“Black and White” Art Exhibition

I hope you support my excitement about all the art events popping up all over town. One area that is receiving a lot of hype in the media lately is the naturally occurring cultural district in the town of St. George, Staten Island. There’s a lot of activity and talk about the revitalization of the neighborhood surrounding the ferry and the waterfront to benefit the local development. Some of the plans include the building of the world’s tallest Ferris wheel “The New York Wheel”, development of the Harbor Commons, a 350,000-sq.-ft. outlet center and the transformation and the proposed branding of the St. George cultural district as the “Art Hill.”

In the addition to all of the above plans, the Staten Island Arts Building Corp (SIABC), a three-story former warehouse was converted into an artists’ work space complex and recently opened it’s doors in Stapleton.  The Staten Island Artist Building claims to be the first professional rental studios for Artists in Staten Island NY. “A place to build, perform and receive recognition.” Moreover, one of the art exhibitions that is going to take place in this new and exciting place on March 8th through April 11th is  The “Black and White” event. The upcoming show is being curated by Raul Barquet.

“Black & White” is a group exhibition exploring the versatility of the black and white

image. From medieval woodblock prints to modern black and white photography, a lack

of color has been used by artists as a strength instead of a weakness in their work. Over a

dozen artists will showcase their black and white pieces together on Staten Island.

Raul Barquet, curator of Port Exhibitions said “I am very excited about how this show is

shaping up, there will be a great group of very talented artists represented.” The

majority of the artists involved in this exhibition are based out of the five boroughs of

New York City, however there are artists from Pennsylvania and California showing

their work as well. Just a few of the types of artwork featured are photography,

painting, and etching.

Port Exhibitions strives to develop a safe harbor for creative exchange. By exposing

emerging and mid-career artists to new markets we hope to further appreciation for the

works they create.

An opening reception will be held from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Saturday March 8th at

the Staten Island Artist Building located at 73 Wave Street, Staten Island, NY 10304.

This exhibition is free and open to the public. Viewing hours are Saturday & Sunday

12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. And during the week by appointment. For more information or to

book an appointment to see the show during the week please direct emails to

portexhibitions@gmail.com.

Let not your enthusiasm wane!

We are happy to introduce another guest post to our readers by Brendan Coyle. In his letter below, Brendan lets us in on the exciting changes that are taking place on the ever-evolving Staten Island’s North Shore.

“Let not your enthusiasm wane! The creative souls of New York have not stopped, regardless of the downpour of obstacles from the clouds of economic travail, which floats down over us from the stagnant hill of ailing policy makers. We will not be shaken up by them like the ant farm in the bedroom they’ve been exiled to for stealing the toys of the neighbor’s kids some idyllic afternoon out in the cul de sac.

 

A new season is upon us, so we plow forward. Here in Staten Island, the popup galleries continue to have regular openings and closings. As our downtown grows and refurbishments start to come to fruition, the popups continue to “pop up” and after a bit of a run they strike their sets, as they have in the past. The artists stirring the cauldron continue to find their temporary venues in the simmering stew, and all the while we are still yearning for more permanent additions to the scene.

 

I have watched my pet monster “Second Saturday” take on a life of its own. Makeshift venues come and go from the itinerary, but mainly the schedule has whittled down to a few rock-steady places that stand at the helm of the Staten Island art scene. Most of the venues for art here in Staten Island are not solely that. They have a primary business focus and the art seems to be an accouterment. This would seem to be the only feasible way we can have galleries here, as the neighborhood has yet to attract substantial art buyers. However, the seeds of change are being planted, and saplings are taking root.

Morgu bird mural by Brendan Coyle

Recently I introduced my new headquarters, the “Coyle Cavern” at 194 Bay St., a venue whose sole purpose is to be a gallery and an event space. I’ve been curating shows there while it is still in the process of renovations, which are finally getting their finishing touches. The feasibility of such a place as the fan-base grows and I start to attract buyers (I’ve already sold a few pieces!) hinges on a partnership with Xhafer Gjeshbitraj, a local entrepreneur, whom you might know from Stapleton where he co-founded the “Muddy Cup.” Come January, renovations will start for a café bistro called “The Studio” in the building adjoined with Coyle Cavern. And a unique sustainable business model is born! Two separate businesses in symbiosis under the same roof. 194 Bay also has some interesting residents in the apartments above the show space. There is a full-on music studio on the 3rd Floor called Cobra Sun Studio, which provides ensembles for the ever mutable Coyle Cavern house band.

 

The only thing that will never change is that this place will never stop changing, so embrace it! Join us at Coyle Cavern for Second Saturday, October 13th for my latest curated exhibition “SPOILER ALERT””

 

Cheers,

Brendan Coyle

 

 

Letter from the Desk of Second Saturdays Staten Island

The arts community in Staten Island is growing, so to help guide us to the potential art discoveries on the island we’ve enlisted our borough’s renowned artist, Co-founder and Director of Second Saturday Staten Island, Brendan Coyle, to share his views.

Hello readers,

I’ve been invited by Staten Island Lifestyle to give an update on the goings on of the art community and encourage the growing movement to keep flourishing. The lifestyle we have here, regardless of the choices made by our governing municipality, is precisely nothing else than what we bring into it as engaged members of a community. I saw fit to encourage the tradition of an “art walk” to form in Staten Island in 2010 for several interconnected reasons, and lifestyle (or quality of life concerns) was amongst the top few.

What is an art walk?

Surprisingly few people actually know what I’m referring to when I use the term “art walk”.  On a Second Saturday or First Friday or Third Thursday or what have you, depending on the city or neighborhood you’re in, there is a consistent monthly routine that involves a variety of art galleries, artist studios, cafes and other establishments that display art, music, and performance, all coordinating their opening receptions on the same day. There is decidedly little else in terms of organization. Art walks in many places can be extremely commercial, and in others they are more cutting edge. In Staten Island we have the unique opportunity of seeing a true DIY movement spring up out of the nooks and crannies of one of the 5 boroughs, the “forgotten” one.

Some of the pop-up galleries are spread out over the neighborhood and it takes a little commitment from the gallery goer, a little bit of adventure maybe, to find them. That’s part of the built-in quality control of the design. The galleries have to compete, they have to curate their shows thoughtfully and promote themselves, as well as the art walk at large. There’s a push-and-pull that makes for a healthy community. We are traffic-sharing, but when there’s a critical mass you have to be on your A game. Since the start I’ve encouraged venues (and created new ones) to take on contemporary art, to be experimental and be part of the conversation that is happening in New York. We are New York artists living out here because we seek affordable space, peace of mind, and feedback from an interested and informed community.

I’ve lived here for 7 years and enjoyed the benefits of being in New York and simultaneously experiencing something of a tight knit small town feel that you get in the North Shore. The connectivity of various cultural groups through Second Saturdays has brought some verve to the area that makes it all the much more appealing, and I can see the community coming into its own that way. We’re here and time is ebbing, be part of the conversation.

Sincerely,

Brendan Coyle

www.secondsaturdaystatenisland.com

 

Fashion Island’s Sizzling Night

The Great Hall at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center served as a beautiful backdrop for this lavish affair. Fashion Island celebrated  its first  ever runway show with a bash and a cool crowd of over 200 attendees. People everywhere were mingling and praising the extravagant designs from the “Sketch Your Style” competition while sipping on champagne and savoring appetizers at the cocktail reception.

Alexandra Porto, director of membership and outreach for the SIEDC, did an amazing job organizing and planning this event and making every last little detail a bit special. Looking around the room the atmosphere was that of an elegant fashion party with stimulating energy and amazing talent.  Aside from the one-of-a-kind designs, there were many items donated to the auction by such glamorous designers as Roberto Cavalli and Oscar de la Renta.

As the lights dimmed, statement-making styles inspired by Staten Island’s landmarks along with other fall- inspired looks, hit the runway. It was very exciting to watch these fashions come to live. The crowd was cheering and gushing over every piece. Drawing from the diverse range of inspirations, the designers put together a tremendous show that any Staten Islander would be proud of. It was a beautiful event and I left feeling honored to have been a part of it.

 

Designer and an FIT student, Tara Ricci, won the first prize for her children’s wear design inspired by the Staten Island Ferry.

Rosemarie Paone, a truly inspiring spirit at just 16 years old, took home a second-place for her Staten Island Zoo inspired gown.

                                                                      Walk, Walk   Fashion Baby!

A fabulous third-place winner, Monique Anderson, paid tribute to St. George Theater with her show-stopping gown worn by Sheena Colette.

Below are the highlights from Fashion Island shot by Dmitriy M.

 

The Annual Fence Show

When it comes to art, many travel to New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods, such as The Meatpacking District, SoHo, Tribeca, Chelsea and Williamsburg, to see what’s new in the world of art. However, very few people know about the growing art community, right here,  in Staten Island. The Annual Fence Show is a big part of this hip movement. Although the show is known to be the city’s longest-running outdoor art show, (it began in 1951 and continues to this day) it expands and thrives with new talent every year. The show features local artists, sculptors, painters, craftsmen and photographers that display their art on the long iron fence at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden every year.

If you didn’t make it, next year, definitely give it a try. A visit to this richly diverse exhibition is sure to please. Best of all, the event is free to the public and the one-of-a-kind art works are for sale.

Below are some images I was able to take before my battery died, all the more reason for you to go next year to see the show.