Tags Posts tagged with "Port Jefferson Village Center"

Port Jefferson Village Center

By Tara Mae

It runs in the family! The third annual All in the Family art show opened at the Port Jefferson Village Center’s Gallery on June 2. “This particular show is for artists [who] have a family member who is also artistic to show how artistic talent runs in families. It is my most requested show; artists really look forward to it every year. Many contact me and ask when I will be having it,” said Gay Gatta, the exhibit’s organizer and curator.

A number of artists, like Marg Governale of Middle Island, have participated in the show before and appreciate the opportunity to share the experience with siblings, children, and grandchildren. 

“[The] exhibit is really exciting because I get to see not only great art from artists that I know but the talents of their family members … who may not usually exhibit their art. It’s fun to see their excitement and to hear their stories of how and why they are here,” said Governale. 

“It also gives me the opportunity to do something special with a family member, to bring them into my world. In the past my brother, Jeff, has participated in this exhibit. This year my sister, Susan [Carricato], also an aspiring artist, is exhibiting alongside me.”

Governale, who is primarily a landscape painter, chose to submit her landscape oil painting, Summer at Eagle Lake, to the exhibit. Carricato’s piece, A Day at the Vineyard, is an acrylic landscape painting. 

In addition to landscapes, the show features portraits and more abstract works, although there is no overarching stylistic theme to the show. Its concept was developed by Gatta after discussing familial talents with artists and identifying the abilities in her own family. 

“When speaking to the artists, they would mention members of their family that were very talented. I have many in my family as well and thought it would be a unique show and fun for the artists to exhibit with their families,” Gatta said. 

Beyond showcasing talent, the exhibit is a way for inexperienced artists to show their work in a gallery for the first time, according to Gatta. Having it at the gallery also eliminates some of the economic barriers artists may otherwise encounter, making it easier for any interested party to participate. 

“So many [artists] don’t feel their art is good enough for a gallery … This gives them the push they need to show their art and have others critique it positively, so they just might continue to exhibit their artwork. I have always had my shows in free venues … otherwise it can be very costly for an artist to exhibit,” she added. 

For Terry Falquero of Sound Beach, exhibiting art with her daughter, Tabitha Grit, was a realized ambition. 

Falquero’s landscape oil painting, On the Rocks, Please, is a view of the Neversink River in upstate New York. Grit’s entry into the exhibit, Honey Bee, is a mixed media portrait.  

“My daughter Tabitha is also an artist, but rarely exhibits her artwork in this forum. She prefers to show online. Ever since she was a little girl coloring with crayons, I’d dream of us some day showing artwork together. Now with this exhibit, it has finally come true,” she said. 

The Port Jefferson Village Center, 101-A East Broadway, Port Jefferson will present All in the Family Reunited through June 30. The second floor gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and admission is free. Join the artists for a COVID-safe reception on Sunday, June 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, call 802-2160 or visit www.portjeff.com/gallery/. 


By Melissa Arnold

The vast majority of artists will say they are influenced by the work of someone else. Whether it’s a contemporary from their own time or someone from long ago, artists blossom from appreciating and studying others.

This sentiment is held dear by members of the Smithtown Artists Group (SAG), a small network of local artists who gather for creativity and camaraderie alike.

Their friendship began at the main branch of the Smithtown Library, where artists of all backgrounds and skill levels have gathered on Tuesday afternoons to paint, some of them for decades.

“When my kids were in school I ran a lot of arts and crafts programs, and then in their later teens I took a watercolor class,” said Judy Contrino of Stony Brook, who began painting at the library 20 years ago. “Joining the library group was a wonderful experience because there were so many different mediums being used by the people there, and some of them were quite accomplished. I was a self-taught artist. And it’s wonderful to have newcomers improve and show them how they’ve grown. No one is asking you to be Rembrandt — it’s just a place to come, relax and learn from those around you.”

A few years ago, some of the library artists expressed a desire to broaden their horizons and pursue exhibitions. Roughly a dozen people came together to form what is now the Smithtown Artists Group.

With the help of a new website to showcase some of their work online, the group was able to hold exhibits in libraries around Long Island, including Harborfields, Sachem, Kings Park and East Northport. After a long hiatus during the pandemic, they are thrilled to share their work again. Their newest exhibit, A Potpourri of Art, will be on display this spring at the Port Jefferson Village Center.

Featuring more than 80 pieces from 8 artists, the exhibit will feature works done in watercolor, acrylic, oil, colored pencil and more. Each artist has a unique flair and favorite subjects, making it a great fit for art enthusiasts of all kinds.

Carol Kelly of Kings Park spent many years simply appreciating the work of others before trying her own hand at painting. “It wasn’t until I was around 45 that I started learning to paint. I would go to art exhibits and often say, ‘Wouldn’t it be marvelous to be able to create beautiful works of art for other people to enjoy?” she recalled. 

“I started taking watercolor classes, and then some time later saw a listing in my library’s newsletter about the group meeting in Smithtown. I’ve been there for 13 years and enjoy the process of critiquing and learning from one another.”  

Kelly enjoys painting landscapes and scenes from her garden, but occasionally branches out into other subjects, as with a painting of a bird she titled “Looking for Lunch.”

Lucia Alberti of Smithtown has spent the past 10 years painting at the library and was excited to participate in exhibitions with longtime friends in the group. Alberti said that the majority of her work is done in acrylics with a focus on imaginative realism.

“We have a lot of variety in our experiences and what we enjoy doing as artists. Some people teach art and have exhibited before, while others simply enjoy art and being creative,” she said. “We are friends, and we admire one another, which adds another layer of joy to our painting. Getting to do this exhibit together is a very special opportunity.”

The exhibit is a welcome source of joy for the community, too.

“We’re happy to be doing shows again — this is our second exhibit since the pandemic,” said Sue Orifici, head of graphic, archival and special projects at the Port Jefferson Village Center. “There’s a nice mix of art to enjoy in this show and we hope people will stop by and visit.”

Participating artists include Lucia Alberti, Cheryl Cass-Zampiva, Carol Ceraso, Judy Contrino, Ruth Johnson, Carol Kelly, Anita Simmons and Joanie Whalen.

A Potpourri of Art will be on display on the second floor of the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson from March 1 to April 30. Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For more information about the exhibit, call the Village Center at 631-802-2160. To learn more about the Smithtown Artists Group, visit http://sagartists.wixsite.com/sagartists.

Port Jefferson Village Center. Photo by Heidi Sutton
UPDATED 03/15/21

Take a bite out of hunger

The Port Jefferson Conservancy is currently hosting a food drive at the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson through March 20. Food pantries are in short supply after the holiday season and need support. If you’re coming to the PJVC to skate, view the latest art gallery exhibit or to visit Harborfront Park, please bring a canned food or non-perishable item to benefit local families. The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For more information, please call 631-802-2160.

By Julianne Mosher

The Christmas season may be over, but one local man just won a holiday gift that will last him for quite a while. 

Ron Carlson, a long-time employee of the Village of Port Jefferson, recently won a prize of $1,000 in gift cards thanks to the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce’s most recent raffle.  

Barbara Ransome, Director of Operations at the chamber, said that during December’s annual Festival of Trees display inside the Port Jefferson Village Center a Gift Tree was set up next to the Festival’s main tree in hopes of raising money for the chamber. Visitors to the holiday exhibit were able to purchase a $5 raffle ticket to take a chance in winning gift certificates from over 25 chamber partners (a combined total of $1,000), plus a mini tree the family can use next year. 

A resident of Miller Place, Carlson had worked as Parks and Recreation Director for 35 years, he said, and even after retirement decided to come back to the village part-time. “I have a strong feeling for the village and I wanted to support it when I saw the gift tree and the raffle,” Carlson said. “Barbara and the chamber are doing such a great job.” He said he didn’t expect to win, but when he did, it was “a great surprise.”

“There are a lot of fun things to do in the village,” he said, naming some of the shops and restaurants that donated including the Fox and Owl Inn, The Steam Room, Torte Jeff Pie Co., The East End Shirt Company and more. 

Carlson said he has already started using some of the certificates, bringing his wife Gina to Pasta Pasta last week to celebrate her birthday. And even though he lives a little more east than where the village is, he said that events like these keep bringing him and his family back. 

“It’s a fabulous place to come to, whether you’re a village resident or not,” he said. “Port Jefferson is one of the jewels of Long Island.”

Ransome said the raffle helped raise $200 which will go towards the operational budget of the chamber. “[The prize} couldn’t have happened to a nicer family that supports the village and the chamber of commerce.”

The Port Jefferson Village Center, 101-A East Broadway, Port Jefferson kicks off the holiday season with its annual Festival of Trees featuring 20 professionally decorated 6 ft. trees on display on the second floor now through Dec. 30. Enjoy a magnificent display of themed holiday trees.

Overlooking the ice-skating rink, the festival starts with an evergreen thanking essential workers, and features photos of the men and women who put their lives at risk. Other trees decorated by residents, their co-workers and families celebrate the season and shine a light to the local community.

Viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Social distancing protocols will be followed and masks are required. Free. For more information, call 802-2160.

All photos by Julianne Mosher

Photo by Julianne Mosher

The Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosts a special Cookieland event, an afternoon of cookie decorating, at the Port Jefferson Village Center’s Harbor Cove Room, 3rd floor, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson on Dec. 12 and 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. The cookie kit, from La Bonne Boulangerie Bakery, includes 2 large sugar cookies with all the trimmings, icing and decorations. Masks will be required. Participants will be socially spaced with additional clear barriers at tables. $15 per person. Preregister by visiting www.portjeffchamber.com.

By David Luces 

For Susan Orifici, head of graphic, archival and special projects at the Village Center in Port Jefferson, a walk along the water at Harborfront Park inspired a plan to spread positivity in the community during these uncertain times. 

“I saw the rocks on the shore and I thought of the idea of doing something creative with them; something that would be perfect for families and children who come to the park,” she said. 

The idea culminated into what she calls the “Be Kind Movement,” where individuals can come up to a table in front of the Village Center, pick out a rock, take it home and paint a message of hope, kindness or a fun design. Once they are done painting his of her rock, Orifici said they can place their rock in the designated “Kindness Garden” located behind the Long Island Explorium at the Children’s Park off East Broadway. 

Orifici also suggested that individuals use permanent markers or acrylic paint when designing their rock as these will last longer out in the elements. 

The graphic artist said the table and sign in front of the building is there 24/7. “We try to have it up everyday,” she said. “If it’s too windy or if it’s raining we take it down for the time being.”

In a short time, community members have embraced the movement, with almost  two dozen decorated rocks placed in the kindness garden so far. 

“I couldn’t be happier with the feedback we’ve been getting; everybody loves the idea,” Orifici said. “I wanted to connect with others during these times and  provide a ray of hope.”

Orifici, who is currently working with five other employees inside the Village Center, said it can be lonely sometimes as there’s only so much they can do at the moment but seeing the progress of the kindness garden has been uplifting. 

“It feels great seeing people stop by the table and taking a rock home with them,” she said.  

While the Village Center remains closed to the public, Orifici said she hopes once restrictions are lessened by the state they will be given the go-ahead to conduct a soft-opening of the center followed by an official reopening. 

With the ongoing success of the kindness garden, Orifici said she hasn’t thought about expansion yet but mentioned that participants could start placing rocks in the flower beds around Harborfront Park. 

She is thankful for the support so far. 

“Port Jeff is a tight community. We understand how they feel during this time, we miss them here [at the Village Center],” she said. “We hope they continue to be strong and keep being creative.”

Photos courtesy of Sue Orifici

This year’s event will feature samplings from Danford’s WAVE Seafood & Steak. Photo from PJCC

It’s back! The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosts its 12th annual  The Taste @ Port Jefferson at the Village Center, 101-A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson overlooking Harborfront Park and the harbor on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. 

In celebration, the chamber has reached out to the greater Port Jefferson restaurant community and will highlight over 30 restaurants and purveyors offering top-quality food tastings and desserts as well as samples of wines and beers. The event will feature musical entertainment by the Denice Given Band, a local favorite performing swing, standards, Latin, disco, top 40, pop, rock, R&B, Motown, reggae, country and everything in between.

This year’s event will feature samplings from Kilwins. Photo from PJCC

New this year is a 20- by 40-foot beer tent featuring Po’Boy Brewery, PJ Brewing Co., Montauk Brewing Co. and Blue Point Brewing Co. and a LI Cuban Cigar and Bourbon Experience mobile lounge — a 25-foot trailer with a master server catering to each guest, cutting each cigar, while artfully speaking to each flavor of bourbon. 

Adding to the ambiance for the evening Kunz Greenhouses will be suppling table arrangements for the special VIP dinning lounge and Organically Green Horticultural Services will be providing planters and horticulture to welcome attenders into the event.

Participating businesses also include Barito Taco & Cocktails; Fratelli’s Bagel Express; Costco; Dos MexiCuban Cantina; Due Baci; Fifth Season; Kilwins; Flying Pig Cafe; La Bonne Boulangerie Bakery; Local’s Cafe; Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding; Nantuckets; Roger’s Frigate; Pasta, Pasta; Port Jeff Lobster House; Port Jeff Bistro & Pub; Prohibition Kitchen; Slurp Ramen; Starbucks; The Steam Room; Tuscany Gourmet Market, Top Shelf Trading Corp; Uncle Giuseppe’s; The Waterview at Port Jefferson Country Club; Danford’s WAVE Seafood & Steak; and Zorba the Greek.

Sponsors this year include St. Charles Hospital, SERVPRO of Port Jefferson, TBR News Media, BNB Bank, Blue Point Brewing Co. and DiCarlo Food Service.

Transportation will also be provided for those who don’t want to be bothered in finding a parking spot. A shuttle will make continuous loops from the northeast corner of Belle Terre Road and Myrtle Avenue to the Port Jefferson Village Center. Cars may park in this large and well-lit parking lot and have a quick ride to the event. You can text our Port Passport shuttle at 516-939-8960 to obtain a ride. 

Save your appetite as there will be samplings in abundance and TASTE the local fine cuisine, wines and beers.  

Tickets are available on line through Eventbrite: $50 per person for general admission entrance at 7 p.m. and $75 for VIP guests at 6 p.m., which includes early access by one hour and exclusive third-floor water view VIP lounge. This is an adult evening so guests must be 21 and over. For more detailed information call the chamber office at 631-473-1414 or visit www.thetasteatportjefferson.com.

Port Jefferson Station LIRR depot

By Daniel Dunaief

The development of steel highways beginning in the early 1800s has had an enormous impact on our society, especially on Long Island, where the Long Island Rail Road was chartered in 1834. To commemorate the 185-year history of trains in Suffolk and Nassau counties, the Port Jefferson Village Center will host a new exhibit titled Railroads: Tracking the History on Long Island from Sept. 5 to Oct. 30.

Sponsored by the Port Jefferson Harbor Education and Arts Conservancy and the Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson, the unique show perfectly captures generations of railroad history with unique photos of trains, tracks and commuters from the Village of Port Jefferson archives, the Long Island Railroad Museum and the Queens Public Library’s Digital Collection.

Port Jefferson Station LIRR depot

In addition to the numerous images, the exhibit, which was curated by Port Jefferson village historian Chris Ryon, will also feature artifacts and a 50-foot time line, starting in 1834, that shows the history of a railroad that is the oldest in the country operating under its original name and with its original charter.

Currently, the train system carries over 350,000 commuters back and forth around the area each day, ranking it first among railroads in shuttling commuters.

According to Don Fisher, the president of the Railroad Museum of Long Island, laborers came from numerous countries to build the railroad. Initially, many of the workers were English and German, said Fisher. As more immigrants arrived, the workers included people of Italian and Irish descent as well as African Americans.

The railroad was originally designed to help people travel from New York to Boston. The trains brought people to Orient Point, where they took the ferry to Connecticut, which was harder to cross because many of its rivers didn’t have bridges.

Port Jefferson Station LIRR depot

One of the featured artifacts is a huge lantern that has its own serendipitous story. A resident of Wading River donated the lantern three years ago to the railroad museum. Initially, the railroad experts at the museum weren’t sure where it came from or how old it was. Later, they received a call from a resident of Toms River, New Jersey, who had a picture of a steam engine from the late 1800s. The picture features a kerosene, whale oil-burning lantern that looked incredibly similar to the one donated.

“While this is not the exact same lantern, it likely came off a locomotive like this, so we could make the story come to life,” said Fisher who suggested that the LIRR is “our railroad, which we love to hate.”

While he thinks typical commuters who ride the trains each day may not be as drawn to the exhibit, Fisher expects families with young children enthralled by Thomas the Tank Engine or by stories and photos of railroads may find numerous train treasures at the upcoming exhibit. He also expects that some senior residents will come and reminisce about everything from the horror of a snowstorm to a ride aboard a steamy train without air conditioning on a hot day to stories about friends they met aboard the train.

Port Jefferson Station LIRR depot

“The history of the Long Island Rail Road is the history of Long Island,” said Stephen Quigley, president of the Long Island Sunrise Trail Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, who added that one of the many noteworthy railroad riders includes President Theodore Roosevelt who frequently took the LIRR to Oyster Bay while in office.

Quigley said he plans on contributing memorabilia to the exhibit, including a Dashing Dan logo, which is a popular feature from the 1950s trains. The typical Dashing Dan logo featured a commuter running with a briefcase, with half of his striped tie flying behind his head, as he’s checking his watch. The tagline on the logo was: The Route of the Dashing Commuter, which appeared above an LIRR placard.

The exhibit will also include numerous other versions of the Dashing Dan family, including a Dashing Sportsman, a Dashing Dottie and a Dashing Dan Weekend Chief, which features a commuter heading out aboard the train on the way to the beach.

Fisher and Quigley each have numerous stories about the history of the railroad and of their time aboard the trains.

In more modern times, Fisher said the Oakdale Station has featured at least two weddings. The LIRR has also been the setting for movies. The Mark Wahlberg film “Broken City,” which also stars Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones, included scenes filmed aboard a train going back and forth from Long Island City to Montauk. During the filming, the LIRR added two extra cars, Fisher said.

Quigley recalled how one commuter, who had become friends with several other riders during his trek back and forth from Babylon to Mineola, had a baby shower on board the train.

Fisher added that many people are aware of some of the stories related to the Transcontinental Railroad, which involved moving Native Americans and gerrymandering properties. What people don’t often know, however, is that the “shenanigans with Congress and political bodies, the payoffs to get property so the railroad could be built, the sweetheart deals with companies, all happened here [on Long Island] first.”

Railroads, Fisher said, were the “dot.com of the time. Anybody with a few bucks wanted to invest. It was a hot commodity. More people worked for the railroad than any other industry. It was an economic generator.”

The community is invited to an opening reception of the new exhibit on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Ryon said he hopes to have a panel discussion featuring railroad experts at the reception and is in the process of reaching out to a number of train executives.

The Port Jefferson Village Center, located at 101A East Broadway in Port Jefferson, is open seven days a week, except holidays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.. For more information, call 631-802-2160.

Photos  from the Kenneth Brady Collection