At the most recent Village of Mineola board meeting, the board of trustees approved Emily Cunha’s application to open an art instructional school at 270 Jericho Tpke.
“We’re looking to open up an art instruction studio where we offer painting and art classes,” Cunha told the board. “We’re looking to do new things [as well] maybe digital, actual canvases and T-shirts—a whole wide variety. We feel that our area needs it and the kids will love it. The block, I feel like, is the artist block with dance and music on it already. All that’s missing on it is art.”
Cunha has taught art classes before, offering them in schools as an afterschool elective and has been successful at it, which prompted her to open up her very own space.
“Currently the daytime hours [for the studio] are 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” explained Cunha. “But that’s more like setup and other things. Afterschool classes would be anywhere from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.”
The studio would be open Monday through Friday, as well as Saturday mornings.
Mayor Scott Strauss brought up the topic of parking and asked Cunha how she plans to go about the parking situation within the area.
“There’s meter parking out front, there’s side street parking on Marcellus and Wellington. Parking is always going to be an issue. It is what it is,” responded Cunha.
Art sessions would be an hour long with approximately 15 students with Cunha hoping to get at least 50 students on board in her first year of opening and wants to host adult classes as well.
“During the summer there is no school. Are you planning on having summer camps or summer classes,” asked deputy mayor Paul Pereira.
Cunha responded that she would love to host summer camp and is well aware that the Mineola School District runs a summer arts program too.
“I’m trying not to compete directly since I send my kids there too,” added Cunha.
The art studio will also have a retail space where creative items such as bins, T-shirts and dish towels will be sold. Once the art classes start, the retail portion would be closed.
“I think that this is a very good use for the Jericho Turnpike area,” said trustee Dennis Walsh. “We’re always looking to keep stores. People complain all the time that stores are vacant and you’re filling up one of the stores…”
Cunha said that she is ready to open her studio by Dec. 1.
Mineola resident Peter Burnside, who lives on Wellington Road near the art studio, voiced his concern about the potential parking problem that might ensue.
“Parking is just awful in our area,” said Burnside. “Maybe you know some people at the Portuguese American Hall or Chaminade? They have lots of parking. Maybe you can make some arrangements with them. Wellington Road is tight. You can’t even park in front of your own house most of the time.”
Strauss, who agreed, told Cunha that if parking becomes a problem to reach out to Chaminade High School.
“They’ve been very accommodating to others in the past,” explained Strauss. “I’m sure if their hours coincide with yours because they obviously have school during the day, the Portuguese American Society might be a little bit more accommodating for you.”