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Introducing Art Into The Atmosphere - Sayville Starbucks erects its first art wall - arts and entertainment - 9/27/2010
Cary Maya

A unique addition has been added to our local Starbucks. The atmosphere of the cafe has been further enhanced with the creation and implementation of a wall of art that hangs in the rear of the store.

"The art wall is basically a place for different artists to display their work each month," explained Starbucks manager Barbie Lux. "They get to put out their business cards, portfolios, whatever they would like out in the store. We’re the only store in the district that has one and hopefully it’ll extend to other stores because it’s a lot of fun."

The first featured artist to have her work hanging in Starbucks is Joan O'Sullivan Lengyel, a local painter who is showcasing seven pieces on the wall. "Just hangin’" shows a quaint scene of a bird gently resting on a branch. "Phantom of the Opera, Riviera Theater, Charleston, South Carolina" offers just that, a vibrant, colorful, near-psychedelic representation of the theater whose marquis advertises that show. The brilliant "Long Island Forest" brings viewer face to face with a bright orange pumpkin surrounded by flowers and variously shaped gourds, a seasonal piece the artist included in the exhibit to remind viewers that Halloween is on the way. "Flower Fantasy" presents a triplet of tulips, horizontally placed side by side and the simple "Childlike Freedom" exposes a rich array of flowers contained in a pink vase.

A second painting of a movie theater entitled "Art Deco, Rego Park, New York" invites viewers to witness a near ominous sight as a dark nighttime sky looms above a deserted movie house. The cityscape "Two Worlds" presents one of the artist’s most philosophical pieces. The viewer looks out from a city-dweller’s window, past a pretty bouquet of geraniums that sit pleasantly on the windowsill. In direct contrast we see a cold, impersonal city standing in the distance. Lengyel wished this piece to communicate the fact that people can control their immediate environments but sometimes we have no say about what goes on outside our small sphere of existence. "This piece is a metaphor for the present day world we live in," she explained. "We can have a fairly nice lifestyle but we can’t always control what’s happening in the world around us."

Sayville Starbucks regular customer Stanley Talisman was impressed with Lengyel’s work. "I was quite taken aback with it," he said. "I was impressed that the artist did still life as well as architectural work, an unusual combination."

Joan Lengyel presents lectures and shows such as "Magic of Main Street Movies" at local libraries, teaches art at Town of Islip Senior Center, and is a member of the National League of Pen Women and many other organizations. For information about Lengyel and her work call her at 589-4227 or email her at

Starbucks has already lined up seven month’s worth of various artists who will have their work grace its art wall. If you would like to contact Starbucks to inquire about showing your work in the café call them at (631) 244-8983 and ask to speak to Barbie Lux, store manager.

Artist Joan Lengyel, the first artist to be showcased on the Starbucks art wall stands in front of her work

"Phantom of the Opera, Riviera Theater, Charleston, South Carolina"

"Long Island Forest"

"Flower Fantasy"

"Childlike Freedom"

"Art Deco, Rego Park, New York"

"Two Worlds"

"Just hangin’"

Cary Maya is a writer living and a liver writing in Suffolk County, the only county that counts. His scribbling can be found in various newspapers, on multiple websites, and assorted restroom walls on newsstands, across computer screens and inside secluded highway rest stops across the country. For more information about Maya, his work, and his life consult the FBI but wear a Groucho disguise when you call as if you express interest they may call your parents to warn them that you are asking about him. You can contact Maya at

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