Interior of the Reboli Center for Art and History, located across the street from Stony Brook Village. Handmade ornaments and festive lights fill the space meant to celebrate Long Island’s holiday season. SYDNEY RIDDLE/THE STATESMAN

As the winter break quickly approaches Stony Brook and the days get colder, there becomes increasingly little to do. However, The Reboli Center for Art and History, located right across the street from Stony Brook Village, is a perfect indoor activity for those staying on campus during this holiday season. It is a non-profit, quaint art hub for local artists — a little corner of calm during the hustle and bustle of the crowded holiday season. 

Joseph Reboli was a popular realist oil painter during the 20th century. This unique art center was originally built to display Joseph Reboli’s art after he died. 

Reboli’s work captures scenes from everyday life in diverse areas. However, he always returned to honing the beauty of local landscapes and subjects from the Three Village area and the East End of Long Island. Reboli’s contemporary style and ability to capture the light of everyday moments are why he is still so admired today. 

The continued mission of the Reboli Center is to promote the Three Village area as a hub for art and history and to provide artistic and historical programs for people of all ages. 

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The family of Joseph Reboli is very involved in keeping his memory alive.

“I didn’t want him to be forgotten because he loved the community so much,” Lois Reboli, Joseph Reboli’s wife, said.

The exterior of the Reboli Center for Art and History. Established in Three Villages, the museum carries on the legacy of Joseph Reboli and their Realism of the area. SYDNEY RIDDLE/THE STATESMAN

Since she did not have much experience in running non-profits considering her 30-year career as an art teacher, Lois contacted Colleen Hanson, who was the director at Gallery North. 

“She and another woman who worked for Gallery North worked with me for five years to get us a non-profit,” Lois Reboli said. “Then we had a little art show to see if people still remembered Joe … and we found people were still very interested so we knew we had something and started looking for a home for it.” 

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The Reboli Center for Art and History is a building that features many different art exhibits every three months. They are always collaborating with local artists to showcase their work.

Right now, the newest exhibition has a theme to showcase all the beauty that is on Long Island during the holiday season. The exhibit features all handmade paintings, photographs, jewelry, ornaments, drinking glasses and candles. The calm, peaceful atmosphere is a great way to escape the cold this winter. All of the artwork, in addition to locally made items and cards, is available to buy and mail back to families and friends all over the world. 

Fran Grandia, a proud Reboli Center employee, has noticed that many people love the tranquil energy of the art.

“We have several people that say it is their quiet place,” Grandia said. “One lady in particular, it was still warm out at the beginning of November and she actually bought an ice cream cone and went in the back, ate her ice cream, quiet, peaceful with the birds, the water and the ducks … She loves coming.” 

Grandia shared that many people say the same thing. They enjoy coming into the building and not having to think while they enjoy the beautiful artwork.  

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Interior of the Reboli Center of Art and History. The building rotates exhibits every three months to showcase locally-made artwork that can be sold and shared across the world. SYDNEY RIDDLE/THE STATESMAN

Not only does the art center host exhibitions, but they also host paint workshops. They host events every month, and all ages are welcome. Their newest workshop is a Winter Paint Party on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Their hope is for customers to bring their artistic and holiday spirit while the Center provides the rest, such as materials and refreshments. 

Visiting the Reboli Center to view the art is free to the public, but the workshops need to be registered online. 

The holiday season is about reflecting and appreciating what is around us, and The Reboli Center is the perfect place to do that.

“We appreciate everyone who comes in the door. We wanted it to be a place where everyone felt welcomed,” Reboli said.

The sparkly decorations, quiet hum of Christmas music and calming energy of the artwork is a welcoming and festive way to get into the holiday spirit. The Center’s “Celebrate the Season” exhibit is available to visit now and will be up until Jan. 15.  

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Sydney Riddle (she/hers) is the Arts and Culture Assistant Editor at The Statesman. She is a junior Journalism Major with a concentration in Diversity and American Society. She also contributes to the multimedia section and is part of the Stony Brook Media Group.

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