Westbury is quickly becoming a beacon for the arts on Long Island as it debuted its new art center with a gala and VIP reception on June 11.
The opening kicked off a weekend of activities that included an art exhibit, Meet the Artist reception, an original play production, high school student performances, and activities for children.
The highlight of the evening was the premiere of a new piece of art, “Children Playing Mumbly-Peg,” (Last Brush Stroke: May 30, 2021) by the guest of honor and renowned artist, Francisco Ciccio Poblet, the last living apprentice of surrealist Salvador Dalí. Poblet is drawn to tumultuous times that are represented in his collections focusing on Sept. 11, Superstorm Sandy, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Julie Lyon, president of Westbury Arts, explained that in 2013, she and her husband Tom Cabrerra, whose trio played at the opening, attended the first meeting of what was called the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts so they could be part of the community and meet other artists. Julie is a singer and Tom a musician and visual artist. With hard work, dedication, and an active board of directors, the program grew into holding summer concerts in the village and other events.
The opportunity for the stability of having its own building came in 2016 when Downtown Westbury was selected as the winner of a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative in the Long Island Region state grant, a plan to transform local neighborhoods into vibrant communities where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live and work.
“None of this would have been possible,” says Lyon, “if it weren’t for the vision of Mayor Peter Cavallaro and the constant support of the Village of Westbury in all our endeavors.”
“We are really happy that this has come to fruition,” says Mayor Cavallero. “Since its inception, Westbury Arts has been a tremendous addition to Westbury, injecting art, culture, and dynamic energy to the fabric of our community.”
Westbury Arts is located at 255 Schenck Ave., Village of Westbury (off Post Avenue).
The Poblet exhibit is free and will be on view until June 26. Exhibit hours are 2 to 6 p.m, Tuesday through Thursday; 2 to 8 p.m. Friday; and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. For more information about programs and exhibits visit westburyarts.org.
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