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The North Fork Art Collective at the Fiedler Gallery. (Photo credit: Lee Meyer photo)

The shuttered Fiedler Gallery in Greenport has gotten a new lease on life, with a dedicated local artist behind its reopening.

“It happened very quickly and organically,” says Kara Hoblin, who is relaunching the space as the North Fork Art Collective at the Fiedler Gallery. 

The gallery, which has been closed for several months, is a Greenport staple for art lovers. The space was previously operated by the late Richard Fiedler, who died in 2018, and briefly reopened in 2022 as Natali/Keyes at the Fiedler Gallery.

Now Hoblin, an artist who works in illustrations, chalk art and other forms of media, is bringing the North Fork Art Collective to the space. The collective — a group of local artists who came together to create a community art hub — was previously housed on Front Street from 2017 to 2020. Members of the collective included familiar names in the East End art scene including Scott Bluedorn, Times Review photographer Jeremy Garretson, Peter Treiber and Verona Peñalba, among others. The collective has since existed as a website and Instagram page for the artists. 

After Hoblin spoke to her friend Morgant Fiedler, whose family owns the gallery space, about how the gallery had fallen into disrepair over the last few years, she decided to make it her passion project. 

Hoblin hangs artwork by Melinda Hackett before the show. (Photo credit: Lee Meyer)

The North Fork Art Collective at the Fiedler Gallery will be a gallery project space, focusing on local artists from the East End or those who have been inspired by the region.

The inaugural show, which debuts on Friday, Dec. 15, is called “Homecoming,” a “North Fork Art Collective and friends reunion show,” Hoblin says. “When we had the collective before we also had a lot of community members. We used to do a community show with a big gallery for everybody. And from 2020 until now, I’ve met a lot of new artists and friends.” 

The show will include around 30 artists. While not all original members of the North Fork Art Collective were able to participate, many community members are represented, including 2022 Northforker of the Year Ian Wile, who is showing some of his striking black-and-white photography.

Hoblin is thrilled to be part of the ever-evolving arts scene in Greenport, which includes the new North Fork Arts Center and VEME Studios, which is owned by collective member Peñalba.

“It’s an important part of our history in Greenport,” Hoblin says. “It feels like a good time for Greenport. We’re in this pivotal moment of change and growth and I think it’s important to preserve the arts.”

Visit the North Fork Art Collective at the Fiedler Gallery (207 Main Street, Greenport) for the “Homecoming” opening reception on Dec. 15 from 6-9 p.m. The gallery will be open weekends going forward.