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Artistry – The Horse in Art

Horses have figured prominently in Long Island history in a variety of sport competitions, non-competitive recreational pursuits, and working activities.  The beauty and intelligence of the horse make it one of the most beloved animals. This exhibit, Artistry – The Horse in Art, features artists Joseph Reboli, Roberto Dutesco, Dino Rinaldi, and Elena Hull Cournot whose works showcase the beauty of the horse and its environment. In the History Gallery, the history of the Smithtown Hunt, the Old Field Farm, and a famous local horse, Snowman, will be on display.

The Reboli Center Third Friday events during this exhibit will be:  

August 17: Roberto Dutesco and Dino Rinaldi
September 21: Leighton Coleman, Sally Lynch, and Edmunde Stewart
October 19: Snowman, a film

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Roberto Dutesco

Roberto Dutesco is a Romanian-born Canadian artist, photographer, and filmmaker.  Dutesco began his career as a fashion photographer in Montreal, Canada. In 1994, he shifted the focus of his work to long-term personal projects that explore his environmental issue and natural subject matter.  His photography of the landscape, wildlife, and horses of Sable Island have been on permanent exhibition since 2006 in Soho, New York City. His first trip to Sable Island in 1994 yielded a collection of photographs of the horse sanctuary, which inspired his lifelong project to photograph and film the wild horses.  Since then, he has returned to Sable Island six times to document its landscape and wildlife. His intention with this body of work is to heighten awareness for conservation projects.

Dutesco's films include Sable Island, Chasing Wild Horses, and Time Squared.  Chasing Wild Horses was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival and was the winner of Best International Director of a Documentary at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.  His photographs are part of numerous public and private collections.


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Dino Rinaldi

Dino Rinaldi grew up in Port Jefferson, NY. He studied art at the University of South Florida before taking a job as an illustrator after college. While delivering a portfolio he was offered a job, on the spot, representing editors and directors. He was drawn to the world of advertising, though he returned to art school after work on nights and weekends. He had discovered the Art Students League of NY, a magical place that would eventually vault him to the rarified and interesting world of full time artist. 

 Studying under such amazing teachers as Nelson Shanks, Costa Vavagiakis and Efraim Rubenstein introduced him to a world of incredible art and artists. "I couldn't get enough of the school and my teachers", recalls Dino. The more I learned, the more exciting it became.”

Early on when Dino was a teen he remembers opening the local paper Newsday and seeing a landscape painting of gasoline pumps by Joe Reboli. "I looked at it and thought, someday I want to be able to paint like that. It moved me.”   Now to have a show at the Reboli Center is very special to him. 

After a successful career in the advertising business, Dino has begun the latest chapter of his life, drawing and painting full time back in the Port Jefferson area.  He lives with his wife and 6 year old daughter in Setauket. 

 "To be able to create art for a living is a dream come true," Dino remarked with a smile. 


Elena Hull Cournot

Elena Hull Cournot is a painter, designer, and creative arts therapist with a private practice in the west Village and a studio in Brooklyn.  Elena grew up in East Setauket and received her MFA from Boston College concentrating in Studio and Art History.  She went on to attain her Masters in Art Therapy and counseling psychology, becoming a licensed psychotherapist focusing on using art and creativity to heal trauma.  

Elena works mainly by commission doing large format portraits of horses accompanied by symbolic references.  She endeavors to meet each horse she paints; to feel their presence which in turn inspires her composition.  Elena’s time spent in San Francisco, New York City, Taos, and a small coastal town on the west coast of Ireland have deeply influenced her aesthetic.   

Throughout the span of her career oil painting has remained her passion and personal practice.  Elena began a series of soulful horse paintings during her artist in residence at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland on which she continues to build.  One of the horses she painted while in Ireland caught the eye of NY Times critic Pete Wells:

“Elena Hull Cournot has given this tight alley a surprising light, almost airy design, although the detail I remember most is the portrait of a horse on the back wall.  She painted it with a garland of orange flowers around its neck, like a lei.  It has kind eyes and a nonjudgmental expression, fine traits in a portrait that hangs in a bar.  A friend who has a lot of sense said, ‘that horse looks wise.’  Horse, I’ll be seeing you“.

  - Pete Wells, New York Times 2016

Elena currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband Patrick and daughter Lila.