Tags Posts tagged with "Loretta Oberheim"

Loretta Oberheim

'Perennial Chrysanthemum' by Natalie Preston

What is your favorite childhood memory? Going to the beach, strawberry picking, holidays, road trips? From April 22 to May 20, the Smithtown Township Arts Council’s Mills Pond Gallery in St. James will present Childhood Memories, an exhibit featuring 74 works from 69 artists who were asked to explore the early rituals, the rites of passage, and the innocence of early life experiences that celebrate the passionate world of childhood. 

Juried by Seung Lee, the exhibit reveals that many artists integrate their life experiences into their work either consciously or unconsciously, often incorporating what they see and sense in the present with their memories. 

“Memories are often the inspiration for art. Artists give life to the characters and environments of our childhood memories, recording fragments of dreams, snippets of passing time, and experiences that have shaped our lives,” said Lee. 

Some works evoke happy memories with vibrant colors that portray the playfulness of childhood, while others echo personal struggles in the artist’s inner emotional world of their childhood. Visitors will see artwork in a wide array of mediums including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture and more.

Participating artists include Nari Ahn, Kirsten Angel-Lambert, Brenda L. Bechtel, Michelle Bond, Renee Caine, Al Candia, Steve Caputo, Linda Ann Catucci, Cynthia Celone, Rocco Citeno, Linda C. Clune, Jane Corrarino, Donna Corvi, Robert Crawford, Daniela Crimi, Eleanor Day, Patricia  DiGiovanni, Beria Dumankaya, JoAnne Dumas, Paul Edelson, Barry Feuerstein, Noah Hanselman, Gia Horton, John Hunt, Genesis Johnson, George Junker, Moritz  Kellerman, Lynn  Kinsella, Susan Kozodoy Silkowitz, Mark Levine, Ellie Liu, Bobbie Ludwig, Caitlin Marx, Suzanne McLeod, Avrel Menkes, Jonathan Mills, Alison Mosher, Frank Musto, Monica Nask, Loretta Oberheim, Raissa Oliveira-Silva, Eileen Palmer, Paula Pelletier, Rima Potter, Kelly Powell, Linda Prentiss, Natalie Preston, Toni Raiten-D’Antonio, Jesse Ramirez, William Dunham Reed, Jairid Rossow, Irene Ruddock, Michael Sapone, Gisela Skoglund, Mike Stanko, Robert Stenzel, Christine Kane Stevens, Judy Stone, Angela Stratton, Tracy Tekverk, Terry Tramantano, Robert Tuska, Carlos Vega, Daniela Velez, Judy Vine, Mary Waka, Steve Walker, Patty Yantz and Tianzhou Zhao.

The community is invited to an opening reception on Saturday, April 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. to meet the artists and view their work. 

Mills Pond Gallery, 660 Route 25A, St. James is open Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Please note the gallery will be closed on May 14. Admission to the gallery is always free. For more information, call 631-862-6575, or visit www.millspondgallery.org. 

A product from Sweet Woodland Farm. Photo courtesy of Rachel Stephens

The leaves are changing and there is a nip in the air, which means it is time for one of the community’s favorite fall events! After two years virtual and outdoors, the 22nd annual Women’s EXPO returns in-person at the newly renovated Middle Country Public Library, in Centereach on Thursday, Oct.6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with more than 70 exhibitors.

An initiative of the Middle Country Library Foundation, this annual event celebrates women entrepreneurs by connecting them with their peers, local business women and most importantly, potential customers. 

It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone and entrepreneurs have really taken a hit. “While the library’s Miller Business Center never stopped working with these and other entrepreneurs the entire time, we know that the camaraderie and energy of the EXPO is invaluable. We are happy to welcome these local entrepreneurs into our new space,” says library director, Sophia Serlis-McPhillips. 

“Our favorites along with a great selection of new women entrepreneurs will be at this year’s EXPO and we can’t wait,” said Elizabeth Malafi, coordinator of the library’s Miller Business Center. As it has in previous years, EXPO welcomes a diverse group of entrepreneurs with something for everyone including soaps, food, clothing and more. Like all entrepreneurs, they have worked hard to survive uncertain times. 

Shahnilla Jamal, chair of the EXPO’s planning committee and an SVP and Relationship Manager at HSBC Bank is excited to appreciate and celebrate these entrepreneurs. “Resilience is what I see in the women of Long Island, especially the EXPO entrepreneurs,” she said. “They have endured many trials and tribulations over the past couple of years, yet these amazing women have emerged stronger and more determined than ever before.” 

Long Island has always supported small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit. The support comes from shoppers and other Long Island businesses, including People’s Alliance Federal Credit Union (PAFCU), who has supported the EXPO for many years. Lisa Mitnick, Senior Manager of Business development for PAFCU knows how important it is. “Driving initiatives that advance women in their careers is not just critical to our business success, but is extremely important. The EXPO promotes the career advancement and success of women throughout Long Island,” she said.

Let’s learn more about some of the women you’ll meet at the EXPO.

Loretta Oberheim
Artwork by Loretta Oberheim

Loretta Oberheim

Loretta Oberheim Art


After hearing great things about the EXPO from her dear friend and photographer, Holly Hunt, Loretta Oberheim, decided to apply to participate. “The support she had received from the wide range of female entrepreneurs, as well as Middle Country Library, was something I found to be extraordinary…To see an entire event celebrating female entrepreneurs is phenomenal, and I’m proud to be a part of it.” 

Loretta is an award-winning sculptor and abstract artist. After graduating with a B.F.A. in Textile/Surface design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, she began working in the interior design industry with her designs gracing the pages of Vogue, Architectural Digest and more. A traumatic brain injury made creating impossible for a while, but after a time, Loretta was able to create again in a new form – contemporary abstract impressionism. 

As an entrepreneur, sales are important of course, but for Loretta, one of her greatest business and creative successes happened when she gave a piece of her artwork away.  “A young woman came by my booth with her parents and commented on my cool cane. After looking at my work, she commented to her mom that she needed to start painting again.” This comment touched Loretta. She gave one of her paintings to the young woman telling her to “go home and just start trying.” For Loretta, nothing compared to the moment. She knew that the young woman would forever look at that painting and see that a complete stranger had faith in her.

Rachel Stephens

Rachel Stephens

Sweet Woodland Farm


Born and raised on Long Island, Rachel Stephens owns and runs Sweet Woodland Farm on the North Fork, growing elderberry, herbs, roots and more. The crops are hand-harvested, barn-dried and used in all the wellness products Rachel makes and sells through farmer’s markets, local shops and the EXPO. Using the herbs she grows to help people is an incredible feeling for her. Some moments, when Rachel is alone on the farm, looking around, she is reminded that success doesn’t need to be proven financially, but success can mean that you are doing what you love to do. 

“Besides these cherished moments, I celebrate quietly to myself every time a customer tells me how well my products have helped them. It feels incredible to know that I can help people using herbs I’ve grown myself and processed by hand into a product that people will enjoy and benefit from. It’s these moments when I can appreciate the work that I’ve chosen rather than feel the rush and burdens of running a business.”

Rachel is thrilled to be at EXPO again this year. What she remembers most about last year’s event is the camaraderie and support among the women who participate. “I appreciate that there is an event recognizing and celebrating woman owned businesses. As women gain momentum in every field I’m happy to represent women in farming at the EXPO.”

Tina Dos Reis

Tina Dos Reis

All Out Anime!


After too many years in retail management, in 2014 Tina Dos Reis decided to be her own boss, starting a small business that suffered too many losses during Covid and closed. Having plenty of time on her hands, she started watching Japanese anime. Tina quickly became hooked on the action-packed scenes full of heroes with powers and quirks and started collecting keychains, figures and her current obsession, nendoroids. 

That’s when it clicked, her next entrepreneurial outing — “selling anime figures!” Choosing a business name wasn’t difficult.  “The phrase ‘go all out,’ is used quite often in anime. Characters will say it when they are determined to act on or do something important. Going all out was exactly what I wanted to do with this new venture.” And so, All Out Anime!: Your Place to Go All Out! was born. It is a business built on trust. With much of the product imported, there are many fakes out there. This can be a big challenge and is the reason customers may turn to well-known, larger shops first. But Tina is trying to change that in her corner of the anime world — she guarantees that her merchandise is 100% fully-licensed. 

As an online business, one of Tina’s proudest moments has been creating her first website. “When you see your vision come to life, it’s truly exhilarating!” She is excited to be a part of this year’s EXPO. “This event is such a great opportunity not just for myself, but for all women entrepreneurs.  The local community will have the chance to see firsthand the price we women put into our small businesses, as well as the friendly service we provide in order to make each customer experience a happy one.”


The 22nd annual Women’s EXPO will take place on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Middle Country Public Library, 101 Eastwood Blvd, Centereach from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Snacks and lunch will be available for purchase in the EXPO Café. Admission is free and there is ample parking. For further information, call the library at 631-585-9393 x296 or visit www.womensEXPOli.org. 


'Phoenix' by Jae JQ Breslow

The Huntington Arts Council (HAC) in partnership with Sea of Visibility is currently presenting SEA of Visibility: The Voyage Exhibition: Curated by Anu Annam at their Main Street Gallery in Huntington and on their website at huntingtonarts.org.  The show runs through Sept. 4.

Artists were invited to “add your vision, your voice, and your voyage, making the invisible, visible, so the story of our collective struggle can be found, and the very specific connection for healing and integration can be made.”

Participating artists include Anu Annam, Tiffany Asadourian, Leila Atkinson, Robyn Bellospirito, Angelo Blanda, Jae ‘JQ’ Breslow, John Cino, Patty Eljaiek, Sueey Gutierrez, Regina Halliday, Andrew Hornberger, Roya Jenner, Maya Kawachi, Christophe Lima, Gina Mars, Margaret Minardi, Loretta Oberheim, Mark Propper, Dr. Nichelle Rivers, Devlin Starr, Robert Stenzel and Chloe Wheeler.

“The artwork for SEA of Visibility: The Voyage was selected based on visual craftsmanship, language, and resonance, and the stories that drove their creation. The work represents the deeply personal and varied experiences of the artists included. Topics range from a life-altering accident, perseverance through various disabilities, strained family relationships, acknowledgment of vulnerabilities and shadow sides, dreams, death, living with grief, facing absurdity, coping with a harrowing pandemic to the inexplicable, even irrational, hope that is the wind in the sails of our own “hero’s journey”. The final artwork selections embrace the sunlit space of the Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery—chosen based on how they interact with one another and the venue. They create a community voice through this larger work of art that is the exhibition, together, on a singular voyage to be heard and understood” said Curator Anu Annam.

“The Huntington Arts Council is very happy to have the opportunity to partner with Anu Annam and Sea of Visibility. The pieces in The Voyage reflect a beautiful diversity of work and variety of mediums. The exhibition tells individual stories filled with emotion and powerful intent. I encourage everyone to come to our Main Street Gallery and experience this show in person” said HAC Executive Director, Marc Courtade.

The Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery, 213 Main St., Huntington is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For weekend hours, call 631-271-8423.


SEA of Visibility is an organization based in Long Island, NY that embraces our multicultural, queer, and disabled artists and our allies, focusing on neurodiversity and mental health. It “Supports Expression through the Arts” (SEA) and promotes destigmatization and integration through multidisciplinary art exhibitions, performances, and art-making programs-broadening the public’s vision on what mental illness is.

Winter Scene, Frank Melville Park

By Tara Mae

Art is an expression of personal inspiration, and the Smithtown Township Art Council’s latest exhibit at the Mills Pond Gallery, A Sense of Place, examines how Long Island acts as a muse to local artists. The show opens Feb. 20.

The beautiful exhibit fills four gallery rooms and the center hall gallery on the first floor of the historic 1838 Greek Revival mansion in St. James. A mixed media display, it includes book art, sculptures, acrylic, oil, and watercolor paintings. With 62 works by 48 artists from 32 communities across Long Island, the exhibit is a cross-section of local culture and influences, capturing scenes of nature and community.

“Long Islanders will see art about Long Island … places they see daily or places of their memories. We think the exhibit will help people reconnect with this place where they make and live their lives and hopefully inspire them toward ongoing care and interpretation of these places,” said Executive Director Allison Cruz. 

‘Walks Through Avalon’ by Loretta Oberheim

Increasing awareness about the environment was a goal for both Cruz and a number of the artists. Galvanized by the natural world and forged by remembrance, the art encompasses genres including realistic landscape vistas and abstract or surrealist renderings. How nature and memory intertwine is a recurring theme of the show, expressed through individual perspectives. 

“People will see beautiful forms of art and how artists felt in that time and that space and maybe it will get them to appreciate those places. Maybe this will make them want to venture out. It’s the little places that have been preserved … and the county parks, little gems that need more appreciation. The more that they are highlighted in exhibits, the more people will get to see them” said artist Loretta Oberheim, of Ronkonkoma.

Her abstract expressionist piece, Walks Through Avalon, is a sculpture mounted on canvas and made of alcohol inks on yupo paper. It is Oberheim’s homage to Avalon Nature Preserve in Stony Brook, which she cites as one of her “happy places.” 

The exhibit explores the myriad ways Long Island informs artistic development and depiction. 

“I’m always on the lookout for an interesting or beautiful scene and feel fortunate to live in an area with such picturesque beaches, farms and woodlands,” said artist Robert Roehrig of East Setauket. His two landscape oil paintings, Facing the Sun and Winter Scene, Frank Melville Park, are tributes to local vistas: Cupsogue Beach County Park in Westhampton Beach and Frank Melville Memorial Park in Setauket, respectively. 

More than just imagery, the show incorporates the artists’ descriptions of their art and what inspired them, details that add insight into the impact of the installation, according to Cruz. “Artists couldn’t just submit the art; they also had to explain the connection they have to Long Island. [I asked them to] tell me what gives you a connection to this island that we live on,” she explained. 

‘Winter Scene, Frank Melville Park’ by Robert Roehrig

It is the second exhibit for which Cruz utilized this process. She previously included written testimonials of the artists’ motivations for the Celebrating Creativity exhibit back in November and was encouraged to do it for this installation after the positive response from visitors.

During the era of COVID-19, the gallery has striven to remain a respite for individuals seeking an escape into artistic beauty. The effort is a continuation of the gallery’s ongoing commitment to engaging the public and providing an escape from the doldrums and despair of the pandemic for both the artists and audience.

Nesconset artist Catherine Rezin’s piece, a watercolor and gouache painting, Along Great River, is a rendering of a photograph her husband took of the bank of the Connetquot River at Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River. 

“From the perspective of an artist, it is important to be seen, to allow other artists to see my work and to be inspired by their work. For the rest of the public, it is important to be able to go somewhere and retreat from reality, to connect with nature through art and to connect with Long Island through art,” said Rezin.

Participating artists include:

Marsha Abrams (Stony Brook), Lucia Alberti (Smithtown), Tina Anthony (Northport), Shain Bard (Huntington Station), Ron Becker (Deer Park), Joyce Bressler (Commack), Jean Marie Bucich (River Vale NJ), Carol Ceraso (Hauppauge), Rocco Citeno (Sayville), Donna Corvi (Montauk), Gráinne de Buitléar (Belle Terre), Lou Deutsch (Stony Brook), Michael Drakopoulos (Port Jefferson), Karin Dutra (Port Jefferson), Paul Jay Edelson (Poquott), Ellen Ferrigno (Port Jefferson), Dorothy Fortuna (Smithtown), Donna Gabusi (Smithtown), Jan Guarino (East Northport), Margaret Henning (Sayville), Libby Coker Hintz (Blue Point), Irene Ruddock (Stony Brook), James Kelson (Stony Brook), Lynn Kinsella (Brookhaven), John Koch (Port Jefferson Sta.), Lee Ann Lindgren (Breezy Point), Olivia Mathon (Smithtown), Eileen P. McGann (Island Park), Carissa Millett (Setauket), Hillary Serota Needle (Dix Hills), Loretta Oberheim (Ronkonkoma), Eileen W. Palmer (St. James), Catherine Rezin (Nesconset), Robert Roehrig (East Setauket), Lori Scarlatos (Saint James), Gia Schifano (New Hyde Park), Anita Schnirman (Kings Park), Faith Skelos (Smithtown), Paul Speh (Ronkonkoma), Mike Stanko (Valley Stream), Madeline Stare (Smithtown), Barbara Stein (Port Washington), Nicholas Valentino (North Babylon), M. Ellen Winter (Northport), Mary Jane van Zeijts (Stony Brook), Mary Waka (Ronkonkoma), Patty Yantz (Setauket) and Theodora Zavala (East Meadow)

The Mills Pond Gallery, located at 660 Route 25A, St. James, will present A Sense of Place from Feb. 20 to March 20. The gallery is open Wednesdays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Mask wearing is mandatory and social distancing protocols are strictly observed. For more information, call 631-862-6575 or visit www.millspondgallery.org.