Alex Ferrone Gallery : Safely Reopening Art On The East End


Alex Ferrone Gallery reopened to a steady stream of masked art admirers last weekend who came to see the long-awaited Arborescent Exhibition. Originally slated to open back on Arbor Day weekend, the Gallery had been mandated closed since March.

Alex Ferrone and her partner, Richard Abatelli spent weeks preparing a new safety protocol to reopen her Gallery that included new signage, directional floor arrows, new contactless soap and hand sanitizer dispensers, additional refuse pails, and safety cones. The reception was held outdoors on the parking area which was roped off with one entrance and exit, and white physical distance reminder marks were applied to the asphalt 6 feet apart. Three new employees were hired for the event to direct art patrons one-way through the exhibition and to make sure folks were enjoying the reception safely distanced from one another.

As festive bubbly usually flows to celebrate the artists and works of a new exhibition, alcohol was not served that evening as Ferrone needed to see how their first outdoor event was going to flow. Instead, Ferrone invested in swag bags gifts for visitors – a reusable Gallery Tote bag with local businesses offerings inside such as complimentary samples, gifts, and special savings certificates. Some participating businesses included Lenz, Sannino, and Ospreys Dominion Wineries, The Harvest Inn B&B, and Rites of Spring Music Fest among others. East End Beacon also provided copies of the newspaper to place in each bag. Bottles of water were handed out by Abatelli, who donned food service gloves along with his required mask.

Ferrone mentions that the costs to reopen measured far more than a regular reception, but understands that the need to bring original fine art back to the public safely and comfortably is their responsibility. She also credits and thanks Suffolk County for providing New York State Clean Hand Sanitizer along with a few masks for their employees. She says, “Good thing folks aren’t allowed to touch the art.”

Alex was very pleased to hear from visitors that they appreciated the new safety measures, that they felt very comfortable attending the exhibition, and felt the Gallery was an excellent model for art venues to reopen. Only eight visitors were allowed in the Gallery at one time. The exhibition spreads out through four spaces in the Gallery. Among the patrons in attendance were art critic and Nassau County Museum of Art Director, Charles A. Riley II, artist and art critic, Mario Naves, and curator and artist, Franklin Hill Perrell.

Artworks of various media were selected by ecological artist Lillian Ball and the exhibition showcases thirty-eight works regarding trees by thirty-four artists from around the country. The juror chose awards for First Place, Second Place and Honorable Mention for works by Jillian Sico (AL), Kathleen Massi (NY), and Jeanne Perrier (PA) respectively. Also featured is the special debut of a new related artwork, “Fall Leaf”, by noted painter Adam Straus.

Alex Ferrone Gallery is at 25425 Main Road, Cutchogue. Hours are 12-5pm Friday through Sunday, or by appointment other days. Visit for more info or call 631-734-8545.

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