Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group celebrates new exhibit at Coney Island Hospital

July 25, 2014 Jaime DeJesus
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It’s a work of art in Coney. The Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group (BSAG) unveiled its latest exhibition of art, City Heat, at Coney Island Hospital’s main building on Thursday, July 24. The opening reception included dozens of works of art hung on the hospital’s walls with artists and friends in attendance.

“The hospital invited us in to set up a gallery for them,” said Arthur Melnick, executive director of BSAG. “It gives us the opportunity to display on a regular basis.”

BSAG consists of artists of all ages and talents. Its first exhibition took place at MCU Park, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, in 2007. Since then, the organization has grown, having had its work hung at several spots, such as Saint Francis College and Berkeley College.

“I don’t think there’s any other art group certainly in the city that hangs as many dates a year as we do,” Melnick said.

The exhibit, which will remain displayed at the hospital until the end of September, included a wide variety of mediums, such as digital photography, watercolors, acrylics, ink and fused glass.

Artist and BSAG member Herb Alwais hopes the work will be enjoyed by patients of the hospital. “I think any time you put artwork in a hospital, it’s great,” he said. “When people come here that are not well, anything that may distract them for a moment just to make them feel a bit better, that’s what it’s about. It can be a distraction from what they’re suffering from and it’s a good thing. It takes their mind off being sick, even for a moment.”

BSAG’s youngest member, Jeremy Mezarina, 25, has enjoyed his first year with the group. “It’s a miracle for me because ever since I started creating art, I’ve always wanted to show it. I hoped one day people would see my creations and my own view.” Mezarina, who has loved art since middle school and hopes to use that passion as an art teacher.

The group’s other objective is to spread passion for the arts across the borough. I do think the imperative is very clear,” said artist Beryl Brenner, one of BSAG’s directors, whose art is inspired by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. “A lot of the arts communities are in the northern end of Brooklyn now,” she added. “We’re trying to bring art to the underrepresented areas in Brooklyn. It’s big part of our mission with this organization.”

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