Nicole Robilotta displayed rebuilt fiber-glass dolls. (NINA LIN)
Nicole Robilotta displayed rebuilt fiber-glass dolls. (NINA LIN)

For the first time in Stony Brook history, the Stony Brook Art Gallery is ready for an actual moniker. Now the gallery will bear Paul W. Zuccaire’s name, after the namesake of a foundation that’s ready to donate half a million dollars to save it.

Through Alice Zuccaire, the donation will be spread over the next seven years and matched by the Simons Foundation for a total of $1.5 million according to Alan Inkles, the director for the Staller Center of the Arts.

And in an agreement between the Staller Center for the Arts and the Paul W Zuccaire Foundation, the gallery was to be renamed for the first time since it’s inception in 1975—the same time Staller, then known as the Fine Arts Center, opened on campus.

“About 11 years ago, we had some budget cuts. We always have budget cuts,” said Inkles. “There were proposals to cut [the art gallery]. Undergraduate and graduate students, that’s how they show their work. If we don’t have it, we can’t show their art.”

Unlike shows in the Staller Center, the art gallery is free to the general public, said Inkles. The only significant source of revenue comes from donations from corporate sponsors to small foundations like Zuccaire’s.

The newly named gallery opened up its first viewing, “Chance,” two days later, showcasing work from three Stony Brook MFA candidates: Andreas Rentsch, Nicole Robilotta and A. Ezra Thompson.

Alice Zuccaire donated money through the Zuccaire Foundation for the past ten years to support the gallery. This year, she pledged enough for a longer lasting solution to the gallery’s money problem.

“This is the largest gift she’s ever gave. This is the first renaming we’ve had since [Staller] been named 25 years ago,” said Inkles. “Art students will be able to continue to show their work, their art, in perpetuity.”

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