11/17/13 8:00am
11/17/2013 8:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Vines & Hops and TWS Hobby Center opened up on Main Street within the past year.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Vines & Hops and TWS Hobby Center opened up on Main Street within the past year.

It’s a lamentable story that locals are all too familiar with: downtown Riverhead was a veritable ghost town just a few years ago, with empty storefronts dotting large stretches of East Main Street.

To help counteract the sense of glum particularly felt during the holidays, East End Arts launched a campaign in 2010 that gave locals the opportunity to decorate the windows of vacant storefronts with festive scenes. The nonprofit has held a Holiday Window Decorating contest each of the past three years.

Click here to see photos from last year’s contest

But now, thanks to the recent influx of businesses to downtown Riverhead, none of that will be happening this year: Pat Snyder, the executive director of East End Arts, said the most of the storefronts she and other members of the Council would have decorated are, to the relief of many in the community, now occupied.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Nancy Reyer, left, and Allison Pressler, right, at a window display made to recognize Reyer's son, Michael.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Nancy Reyer, left, and Allison Pressler, right, at a window display made during last year’s contest to recognize Reyer’s son, Michael.

“It was our gift to the community to fill up the space, make it look nice during the holidays and encourage people to come downtown,” Ms. Snyder said. “There were vacant windows and the town we loved needed love. The windows we typically would have used are now mostly occupied by businesses, so that’s a good thing.”

Mattituck resident Mark Sisson, whose group “People for the Ethical Treatment of Elves” took second place honors in last year’s Holiday Window Decorating contest, called the change a sort of “double-edged sword.”

“On one hand, it’s great stores are filling up in downtown Riverhead,” he said. “But on the other, it’s too bad that we don’t get a chance to have this fun thing for the holidays.”

A few of the once-vacant storefronts locals used to decorate are now occupied by stores include Twin Forks Bicycles, game shop TheWarStore.com, and Vines and Hops Café, Ms. Snyder said. Twin Forks Bicycles moved into downtown Riverhead in February 2012; TheWarStore.com and Vines and Hops Café both opened their doors this year.

The former Woolworth building on East Main Street, which Ms. Snyder said also used to get the decorative window treatment, will soon bustle with activity itself. Ultimate on Main is expected to open a large gym on the building’s ground floor by the end of the year, and another tenant, Goldberg’s Famous Bagels, plans to open its doors in an adjoining space by the start of 2014.

“There’s nothing like a live, animated storefront with people inside,” Vines and Hops Café co-owner Jeff McKay said. “Having that storefront come alive with patrons – it’s a great feeling.”


06/09/13 10:15am
06/09/2013 10:15 AM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO  |  The Riverhead Blue Masques rehearse a scene in 'Fiddler on the Roof.'

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The Riverhead Blue Masques’ production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ earned a Teeny Awards nomination for choreography.

The 11th Annual Teeny Awards will be held at Southold High School today. The awards, presented by East End Arts and sponsored by Suffolk County National Bank and Riverhead Toyota, showcase the best in local high school theater.

The red carpet begins at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Southold, with 11 nominations, and Riverhead, with 10 nods, lead the way for local schools.

Check back this evening for a list of winners.

The nominees for all the North Fork high schools are listed alphabetically by school below:


Lead Actor in a Drama

Eliminas Abromaitis, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”

Jonathan Troiano, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”

Jamie Tuthill, McGann-Mercy, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”


Lead Actress in a Drama

Nicole Chiuchiolo, McGann-Mercy, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Brionna Cook, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”

Amanda Osborne, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”

Jordan Tapley, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”


Supporting Actor in a Drama

Andrew Nucatola, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”

Patrick O’Brien, McGann-Mercy, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”


Supporting Actress in a Drama

Danielle Allen, McGann-Mercy, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Emma Bernhardt, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”

Erin Plitt, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”

Jessica Sisti, Riverhead, “A Christmas Carol”


Lead Actor in a Comedy

Zach Fisher, Shoreham-Wading River, “Don’t Drink the Water”

Sean Mannix, Shoreham-Wading River, “Don’t Drink the Water”

Oliver Orr, Mattituck, “Are Teachers Human?”


Lead Actress in a Comedy

Maggie Daley, Shoreham-Wading River, “Don’t Drink the Water”

Gayle Gammon, Southold/Greenport co-production, “Trixie, Teen Detective”

Mally Fogarty, Mattituck, “Are Teachers Human?”

Rachel Lohrius, Shoreham-Wading River, “Don’t Drink the Water”


Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Tom Batuello, Mattituck, “Are Teachers Human?”

Anthony DeVita, Shoreham-Wading River, “Don’t Drink the Water”

Ryan Zlatniski, Mattituck, “Are Teachers Human?”


Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Nicole Chiuchiolo, McGann-Mercy, “You Can’t Take it With You”

Gwyn Foley, Mattituck, “Are Teachers Human?”

Sydney Campbell, Southold/Greenport co-production, “Trixie, Teen Detective”


Lead Actor in a Musical

Sam Bracken, Southold, “Grease”

John Drinkwater, Greenport, “Guys and Dolls”


Lead Actress in a Musical

Laura Logan, Shoreham-Wading River, “Sweeney Todd”

Susanna Kelly, Southold, “Grease”

Brianna Pagano, Greenport, “Guys and Dolls”


Supporting Actor in a Musical

Matt Drinkwater, Greenport, “Guys and Dolls”

Jack Dunne, Southold, “Grease”


Supporting Actress in a Musical

Lea Gianbruno, Shelter Island, “Legally Blonde”

Michaela Manno, Southold, “Grease”

Shelby Pickerell, Southold, “Grease”

Outstanding Performance

This category recognizes students who “shine brightly” in roles not eligible for adjudication in the leading or supporting categories.

Alexandra Lasot, Southold, Teen Angel in “Grease”

Lara Mahaffy, Southold, Ursula in “Trixie, Teen Detective”


Victoria Carroll, Riverhead, “Fiddler on the Roof”

Southold dance captains, Southold, “Grease”

Outstanding Ensemble

Mattituck, “Once Upon a Mattress”

Playbill/Poster Art

Stephen Spinelli, Shoreham-Wading River, “Sweeney Todd”

Gretchen Walter, Southold, “Trixie, Teen Detective”

Judge’s Choice Award

This noncompetitive award is given for a scene, musical number, dance number or group that the judges feel stands out enough to warrant special recognition.

The Greek Chorus, Shelter Island, “Legally Blonde”

Stage Management Recognition


Mariah Brengel, Shoreham-Wading River

Ian Byrne, McGann-Mercy

Quinn Carey, McGann-Mercy

Helen Chen, Mattituck

Jaclyn Conway, Southold-Greenport co-production

Jaclyn Conway, Southold

Mayra Gonzalez, Mattituck

Melissa Hickox, Mattituck

Julie Lindell, Shoreham-Wading River

Anne O’Rourke, Mattituck

Stephen Spinelli, Shoreham-Wading River

Jerilynn Toole, Riverhead

Sean Walden, Greenport

Rachel Williams, Riverhead

Technical Design recognition


Savannah Calderale, Southold, set design for “Grease”

Catherine Penn, Riverhead, costume design for “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Footloose”


02/18/13 3:00pm
02/18/2013 3:00 PM
NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | East End Arts announced

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | East End Arts have announced details about the upcoming East End Challenge. It includes a new exhibit by the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation called “The Bays Around Us: A Tribute to Rachel Carson.”

East End Arts in Riverhead announced last week details about its upcoming East End Challenge, a contest that encourages high school students to help preserve the environment.

The East End Challenge involves having students explore connections between science and art for a new exhibit by the East End Seaport Museum and Marine Foundation called “The Bays Around Us: A Tribute to Rachel Carson.”

Ms. Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist who wrote “Silent Spring,” a book that has been credited with launching the contemporary American environmental movement. This new exhibit will feature the winning entries of the East End Challenge.

Contestants are asked to explore connections between science and art and include a narrative, multimedia or visual images in their presentations. East End Arts officials said a panel of judges will consider the following: quality, message, inventive observation and creative interpretation of the East End’s maritime world. They added: “To paraphrase Einstein, looking at what everyone else is looking at and seeing what no one else is seeing.”

All high school students from the five East End townships — Riverhead, Southold, Shelter Island, Southampton and East Hampton — are eligible.

Students must first submit an application with an outline and description of their proposed project. Cash prize awards are available of up to $1,000 for winning entries. All finalists selected will receive $100 each.

The deadline for entries is March 4. For more information, visit eastendseaport.org/application.htm.


12/12/12 3:50pm

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | East End Arts announced today it has awarded Riverhead High School student José Alvizures with its annual Frances Ligon Memorial Scholarship.

East End Arts announced today it has awarded Riverhead High School student José Alvizures its annual Frances Ligon Memorial Scholarship.

The 14-year old musician began studying the cello with Jeannie Woelker at the East End Arts School in 2008. During middle school, José was a member of the chamber orchestra and participated in the Hamptons Music Educators Association Festival. He now plays in the Riverhead High School freshman orchestra.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | José Alvizures practicing the sport of speed stacking at the Long Island Science Museum in 2010.

José participated in the East End Arts’ Perlman Program this past summer, where local string students played under the baton of the great Itzhak Perlman. José has also attended the East End Arts School’s Summer Music Camp and has been a volunteer at the East End Arts’ Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival for several years.

The scholarship was established in 2007 in honor of the memory of Frances Ligon, who served on the Board of Directors for East End Arts from 2005 to 2007. East End Arts officials called her a well-known advocate for the arts and early childhood education. She was also an avid gospel singer and performed regularly as a soloist and as a member of the East End Arts’ Harvest Gospel Choir, officials said.

Past recipients of this award include Brandon Boardman (2010 and 2011); Nazrus Halsey (2009); and Christian Hibbert (2008).

07/09/12 5:00pm

COURTESY PHOTO | Gena Griffiths of Cutchogue was selected as this summer’s artist-in-residence.

East End Arts has announced that a North Fork local has taken up the post as July and August’s artist-in-residence.

Gena Griffiths, a multi-media visual artist and arts educator, will create a three-figure sculpture during her two month stay at the Corwin Carriage House in Riverhead, representing the purity of a child’s creative process, according to the council. Ms. Griffiths will also offer three week-long art classes and weekly workshops for children between the ages of 5 and 14.

Her schedule of classes, which range from sculpting, painting, and multi-media art, can be found at the East End Art School’s blog, http://eeacschool.blogspot.com or by calling the school at 369-2171.

A Mattituck High School graduate, Ms. Griffiths received a bachelor’s degree in art studio and art education from SUNY/Potsdam in 2010. She’s spent the last two years working as a teacher assistant in the Mattituck School District and lives in Cutchogue.

09/03/11 9:35am
09/03/2011 9:35 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new Suffolk Theater marquee moments after it was lit at a special ceremony Friday night.

East End Arts and 12 downtown Riverhead restaurants hosted “A Night Out in Riverhead” Friday evening. The event featured dining discounts, a free concert, a gallery opening and art lecture.

Athens Grill, Cliff’s Rendezvous, Dark Horse Restaurant, Digger O’Dell’s, Hyatt Place East End, Jerry & the Mermaid, Parto’s, Riverhead Diner & Grill, The Riverhead Project, Turkuaz Grill, and Tweeds all participated with meal and drink discounts.

The night culminated with a marquee lighting ceremony at the historic Suffolk Theater. Theater owners Bob and Dianne Castaldi threw the switch on the new digital marquee, installed as part of current renovation efforts at  the theater, built in 1933 but closed in 1987. A toast was presented by the Riverhead Project.

East End Arts also hosted a gallery opening and talk with artist Charles Riley. Bob Barta & Friends serenaded the crowd with live outdoor music.

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06/13/11 2:45pm
06/13/2011 2:45 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | 'Sanctuary' by Gina Gilmour of Mattituck

Folk artists don’t ask, “What is art?” They just make it — in the form of everyday objects, some utilitarian, some pure whimsy.

Weather vanes, signboards, painted enamelware, itinerant portraits, decoys, quilts and whirligigs are among the most familiar examples of American folk art.

For the current Folk Art exhibition at the East End Arts Council gallery in Riverhead, director Jane Kirkwood called for works by “unschooled artists or those skilled enough to appear unschooled, funky and fabulous.”

This artist call makes no bones about it. The definition of folk art, which refers to creative works by self-taught artists, has here been tweaked to encourage EEAC participants, tutored and untutored, to take their art in fun directions they may not otherwise have pursued.

In keeping with this genre stretch, juror Kathy Curran says her selections favored pieces with a “folk mystique that recalled idealized memories of Long Island surroundings or that reflected the craft and utilitarian origins that define folk art.”

Ms. Curran, exhibition and public program coordinator for the Suffolk County Historical Society, holds a master’s degree in American folk art from New York University. She will make an informal presentation at the EEAC Gallery on Saturday, June 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., discussing her selections and presenting examples of folk art from her personal collection.

Each attendee may also bring one personal folk art treasure to discuss. The gallery is located at 133 East Main St., Riverhead, and there’s a suggested donation of $5 per person.

The Yankee spirit loathed waste and prized ingenuity, and much of folk art’s irrepressible charm springs from its quirky, at times freaky, constructs of odd parts and found objects made to amuse adults or as children’s toys. A great example is the best-in-show piece, titled “Skate Boys,” by Jonathan Pearlman of East Quogue.

His laugh-out-loud construction made from ordinary stuff, imaginatively assembled, features a rare breed of creatures with bodies made from dried seaweed pods resembling crabs. They wear acorn caps or feather hats and balance themselves on wooden balls connected to an old splintered wheel.

Mr. Pearlman also created a wooden sculpture of a duck, its beak formed by a woman’s high-heel, its tail from some fan-shaped metal detritus.

Pure amusement is also found in “Lion Tamer,” a miniature sculpture by Patricia Beckham of Smithtown. She used a twisted tangle of metal to create a capricious Alexander Calder-like circus lion in a face-off with his limber master.

Folk art, which relies heavily on visual symbols ­— political, social, sexual and religious — is particularly intriguing when the artist creates powerful metaphors from everyday ephemera or discarded “junk.” Gina Gilmour of Mattituck uses a bit of both in each of her two submissions.

“Sanctuary,” which won first prize, catches the viewer’s attention with gentle guile then delivers a one-two punch. Here, a modest wooden plinth supports a weighty, old iron washer, the kind used in heavy construction. It has a perfectly round opening that here serves as a cave-like space where a sweet plastic lamb finds shelter.

But the miniature sculpture also suggests a reliquary, a reminder of those who are vulnerable, who sacrifice, who are abandoned. Global tensions in faraway lands come to mind.

In “The Price of Oil,” which received an honorable mention, Ms. Gilmour makes a more direct statement. This sculpture assumes the shape of a pyramid made of charred-black plastic soldiers, a jumble of bodies ascending the stem of an unattainable bright red flower.

Riverhead resident Jane Kirkwood’s multi-media work, “An Unholy Wrath – And, The Strange, Sad Story of Santa Librada,” draws inspiration from the tradition of illustrated religious wall hangings and samplers for the home. But her decidedly feminist choice of subject transforms the humorous image of a bearded lady into an updated statement about the horrors of abusive relationships.

The work describes how Santa Librada’s prayers to avoid an unwanted marriage were answered when she miraculously sprouted a beard. That got rid of her suitor. But her father crucified her. Ms. Kirkwood created a digital image of the crucified bearded saint on handmade paper attached to bark. She then studded the crucifix with tiny nails. The text of the story, in computer-generated calligraphy, accompanies the image.

Ms. Kirkwood’s use of natural materials contrasts with her technology-driven process, just as the story of the subjugated crucified woman contrasts with her current updated status as the patron saint of both abused and liberated women.

Much folk art is enjoyed solely for its decorative embellishments of utilitarian objects. Examples in this show include “Belle Starr,” winner of the second prize,” a banjo with a woman’s portrait painted on its face, its handle encrusted with jewelry, by Scott O’Hare of Baiting Hollow.

There are also Christmas ornaments made from Ukrainian-style painted eggs by Riverhead’s Holly Barlin and a hand painted chair by Anna Jurinich, also of Riverhead.

Many paintings in this exhibition borrow from the vivid flat patterns and nostalgic scenes associated with works by Grandma Moses, as well as from the stylized designs of stencils and the geometry of quilts. Most notable are two honorable mention works: “Red Barn” by Margarita Kritsberg of Southold, chosen for it’s quilt-like surface, and “Farm Life with Sheep” by Rhoda Gordon of Port Jefferson Station.

Viewers will also find “Still Life,” a floral painting on glass by Leo Revi of East Hampton, and “Soup’s On,” a charming kitchen interior scene by Barbara Haddon of Sag Harbor.

Two lively abstract color paintings, “Hysterical Delusion” by Maez of Bayside, which took third prize, and “Lola, which won an honorable mention, by Aija Meisters of Long Beach, are closer in spirit to contemporary outsider art than they are to traditional folk art. Today the lines between these two genres are often blurred.

Outsider Art is most often informed by the artist’s personal experiences and symbolism, folk art by shared cultural signs and symbols. The outsider artist, like the folk artist, is also self-taught and works outside the realm of those academically trained.
The show runs through July 15.

‘Folk Art’
Juried mulitmedia show
On view through July 15 at East End Arts Council gallery, 133 East Main St., Riverhead.
‘What Is Folk Art?’
Talk by guest juror Kathy Curran Saturday, June 18, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at EEAC gallery.
Call 727-0900 or visit eastendarts.org.

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