‘Eclectic’ talent on display in Malverne

Chamber of Commerce hosts 2nd annual ArtWalk


Nearly 100 works of art created by more than 30 artists will be on display in two dozen village businesses when the Malverne Chamber of Commerce kicks off its second annual ArtWalk on Saturday. The opening ceremony will be held at the Malverne Public Library at 11:30 a.m.

The exhibition will run through June 15 during regular business hours, and much of the artwork will be for sale.

Artists from communities across Long Island will showcase their work, ranging from photographs to sculptures, paintings, pencil drawings and more. Free maps detailing the location of all artwork will be available at village businesses.

“It’s just a great eclectic mix of style and subject,” said Kathi Monroe, president of the Malverne Chamber of Commerce, who reviewed this year’s artwork. “Not being an artist myself, I found it very interesting. For someone like me to be able to appreciate the level of quality, I think that true artists are really going to enjoy this event.”

“Malvernites discovered parts of the village that they didn’t know,” Maria Casini, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, said about last year’s event, “and they met people and merchants that they never met before. That was one of the main goals, and we hope to continue that.”

Among the artists are locals, including Malvernite Zelda Randell, a watercolor artist who teaches art at the Sandel Senior Center in Rockville Centre and Atria Lynbrook, an assisted-living facility. Randell, 80, said she has painted since she was 2. One of her featured paintings, “Italia,” is based on a trip she took to Italy about a decade ago.

“I paint what I love, and I really fell in love with that place,” she said. “Everywhere you look is a picture. It’s just so beautiful.”

Randell added that flowers are usually her favorite subject to paint, but once in a while she’ll go in another artistic direction.

Stephanie Poirier, a 36-year-old photographer from Malverne, shoots a variety of subjects, including weddings, children and flowers. “Photography has always been a passion of mine,” she said, “and I love to capture the moment.”

One of Poirier’s featured photographs, “Awakening,” focuses on a flower she saw during a recent vacation in Bermuda. “It’s such a small object,” she said, “but the depth of fields of the flower just makes it look bigger than it is. I’m looking forward to having people comment on it or share any constructive criticism.”

Erica Perjatel-Stolba, 39, an art teacher at the Malverne Afterschool Center, said her recent work centered on a new obsession with birds. “Egyptian Goose” is a charcoal drawing of Pacific birds on display at the event.

“A lot of my portraits are based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” she said, referring to a collection of fairytales by the Grimm brothers.

Perjatel-Stolba, who will take part in the event with her husband, Christian Stolba, said that while they have been in art shows together before, it’s more exciting to represent the village where they grew up.

“I always liked photography, but meeting my wife eight years ago, that really spurred my interest in events like this,” said Christian, who works in Malverne’s Department of Public Works.

Stolba, 40, said he likes to take photos of solemn areas at night, and that he drives around for hours to find a place that fits his mood. One of his featured pictures — of a Buick pickup truck behind a set of cactuses called “6160” — was taken in front of a friend’s house in Scottsdale, Ariz., during a weeklong road trip.

“There was a lot old cars there, and it was very solemn,” Stolba said. “It was a photographer’s dream.”

For more information on this year’s ArtWalk, go to the Malverne Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.