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The Muñeca Arthouse: A Home for All Artists

Inside+the+Mu%C3%B1cena+Arthouse+in+Patchgoue.
Inside the Muñcena Arthouse in Patchgoue.

Inside the Muñcena Arthouse in Patchgoue.

Photo by Olivia Thorgersen

Photo by Olivia Thorgersen

Inside the Muñcena Arthouse in Patchgoue.

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Over the last decade, Patchogue has transformed itself from a sketchy town to a gorgeous place where everyone wants to be—if they can find parking, that is. Locals know about the endless enjoyable restaurants, holiday parades, and music venues, but recently, one local artist has created a unique space that may push the village’s evolution one step farther.
Her name is Jessica Valentin. Jessica owns the Muñeca Arthouse on South Ocean Avenue, which opened on July 1st, 2018. Muñeca means “doll” in Spanish, and doll is often used as a term of endearment, which gave Valentin the idea for the name. Valentin’s arthouse offers visitors a collection of non-traditional art housed in a quaint building with high ceilings and an open concept. Surrounded by her displays, Valentin is very welcoming and is happy to answer any questions visitors might have. Thankfully, I was able to sit down with her and discuss her contribution to the community.
Valentin decided to open her arthouse in Patchogue because she is a Patchogue-Medford alumnus and has family here. She’s been an artist all her life, even if she didn’t know it, but hadn’t taken it seriously until the past eight years. Jessica has gone through a lot, which she says has inspired her art. She endured the passing of two husbands but channels her grief into creating breath-taking pieces.
She wants her work to be “seen as colorful and bright despite the sad subject matter” and intends to “exhibit artists whose art isn’t considered traditional and wouldn’t be shown in most art shows on Long Island.” Also, she wants her arthouse to be a place for “artists of color who create  non-traditional art to have a space to showcase their work.”

Photo by Olivia Thorgersen
The Muñeca Arthouse in downtown Patchogue is a haven for all artists and admirers.

Muñeca shows mainly contemporary artists, illustrators, digital artists, comic artists, graffiti artists, and graphic artists.
Valentin wants all ages to be able to showcase their work here and all people to be able “to mix and mingle no matter who they are or where they come from.” She has no special criteria for artists who want to show here.
Valentin has an open art call going on right now for a “spooky show” in the month of October. She encourages all ages to enter—and high school students are welcome to submit their works, too.
Every piece in her gallery has a special story. Jessica’s favorite piece that she created is called You Send Me. It was printed on white acrylic, and when there is a light shone behind it, the image reveals a skeleton. The piece was part of a public art project she did with the town. Her favorite work by another artist hanging in the gallery right now is titled Biggie Biggie Biggie by Ivan Orama. It was printed on a block of wood that was meant for a table top, and is even sealed so that meals could be served on it, but she liked the piece so much she decided to hang it instead.
Some arthouses, studios, installations, and galleries on Long Island might show similar art, but rest assured: None of the art in Jessica’s impressive space will leave you saying, “They all looked the same.” Each piece, artist, and message is unique and provides a great experience for art lovers. So, if you ever find yourself passing Muñeca Arthouse in Patchogue, go in. You won’t be disappointed
Photo by Olivia Thorgersen
Painting entitled "Vitality" by Diego Garcia.
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The Muñeca Arthouse: A Home for All Artists