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Cooler Ranch at Treiber Farms (Photo Credit: Cooler Gallery and Treiber Farms)

Can’t drag yourself away from the North Fork’s beautiful outdoors for your art fix? Don’t worry because a cadre of talented, creative thinkers have brought the art to you. Here, we’ve assembled a west to east outdoor art crawl, featuring highlights of everything from colorful murals to recycled material sculptures to interactive earth art, all inspired by the North Fork’s flora and fauna and cultural backstory. So, charge up that camera phone and let’s go…


Grangebel Park, Riverhead 

(Photo Caption: Lisa DeLuca)

Start in Riverhead, the North Fork’s western corner, at a bona fide public art garden along the Peconic River. At “Reflextions Riverhead: Art in the Park,” you’ll discover sculptural and illuminated works as you stroll along the meandering riverbanks. The park was conceptualized a few years ago by Bryan DeLuca, executive director of the Long Island Aquarium, who pulled in resident lighting and welding artist Clayton Orehek and sculptor and welder Eli Fishman to help create and commission varied sculptures.

“From the beginning, we got the community involved in the project,” said DeLuca. The giant caged metal letters that spell out Riverhead are filled with rocks painted by elementary school kids, senior center residents, and others (the fluorescent paint lets them glow at night under the black lights). For the giant fish sculpture, another favorite, scales are made from donated CDs collected at the aquarium, town hall and elsewhere. 

Around the bend, a mesh diver sculpture hovering above the water is filled with recycled water bottles sourced locally.

With about 18 large pieces in total, the sculpture park is a major piece of the downtown Riverhead revitalization project, with funding bolstering new pieces (three new ones are coming this year) and expanded lighting capacity for evening illumination. Come to the park any time, but make sure to hit the four annual event highlights with themes and live music (the next one is June 17).


Stark Media Group, East Second Street, Riverhead

(Photo Credit: Jeremy Garretson)

A bit off the beaten path but a worthy photo op, head to Stark Media Group’s west-facing wall on East Second Street, where artist Emma Ballou has recreated giant dandelion flowers on a muted red background. Stand at the left side at the mural and pretend you’ve blown the permanent seedlings away, spreading seeds of wishes. Snap a selfie and don’t forget to make a wish!


Mattitaco, Main Road, Mattituck 

(Photo Credit: Kara Hoblin)

Topo Chico mineral water commissioned artist Kara Hoblin to capture a 15th-century legend by creating a vibrant and mystical mural outside Mattitaco. 

According to Topo Chico, legend has it that when the daughter of Aztec emperor Moctezuma I became ill, she was carried hundreds of miles to the mineral water spring at Cerro del Topo Chico, where she miraculously recovered after bathing in the water 

“My mom is Bolivian, and I connected with the Aztec princess legend,” said Hoblin. “I’m a firm believer in the power of stories and the importance to carry them from generation to generation.” 

Known for her colorful chalk and painted works of flora and fauna, Hoblin added a “smart, magical octopus” to the mural “to connect the ocean” and goldenrod flowers to link the North Fork. In a whimsical touch, the octopus is holding tacos and Topo Chico water in its tentacles. 


Cooler Ranch at Treiber Farms, Country Road 48, Peconic 

(Photo credit: Cooler Gallery and Treiber Farms)

In his “previous life,” Peter Treiber worked in the New York City art world, and now he has big art aspirations for his 60-acre sustainable farm. Treiber Farms has hosted numerous music, film, workshop and art events in the barn (perhaps you caught Art Basil, his show riffing off Switzerland’s world-famous Art Basel fair), but the art has since expanded to the fields.

“It didn’t take long for me to see the ample space on the farm as an opportunity to develop arts programming,” said Treiber. “We had land and barn space that needed life breathed into it.” 

He partnered with Brooklyn’s Cooler Gallery to create Cooler Ranch, a sculpture garden and artist residency. “I loved the idea of weaving works into a working farm — imagining cows scratching themselves on sculpture!” said Treiber. “My goal is to incorporate agriculture and the arts as seamlessly as possible that the community can enjoy up close and from the road.”

Some highlights of the large-scale works include Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski’s colorful “Seascape of Sculptures.” Inspired by coral and camouflage and “the languid movements of algae and seaweed,” farm breezes sway the sculptures as if pushed by an underwater current. 

Interactive earth art piece “Listening Well” by Jemila MacEwan invites visitors to lie down and put their head by the hole, where the work amplifies all farm sounds — from wind to insects to machinery — in “a contemplative space for listening to what the earth is hearing.” 

“No One Knows” by Gabe Duggan is a huge web-like overhead sculpture with the words “no one knows or sees the deep and truest” interwoven into the surface. They disappear as viewer perspective changes with movement through the space.


White Flower Farmhouse, Main Road, Southold

(Photo credit: Ricky Saetta)

Before you shop the farmhouse chic offerings inside Southold’s beloved boutique, take a minute to marvel at the wooden flower mural on the store’s exterior wall around the corner on Beckwith Avenue, masterfully created by craftsman Ricky Saetta. 

“I had a general idea for a garden arbor of sorts on the wall,” said Lori Guyer, owner of White Flower Farmhouse, “but if there’s one thing I learned about Ricky, who I was already working with us on our wooden signage, is that it’s best to step back and let his creative genius come out. The result is always beyond imagination.” 

Guyer gave Saetta access to her supply of salvaged wood pallets, barn wood and driftwood in varying hues and textures, and he meticulously hand-crafted each flower with an individual personality. “The detail is truly incredible,” said Guyer. “Look closely and you’ll see the sunflower center ‘seeds’ are all made from cut-down wooden dowels.” 

While the “All You Need Is Love” mural was originally created during the COVID-19 pandemic, its message of hope and community holds true to this day.


Einstein Square, Main Road, Southold

(Photo Credit: Tara Smith)

Want historical celebrity buzz with your art? Grab a croissant at Southold General and relax in Einstein Square. Here you’ll find a colorful mural painted by Michael Fusco celebrating an unlikely friendship: renowned physicist Albert Einstein, who spent “his happiest summer ever” in Southold in 1939, and David Rothman of Rothman’s Department Store (formerly at the site). The two met at the store in 1939 and spent time discussing topics of the day and playing chamber music. Legend even has it that Einstein mailed his famous letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt (that possibly led to the atomic bomb) from Southold. 

Einstein Square owners Glenn Heidtmann and Jonathan Tibett commissioned the upbeat mural, taken from a famous photograph of Einstein and Rothman. “In the conception of the square, it was important that we memorialize the history of a most unlikely friendship between an out-of-town celebrity and a Southold local proprietor,” said Tibett. “We felt that Einstein Square would provide the platform for more of these types of relationships to foster between visitors and locals. We were excited to create this communal space where people would have the opportunity to meet and discuss the topics of the day while reflecting on the unique history that took place in this special location.” 


North Fork Roasting Company, Main Road, Southold

(Photo Credit: Jeremy Garretson)

Grab a cup or ground bag of artisanal small-batch coffee and sidle up against artist Emma Ballou’s floral mural that doesn’t just create a colorful backdrop to the outdoor garden but speaks to the coffee business itself. At about 80 feet long, the fence features a seemingly endless montage of coffee berries, tea plants and clover plants.

“Painting this mural was a great experience,” said Ballou, who mostly creates smaller works (the café also sells her original paintings and matted prints inside). “I’m a very intuitive painter and while I usually plan my paintings out, it was hard to plan for the full dimension of the fence. The exterior house paint I used on the fence dried so quickly, I had to work fast. I sort of just let this mural happen!”


Grace + Grit, Main Road, Southold

(Photo Credit: Jeremy Garretson)

Position yourself just right in North Fork Roasting Company’s garden and you’ll be able to see Ballou’s other mural across the street at catering company Grace + Grit as well as on its mobile commissary. A mix of sunny skies, verdant leaves and juicy peaches, it’s an homage to the North Fork’s farming legacy and focus on fresh ingredients. 


North Fork Table & Inn, Main Road, Southold

The Shoals, Main Road, Southold

(Photo credit: David Benthal)

Two giant, striking white marble statues stand tall about a half mile from each other in Southold at North Fork Table & Inn and The Shoals hotel. Italian sculptor Oriano Galloni created both out of the same marble from Carrara, Italy, that Michelangelo used to carve the “David” and the “Pieta” sculptures. “We are incredibly grateful to have them on our properties,” said Jonathan Tibett of the hospitality firm that owns both venues.

“Butterfly” at North Fork Table & Inn, “has tremendous significance to us as it sits between two giant maple trees that mimic wings,” said Tibett. “As the North Fork Table and Inn is an institution to the North Fork, we couldn’t think of better symbol than the butterfly — a symbol of rebirth and resurrection and a metaphor for transformation and hope. As the North Fork Table & Inn has gone through its own transformation, we thought this would be a great symbol for its inauguration.” 

Just further East at the Port of Egypt marina and The Shoals boutique hotel overlooking Peconic Bay is “The Rise of Mars,” a towering totem at 17 feet tall. “In astrology, Mars is the planet of energy, action and desire, and this powerful piece rises high on the site elevating our gaze like the masts on the sailboats in the adjacent marina,” said Tibett.

Both sculptures are part of an international public art project entitled “White Forest,” with an “unlimited number” of “White Trees” placed strategically in key points around the globe to represent “connection in a disconnected world.”


First & South Restaurant & Bar, South Street, Greenport

(Photo credit: Kara Hoblin)

Artist Kara Hoblin’s giant colorful chalk murals have long been a staple at First & South, and this graphic incarnation brings the familiar outdoors with a graphic black-and-white twist, all under a painted full moon. 

“This mural was created during the pandemic as we expanded into some of the most unknown areas of our property — the driveway, now known as ‘the dumps’ — an area we never before thought to use as overflow space,” said First & South owner Sarah Phillips Loth. “The introduction of social distancing and the varied evolution of pick-up-to-go and eating and drinking on premises forced us to think outside of the box. And what better way to give our guests a semblance of normalcy than to bring [Hoblin’s] dining room chalk murals outside into the new spaces we were sharing with guests?” 

Hoblin’s imagery always plays on the North Fork’s natural beauty with an ethereal touch. “It’s the childlike magic that holds a place in each of our hearts and minds,” said Phillips Loth. “We all needed that then as much as we still do.” 


The Market, Front Street, Greenport 

(Photo credit: Jeremy Garretson)

Finish off your outdoor art tour with a health smoothie at The Market and a selfie in front of Kara Hoblin’s rainbow butterfly wings. Originally painted during Pride Month 2021 as part of a larger rainbow installation, these wings continue their message of “love and acceptance” today, where positive energy is always on the menu.