paint Festival since its inception.

“Joe was a modest guy,” she said. “He painted because he loved this community; I’m sure he would be extremely honored.”

As the artists paint the different scenes at Old Field Farm, whatever is created during those days will then be on display at the Reboli Center in an exhibition from July 5 to August 27. An opening reception will be held at the Center on July 21 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of it again and have the opportunity to be involved with the community,” added Reboli. “This is what we’re all about.” 

While the main purpose is watching artists (coming from as far west as Port Washington to eastern Wading River), there are other events that day that will fancy people of all ages. Guides from the historic farm will be on site to provide tours of the Old Field Farm structures and grounds, and provide information on equestrian history and culture. 

Local naturalists from the Four Harbors Audubon Society will lead tours on the rich ecology and wildlife of the surrounding area, regional artists will lead guided tours on plein air painting, and there will be children’s activities as well.

Sponsored by bld Architecture, Jefferson’s Ferry and Suffolk County’s Department of Economic Development and Planning, Gallery North will also team up with WUSB 90.1 fm/107.3 fm Stony Brook to present live musical performances each day. LevelUp Kitchen, based in St. James, will also be on site to purchase picnic lunches before the event.

“Every year the festival has been growing,” Puchner said. “Three years ago there were about 30 artists who signed up, now it’s a little over 50.” He added that last year was the first time they added tours and music, which was a huge success.

“We’re really happy about how it’s been developing,” he said. “There is a vibrant creative community made up of artists, musicians, actors and the like that live in the area and this is a great opportunity to come out, go to a free event and meet the creative community in action.”

Selden-based artist Angela Stratton is excited to be returning to the event she has been attending for 17 years. 

“As an artist, I love being outside in nature,” she said. “Long Island is beautiful and there are so many places to paint, so I want to go out and paint it!”

The Wet Paint Festival will be held on June 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  (Rain dates are June 24 and 25). For more information about the festival or to register to paint, visit www.gallerynorth.org or call 631-751-2676. 

Wet Paint Festival Schedule:

Saturday, June 17

10 a.m. – Nature Walk with the Four Harbors Audubon Society

11:30 a.m. – Meet local wildlife, courtesy of Sweetbriar Nature Center

12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Live music by Tom Killourhy

1:30 p.m. – Plein Air Art Tour with artist Jim Molloy

Sunday, June 18

10 a.m. – Nature Walk with the Four Harbors Audubon Society

11:30 a.m – History Tour with Margo Arceri of Tri-Spy Tours

12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Live music by the Keenan Zach Trio

1:30 p.m. – Plein Air Art Tour with artist Nancy Bueti-Randall


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Earthnwood Artisans pottery and woodworking

For the month of June, the Reboli Center for Art and History is showcasing the stunning pottery and woodwork of Sayville couple Bobbie and Bob Dalpiaz.

Bobbie and Bob Dalpiaz met in college where they obtained degrees in Music Education from Ithaca College. After graduation, Bobbie pursued a career as an art and  music teacher and Bob taught music in a local school district. However, Bobbie realized her true  passion was pottery and began studying sculpture, hand building, and wheel throwing at private classes and at Stony Brook University. Residents of Sayville, Bobbie retired from teaching and is a full-time potter. Bob, on the other hand, is a full-time musician and woodworker. Together this  creative duo creates unique, handmade, functional artwork using exotic woods and high-fire  pottery.  

They began working together when a lid on one of Bobbie’s pieces broke and she asked Bob to  make a replacement out of wood, leading to a new working partnership. As Bob had no experience  with a lathe, he took classes with the Long Island Woodworkers Club. Through trial and error, he  became proficient at the lathe. In 1998, they formed Earthnwood Artisans. 

According to Bob, “The creative process begins with Bobbie’s pottery, which she often hand  carves to accentuate the form. She makes her own glazes and chooses a color and texture that  complements the piece.” “Bob then selects an exotic hardwood to complement the glaze and  creates a lid that accentuates the form. We often collaborate on the final project,” Bobbie said. 

With their second career, they started traveling to art shows in the tri-state area and were awarded Best of Pottery several times at various shows. Their work is available at a few Long Island  galleries. Bobbie also teaches pottery classes. 

“This is such a great opportunity for the Reboli Center to showcase the exquisite work of this  wonderful and talented couple. I was fascinated by how they started working together and the  combination of the wooden lids with the beautiful pottery is just amazing. They are a perfect fit,”  said Lois Reboli, a founder and president of the Reboli Center.

“As artists, it can be difficult to receive feedback on our work. Being selected as Artisans of the  Month at The Reboli Center confirms our artistic vision and we are honored to show our work  among other acclaimed and well-respected artists,” said Bobbie Dalpiaz. 

Earthnwood will be on display during the month of June at the Reboli Center, 64 Main  Street, Stony Brook. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information please call 631-752-7707 or visit  www.rebolicenter.org .


Gwen Beloti

For the month of May, the Reboli Center for Art and History is showcasing the beautiful work of jewelry designer Gwen Beloti.

Gwen Beloti

A love of fashion and accessories resulted in a career in the jewelry business for Beloti. A native of Brooklyn, she is a certified fashion apparel designer and a self- taught jewelry creator. For many years she was an apparel designer and in 2019 started to pursue jewelry design after taking several classes in jewelry assembly.

Her jewelry designs are of high quality and perfect for everyday wear.

“The aesthetic is the balance of minimalism and subtle statement. Our pieces are inclusive with extended sizes available and customization options,” said Beloti.

The jewelry designer is inspired by many things she sees in the city, by shapes, art and the jewelry she has collected over the years. When something sparks an idea, she tries to get it down on paper or on the computer and work on it until it comes to fruition. “I’ve learned to be patient with the process because the piece is never the best it can be at the first attempt, and it gets better with time, thought, consideration and iteration,” she said.

Beloti’s jewelry is in gold because she loves its luster and hues. The first piece she created was a gold necklace with Brooklyn spelled across that front, which she still wears today. For the first time, the summer 2023 Gwen Beloti Jewelry line will include a new collection featuring diamonds.

Recently, the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative with the National Diamond Council selected Beloti to be one of six designers to create a fine jewelry collection of gold and diamonds to be showcased at JCK in Las Vegas, the largest jewelry show in the world.

The Gwen Beloti Jewelry Collection

Although jewelry has been her passion and career, Beloti has a master’s in Psychology and started college when she was 16. She has always had a great appreciation for education and many of her teachers have had a lasting impact on her. She believes in giving back to her community and started a program where local residents nominate a special educator for a golden recognition. Those selected are presented with a piece from the Gwen Beloti Jewelry line, as a token of appreciation for the work they do. Each year, she also donates a portion of her sales to the nonprofit organization Little Dresses for Africa, which provides assistance to young girls throughout Africa.

“I met Gwen at a trade show and was so impressed by her collection and her enthusiasm for creating something beautiful that would make her customers feel special and appreciated,” said Lois Reboli, a founder of the Reboli Center.

On May 19, at the Reboli Center’s Third Friday, Gwen will discuss her artistic journey, craft and career. The talk is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 7:30 p.m. There is no fee and no reservations are required. Light refreshments will be served. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Gwen Beloti’s jewelry is available at the Reboli Center, located at 64 Main Street, Stony Brook. Operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, please call 631-751-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org

Pictured are designer Gwen Beloti and the Gwen Beloti Jewelry Collection

A ceramic bowl by Kathy Larocca

For the month of April, the Reboli Center for Art and History is showcasing the extraordinary ceramics of Kathy Larocca inspired by nature, especially botanicals, shells and fossils.

Artist Kathy Larocca

Larocca’s passion for ceramics started more than a decade ago.  “Forming art from a mound of clay got me hooked immediately on creating ceramics. I love the tactile quality of clay, whether it is made on a wheel or hand built. Each method has its own challenges and never-ending possibilities. I have taken many classes at local studios on Long Island and attended multiple workshops, both in person and virtually. I belong to several art groups and get inspiration from their creativity,” she explains.

Lois Reboli, president and a founder of The Reboli Center, said, “I find Kathy’s work a perfect fit for The Reboli Center, since we are located by Stony Brook Harbor and her work is so soothing and beautiful. Her designs are just exquisite.”

For her ceramics, Larocca uses mostly B-mix clay to create her pieces because of its porcelaneous quality and creamy color. In addition, she notes that it works well with the glazes she uses.  The artist elaborated on her process by stating, “As I develop an idea for a piece, I decide whether to create it on the wheel or by hand. Occasionally I sketch a draft of what the envisioned piece should look like. With ceramics, timing the drying work is essential, since the process involves multiple steps. Much of my work is carved (sgraffito) and the clay needs to be the correct dryness for this process to be successful. Once the piece is out of the kiln for the first firing, it is then glazed and put back in the kiln to vitrify.”

A ceramic vase by Kathy Larocca

Larocca notes that she doesn’t count the number of hours it takes to make something as there are many steps involved and it depends on the intricacy of her work. “When I work with clay or any form of art, the time melts away as I am completely engaged in the process,” she said.

Ever since she was a young girl, Larocca nurtured her creative side by exploring and enjoying art, especially sketching and painting. She continued her love of art by attending the New York Institute of Technology and discovered a fascination with animation. Upon graduation, she worked at several studios in Manhattan and on a variety of projects including movies, television commercials and animation shorts. She relocated to California where she worked in the inking department of Hanna-Barbera Studios, a major television animation and production company. Its shows included such classic cartoons as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Finn,  Scooby Doo, and The Smurfs. 

Larocca eventually moved back to New York and started a business called “Wrap It Up” where she personalized gifts for people of all ages. In addition, she continued to explore her creative side by designing and making jewelry.

In addition to exhibiting at the Reboli Center, the artist has shown her work at the Bayard Arboretum, Islip Art Museum, Suffolk County Historical Society, fine art shows and numerous libraries. “I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to be the Artisan of the Month at the acclaimed Reboli Center,” she said. 

The Reboli Center for Art and History is located at 64 Main Street in Stony Brook, and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.  Admission is free. For more information, please call 631-751-7707 or visit www.rebolicenter.org.