Friday, September 18, 2009

Podcast of Oyster Bay Main Street Association 2009 Annual Meeting

Our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 15, was a great success. Public officials in attendance gave addresses including NYS Senator Carl Marcellino, Nassau County Legislator Judy Jaccobs, Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, and Town of Oyster Bay Clerk Steve Labriola. A presentation on the past 10 years of work of the program was made, and founding members of Main Street were honored and recognized.

A podcast of the first half of the meeting may be viewed here.

The podcast may also be viewed directly by going to

The second part of the meeting with an address by Sagamore Hill National Historic Site Superintendent Tom Ross will be posted shortly.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oyster Bay Made Eligible for $200,000 in New York Main Street Funds

Oyster Bay, New York – The Oyster Bay Main Street Association is pleased announce that their organization will receive $200,000 from the New York State Main Street program for building renovation and streetscape improvements in downtown Oyster Bay.

This grant was among more than $30 million for community development and Main Street revitalization announced by Governor David A. Paterson. “Revitalizing traditional downtown business districts, and rehabilitating and renovating housing for working families will provide much-needed investment and make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family”, according to Governor Paterson.

More details about this exciting grant program and how business owners and building owners might apply for these funds will be announced at the Oyster Bay Main Street Annual Meeting on September 15, 2009, at 7pm, in Christ Church Parish Hall, 55 East Main Street.

Projects eligible for funding are located in a three block “target area” including the main intersection of Audrey Ave, East Main Street, and South Street, and bounded by Spring Street and Audrey Avenue to the West, Hamilton Avenue to the North, White Street to the East, and East Main Street & West Main Street to the south.

Building or business owners in the target area are eligible to apply for up to $40,000 per building, with an additional $20,000 per assisted residential unit available up to a maximum total of $100,000 per project. The grant will require at least a 25% cash match on the part of the owner.

Oyster Bay Main Street Association will be responsible for selecting projects from applications received. Main Street President Ellen Roché said, “At the direction of the state we are especially looking for projects in the target area that have historic value, are visually prominent on Main Street, or that will, with the assistance of grant funds, realize a stabilization or expansion of a Main Street business.”

The application that made Oyster Bay eligible for these funds was submitted in April, and received supporting letters from Raynham Hall Museum, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Save the Jewel By the Bay, and the Oyster Bay Historical Society. Sagamore Hill Superintendent Thomas E. Ross in their letter of support wrote, "The grant you are seeking is a critical piece in preserving and presenting the hamlet to thousands of visitors seeking to learn more about Theodore Roosevelt and the area's rich history."

Business and building owners considering applying for a grant are requested to attend a public workshop on Thursday, September 24, at 8:30am in the Christ Church Parish Hall, at 55 East Main Street. This will give people an opportunity to hear more about the program and to ask questions.

Completed applications are due by 4pm on Thursday, October 8, 2009, and may be delivered to the Main Street program office at 55 East Main Street, Oyster Bay. The grant application may be downloaded at the link that follows or by contacting Main Street at the information below:

Contact: Isaac D. Kremer
P.O. Box 116, Oyster Bay, NY 11771
Phone: (516) 922-6982

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Art Studio/School Aims to Energize Local Arts Community; Art Equinox 2009

On Thursday, August 27 Town Clerk Steven L. Labriola participated in a ribbon cutting
ceremony to commemorate the opening of Oyster Bay’s latest addition to its community, the Teaching Studios of Art. For their next community event, Rob Zeller, Director of the Teaching Studios of Arts and his faculty are hosting Art Equinox 2009, an art and music reception at the Studio, located at 115 Audrey Avenue on Friday, September 25 from 7 pm to 10 pm. Light refreshments will be served. The aim of this event is to highlight the art work of students and faculty, and to raise the profile of the school in the North Shore community.

The Teaching Studios of Arts joins L’Industrie Skateboards and the Railroad Museum on Audrey Avenue which may soon become known as the "artsy" end of town. Bill Burke, Organization Committee Chair of the Oyster Bay Main Street Association said, "SOHO has come to Oyster Bay. Teaching Studios is a powerful affirmation of Main Street's decade-long commitment to revitalize the historic Hamlet of Oyster Bay, relying on its unique assets and strengths including history, arts, and culture."

Rob Zeller, Director of the Teaching Studios of Art, is no stranger to the arts community in Oyster Bay having previously taught at the Stevenson Academy of Fine Art, which was once also located in Oyster Bay. “Oyster Bay has a great deal of charm that is very attractive to artists like myself. From the pristine waterfront to the beautiful architecture, a human-scale downtown, access to the LIRR, and, of course, the rich history that is so much a part of this community. This town has all the elements to make it an ideal hub for an arts community and I hope the school will be instrumental in making that happen,” said, Zeller has also taught at the New York Academy of Art and the Long Island Academy of Fine Art and has exhibited his works in
galleries in New York City and across the country. Zeller received a BFA from the Boston Museum School and Tufts University, and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. He studied with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier and is the recipient of two Posey Fellowships and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.

The Teaching Studios of Art began soon after Zeller started teaching landscape lessons in Central Park. When it became too cold to paint outside in winter, Zeller moved the classes indoors to an art studio in Brooklyn and thus was the birth of the first Teaching Studio of Art. The new studio in Oyster Bay is the second campus for the school.

The mission of The Teaching Studios of Art is to train artists in traditional techniques practiced for centuries before the advent of Modernism. Zeller and his fellow teachers equip students of all ages with the strengths of time-tested techniques and believe that creating a vibrant artistic environment enriches the aesthetic and cultural life of the surrounding community. "By focusing our efforts on training artists in traditional techniques that are sometimes difficult to master, we feel we are offering a chance for personal improvement as well as artistic growth. Our faculty is comprised of highly trained and skilled artists who have exhibited their work in New York and around the US. Our classes are small, and students receive much personal attention. Our clients are our community, and we take their needs seriously," said Zeller.

To fulfill this mission and to begin building a community of local artists, Zeller has aligned the Studio with highly acclaimed artists to serve as faculty. Instructor Kristin Künc’s latest painting, Owl was featured on the most recent invitation of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center Gala Ball and was purchased by Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, at the Gala’s auction. Künc graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, studied portraiture with Joanette and Cedric Egeli and impressionistic landscape painting at the Cape Cod School of Art. After teaching at the John Waldron Arts Center in Indiana, Künc moved to New York to study with Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier. She was awarded a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center and the National Society of Arts and Letters' Career Award.

Instructor Bennett Vadnais studied classical drawing and painting at the Bougie Studio, MN, the Water Street Atelier in NY and the Art Students League of New York. He won the highest honors that the League awards, He also taught at the Long Island Academy of Fine Art and has done various landscape workshops around Long Island. Vadnais’ work has exhibited in galleries in New York City and across the country.

Instructor Nan Carey has a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been an art instructor at Wave Hill in the Bronx and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Her work is exhibited and collected in the metropolitan area and beyond.

The immensely talented North Shore pastel artist Jane McGraw Teubner has won numerous
awards for her pastel paintings in the last few years, most notably from the Salmagundi Club in New York City and the Pastel Society of America.

Internationally renowned artist John Morra, a leading figure in the world of contemporary American realism, will be teaching a Still-Life class. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Graduate study brought Morra to New York, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the New York Academy of Art in 1991. Morra has taught workshops on a regular basis at the Gage Academy in Seattle, Washington, and also the Grand Central Academy in New York City. Morra taught in Provence, France this summer.

To learn more about the Teaching Studio of Art, the faculty and the classes, visit or call 917.597.2404.