"Firefly Artists Illuminate
New Gallery"

The Record - September 18, 2014
By Danny Schrafel

Northport Village's Firefly Artists are creating quite the buzz in recent months in the realms of art and business alike.

The three-and-a-half year old collective artist's gallery, which got its start in a cozy 300 square-foot portion of the LaMantia Gallery, moved in Sept. 1 to a 1,000 square-foot space at 180 Main St., formerly the home of children's clothing boutique Sophie Blu.

"We're all grown up," gallery managing partner Kate Sydney, a custom jeweler, said with a laugh. "We've collected quite a following. We've been very fortunate the last few years. LaMantia was expanding, we were expanding, and it was just time for us to get our own space."

She and new managing partner Jennifer Lau - gallery co-founder, Cathy Nichols recently moved to Asheville, N.C. - led a group of six members, including painter Julia Zaffer, etcher and painter Jim Darcy, painters, Celeste Mauro and Demerise Perricone, as well as another group of consignment artists to make a group of about a dozen.

"We try to support the local arts in any way we can," Sydney said.

But when it comes to art, it's not just about the skills of those on display, but the business savvy behind the scenes that makes it all come together.

The six primary members, who have jury and voting rights, share in the rent. They also rent out a small office in the back of the gallery, and are taking steps under Lau's direction to expand the gallery's online business presence.

"We're working on an e-commerce system for our website so we can more easily connect artists with consumers." Sydney said.


Firefly Artists gallery managing partners Kate Sydney and Jennifer Lau are pictured Monday in their new 1,000 square-foot gallery space in Northport. An expanded web presence is also in the works.

With that expanded presence will come an option for artists to become an associate member, which will entitle them to online space at the Firefly website.

Physical membership in the gallery is expected to grow, too. Sydney said there's a "slew of applications" to be considered at the gallery's next meeting.

"I expect we'll be at 20 [total members] in the next month and we're growing from there." she said.

The Northport Chamber of Commerce will help the members of the Firefly Artists celebrate the new space with a grand-opening celebration at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17.