The Art Studio gears up for the 2nd annual Wonder Wall holiday art fair


The Art Studio in Rockville Centre, which has been connecting the dots between art and education for more than 20 years, is inviting the community to interact with the talented artists at its second annual The Wonder Wall Holiday Art Fair on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Danielle Barbaro, the owner of The Art Studio, is a self-proclaimed “Jill-of-all-trades,” who took over the business from its founder Meryl Cittadino in March 2022.

Through her experience as a former schoolteacher in New York City and her vast collection of artwork, which spans across a spectrum of different mediums, Barbaro was the perfect fit for the thriving fine arts studio.

Zahra Rizvi, the studio’s manager, said the business has “a lot more organization” since Barbaro took ownership last year.

“Danielle has that art education background,” Rizvi said. “It was a massive and wonderful change when Danielle took over.”

And that appreciation is mutual, according to Barbaro, who described Rizvi as a gift, saying that she felt the studio wouldn’t exist without her efforts.

Angelica Zampini, one of the studio’s teachers, said she found a job at The Art Studio from one of her professors during her last semester at Molloy University. She wants to pursue art therapy, and the studio gives her a chance to combine the experiences of teaching art and working with kids.

“I’m learning the ins and outs of how to deal with kids that don’t listen right away, and kids that do listen that are very passionate,” Zampini said. “It’s nice because I haven’t even worked here a year, but I know I have connections with these kids.”

The Art Studio offers classes for students of all ages, with the goal of enriching and empowering their lives through art and community connections. Artwork can be seen on display, on its main wall and across tabletop displays, throughout the studio space. And it makes no commissions on any sales, with all proceeds going directly to the artists.

Barbaro first discovered the studio through her high school English teacher, Justine Chan, who remembered how, at just 17 years old, she had wanted to own an art studio. So, when she learned that The Art Studio — where Chan’s daughter took classes — was up for sale, she notified Barbaro, who jumped at the opportunity.

“I don’t like the idea of gate-keeping,” Barbaro said. “Art is for everyone, from all walks of life. No matter what, my philosophy is, you’ll take away something. It’s a place for you to grow wherever your growth is supposed to be.”

While her teaching style can be considered unconventional, she has managed to create what her students and teachers consider to be a safe haven for expression.

“There’s something about this place that makes them keep coming,” Rizvi said. “I think this has become a very comfortable and safe place for people to be creative.”

In the spirit of the holiday season, the studio created The Wonder Wall, an affordable holiday art fair, designed to encourage shoppers to purchase locally-made artwork as presents for their loved ones. Prices range from $50 to $200 and all of the artwork on display will be available for purchase through Dec. 17.

“It’s a great opportunity for people who are art-minded to get to see art in an art space,” Barbaro said. “You get to meet like-minded people, new people.”

Although the studio offers a wide range of classes for all ages, the event is strictly for adults to exhibit their artwork.

During the event, prizes from local business sponsors and artwork from Barbaro, herself, will be raffled off. All of the proceeds from the entry fees will be donated to charity.

The second annual Wonder Wall Holiday Art Fair will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Art Studio, 221 N. Long Beach Road in Rockville Centre. For more information about the event, lessons, or the artist community visit