Sign up for our Newsletter

Artists Kelly Franke, Madison Fender and Kara Hoblin peer over instant photographs at the North Fork Art Collective in Greenport. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

In the brand new North Fork Art Collective, seven local artists have banded together to make a working art space right in Greenport’s downtown. There the photographers, painters and collage makers will have a place to create, collaborate and present their work to the world.

East End artists Kara Hoblin, Madison Fender, Jeremy Garretson, Emma Ballou, Peter Treiber, Scott Bluedorn and Kelly Franké are the collective’s founding members.

“It gives us a space to come and create, as well as display our work,” said Hoblin, whose chalk work you’ve likely seen on the walls of local shops and restaurants. “The whole goal is to remind tourists and the town and the community that there are a lot of artists here. We’re here and we’re taking our art seriously.”

All of the work — like vintage magazine collages by Treiber or Garretson’s stunning landscape photos — is for sale. The members will staff the gallery’s reception area and will use the space to create their work. They will also take inspiration from and build on one another’s art.

For example, in the gallery you will see a rainbow-hued painting by Hoblin hung with a picture of a man’s hand grasping a canoe by Fender. The color scheme and composition of the two images suggest that they were created to be displayed together — although they weren’t.

Hanging On by Madison Fender and Kara Hoblin. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

The space, formerly a real estate office, has been stripped and repainted in white by the artists themselves and friends. The group has been documenting the construction process via instant photographs, snapping pics of any one who stops in.

“It’s really cool how many people have come together in supporting us,” Hoblin said.

The group hopes to set up a club offering members discounts on work and access to the space, as well as to host community work shops and art shows.

An artist co-op has long been a dream of Hoblin’s, who connected the group’s founding members with one another. North Fork rent is expensive and splitting the cost helps the initiative stay viable. But it also helps young East End artists solidify themselves as a community.

Founding members Scott Bluedorn, Peter Treiber, Kara Hoblin, Jeremy Garretson, Madison Fender, Kelly Franké and Emma Ballou. (Credit: Madison Fender)

“I know this is a solid group of talented artists. For me it’s an honor to be a part of it,” Franké said. “There is a lot of hidden art in town and this is a great way to get exposure for people.”

“It’s encouraging people to be proud of their art,” added Fender, a photographer who contributes to northforker. “There are so many people in town who make art without a place to show it.”

A grand opening is set for Sept. 1 from 6 until 9 p.m. and is open to all. Snacks from First and South and Lombardi’s Love Lane Market, selections from Bridge Lane wine and Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. will be served. An after party will follow at First and South.

Look for a soft opening in the week before.

North Fork Art Collective is located at 19 Front Street, Greenport.