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New Rochelle Business Owners Renovate Historic Building Into Gallery

Gallery director Diana Buckley.
Gallery director Diana Buckley. Photo Credit: Suzanne Samin

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Oshi Rabin and her husband Ephraim bought New Rochelle's historic J. A. Mahlstedt Lumber and Coal Company building to combine their business with their passion of fine art.

The Rabins, who run Parchem Fine & Specialty Chemicals, are New Rochelle natives who seek to share fine art from international artists with the world.

"As a native of Israel, I am not only driven by my passion, but also by the unique opportunity to be a conduit of change in a world where many visual languages are spoken," Oshi said. "I wanted to make New Rochelle a sought out region for access to contemporary art."

They purchased and renovated the Mahlstedt Building at 415 Huguenot Street in 2008 to its original historic integrity in order to convert part of it into a gallery space while also housing offices for their chemical company above.

Out of this endeavor came the new 2,000 square foot gallery, known as the Mahlstedt Gallery, 

"Because the gallery is housed in Parchem's building, we are exploring how the themes of art and science can come together," said Gallery Director Diana Buckley.

The Rabins also endeavor to make art affordable and accessible for everyone to enjoy - and therefore, admission to the gallery is free when exhibitions are open. Otherwise, viewings are by appointment.

"During the shows, everyone is welcome to come enjoy the art," Oshi said, "They're invited to come talk about it with us and ask questions."

The gallery also partners with the College of New Rochelle and the Hope Pantry to bring art to the underprivileged. They are continuing to seek new philanthropic partnerships.

"We hope for it to be a community collaboration," said Oshi, "Not just with New Rochelle, but with Westchester County and New York." 

The gallery had a soft opening in December and is now in the process of launching a full exhibition schedule. They currently are open to submissions from around the world. 

Their first exhibition will be called "Solstice Synergy," and will feature artists Eric Hibit, Osamu Kobayashi, Tom Smith, Tom Costa, Vince Contarino and Tang-Wei Hsu. It will run from Jan. 4 – Feb. 7, 2014.

For more information on the gallery, visit their website here.

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