Did you know that Middle Village has its very own resident artist? Doug Leblang, who has lived in the neighborhood for most of his life, has accurately chronicled the 20th century Middle Village experience in his works.
Doug’s family settled in Middle Village in 1912. His father, David, who was very involved in the community, owned Leblang’s Pharmacy at the corner of 78th Street and 68th Avenue for 50 years.
Doug majored in art history at Boston University and found inspiration in the works of such artists as Edgar Dégas, Edward Hopper, and Johannes Vermeer. He then received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts. He was a successful commercial illustrator, designer, and art director in corporate America for thirty years and is now a full-time fine artist.
A firm believer in the healing power of the arts, Doug has used his talent to help people in institutional environments. Among his many community art projects, he has worked with groups in a Queens psychiatric institution, a Manhattan homeless shelter, a Bronx nursing home and a Harlem day care center. In 2004, the New York City Health and Hospital Art Collection selected two of Doug’s images for its exhibit, “Jazz and the Visual Arts” at the Queens Hospital Center.
In addition to being a visual artist, Doug is a popular singer and musician, having entertained at city senior centers and the 92nd St “Y.” He also performs as a volunteer in soup kitchens, hospitals and nursing homes. Doug has always had a fascination with the simple beauty of everyday life in Middle Village. Since the early 1950s, he has featured his hometown in his paintings. His most recent exhibits, entitled “Middle Village of Old” and “Metropolitan Avenue and Beyond,” were showcased at the Middle Village Public Library in 2005, and brought back happy memories of times gone by, while also providing a valuable visual history lesson.
His works are also regularly featured on the website, Forgotten-NY.com, to familiarize the reader with Queens treasures that have been lost over time. Please visit Doug’s website, dougleblangartist.com, to view the rest of his collection.