This week’s cover artist, Joseph Reboli, died in 2004. The Port Jefferson native and U.S. Army veteran held his first solo exhibition in 1971, and that was only the beginning. His work has appeared as part of five museum exhibitions, more than 20 solo exhibitions, and is collected privately throughout both America and Europe.
Six years ago Reboli’s widow, Lois Reboli, Colleen Hanson and B.J. Intini started a nonprofit to collect and preserve his paintings and artifacts in an effort to make available to the public. The result: The day after Thanksgiving 2016, the Reboli Center for Art and History opened in the former Bank of Suffolk County, the only commercial building still standing in its original location in the village of Stony Brook.
We talked to Lois Reboli recently to see what we can expect from the new Reboli Center, what it means for Long Island, and what Joseph himself would think of the new Center.
What can we look forward in your Third Friday programming?
We are planning to have lectures and interviews every “Third Friday.” In February we’re having a Ken Davies show, Realism in the 20th Century. He was Joe’s teacher at the Paier School of Art and is a well-known realist painter. Ken will be speaking about his work on February 17. Our March 17 guest will be artist Dan Pollard. We’re also excited about having Christina Strassfield from Guild Hall as our April 21 speaker.
What exhibits can we look forward to?
February 17 through April will be the Ken Davies [exhibit]. May through August we’ll have “In The Garden.” August through October will be “The Whimsy of Vickie Sawyer,” and November through January, “The Harvest.”
What do you think Joseph himself would have liked most about the Reboli Center?
Joseph Reboli was a modest man. I know that he felt very blessed to have been able to spend his life doing what he loved best, painting. I’m also sure that he would feel very honored by the support we have gotten to do the Reboli Center in his honor.
What will the Reboli Center mean to the Three Villages and to Long Island?
The Center is just across the street from his childhood home. His Aunt Anna worked in the building for over 40 years and arranged art shows for him when he was young. She bought any paintings that were not sold and gave them to friends as gifts. Joe just thought he could sell anything he painted. The Reboli Center will be a warm and welcoming place with both art and gifts that we hope will be a draw to both the Three Village area and beyond. We have wonderful museums, shops and music venues in Stony Brook; and we will be another great asset to the community.
What are the longterm goals and ambitions of the Reboli Center?
The mission of The Reboli Center for Art and History is to promote, educate and inspire the public with an understanding, enjoyment and appreciation of the life and works of Joseph Reboli, other artists, and Long Island history. The Reboli Center hopes to promote the development of the Three Villages as a vibrant center for the arts and history on Long Island and intends to collaborate with other nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to accomplish that goal.
The Reboli Center for Art and History is located at 64 Main Street in Stony Brook. For more information contact them at 631-751-7707 or at rebolicenter.org.