BAFFA Art Gallery
The Bay Area Friends of the Fine Arts is a non-profit organization established in 1968 to promote the fine arts both in the schools and the local community. BAFFA sponsors art exhibits, concerts and recitals, in addition to awarding both a music and art scholarship each year to a graduating senior. BAFFA was formed by a small group of parents and teachers who lived in the Bayport area of Suffolk County’s south shore. The BAFFA Art Gallery has been housed in the Gillette House since 1984, having previously been housed at the Islip Grange.
Gallery Located at 47 Gillette Ave., Sayville NY 11782
The office of BAFFA and the art gallery share space in the historic Gillette House in Sayville at 47 Gillette Avenue just south of Main Street, Montauk Highway. The art gallery is located in two rooms with a separate entrance on the south side of the building. BAFFA has hosted juried high school invitational exhibits for a number of years each spring at which time the recipient of the Jacqueline C. Palmer Art Award for a graduating senior is chosen. BAFFA also has sponsored many individual and multi-artist shows featuring local artists.
The Gillette House was built by Capt. Charles Z. Gillette for his wife, Phoebe Edwards and family, after his maritime days at the end of he Civil War. In partnership, he ran the local mercantile, served as postmaster of Sayville and was elected as Town of Islip Supervisor for eight years. In 1905, Captain Gillette was instrumental in having Gillette Avenue dedicated, paving the way for electric lighting. “…charitable and with a good word for everyone, this gentleman of the old school was beloved by the whole village.” (6/8/06 Suffolk County News).
Having bequeathed the family homestead to his daughter, Ida, who preserved his community interest, the Gillette House and property, was gifted in 1944 to the Town of Islip for park purposes, giving Sayville its second park. Today the Gillette House and Park house not only the BAFFA Art Gallery, but the Village Improvement Society, the Wet Paints Studio Group, the Sayville Pantry, as well as the Boy and Girl Scouts, and the Little League. The old carriage house (on Collins) is used by the Sayville Cabinet for the Sick. Rotary Park (between Gillette and Candee Avenue), along with Gillette Park is the site of the Sayville Summer Festival.