Halloween art, kids and community service come together in annual Bay Ridge contest
Alexandra Emmerici knew she wanted to paint a witch for the Bay Ridge Community Council’s Halloween Window Painting Contest, but she also wanted to make sure her witch had a bit more pizzazz to her.
“I made her a friendly witch,” Alexandra, a Fort Hamilton High School student, told the Brooklyn Eagle as she delicately applied black paint to the window of Globe Drug Store on 86th Street in Bay Ridge Thursday morning.
Alexandra Emmerici was one of scores of students from local schools taking part in the Community Council’s annual contest, in which kids paint witches, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, black cats, lightning bolts, monsters and other spooky scenes on store windows.
The window-painting contest, which the Community Council has been sponsoring for more than 60 years, is one of the most well-known traditions in Bay Ridge.
The Council invites public, private and parochial schools to send students to commercial areas like Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue and 86th Street to paint store windows with the permission of the store owners.
The students are responsible for creating the artwork themselves. They first paint their posters in school and then re-create the artwork on store windows.
The Community Council appoints a panel of judges to inspect the paintings and award prizes. Students compete for gold, silver and bronze ribbons. The prizes will be handed out at a ceremony to take place a Council meeting at a later date.
Students found all sorts of ways to express their creativity.
Julianna Ghorra, a student at St. Anselm Catholic Academy, found her inspiration in the classic movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
“I didn’t really have an idea at first. But then when I saw the movie, I thought I would paint that,” she told the Brooklyn Eagle as she worked on a window of the Dime Bank on Fourth Avenue and 86th Street.
Meanwhile, over on Fifth Avenue, P.S./I.S. 104 student Rimjheem Rimjheem was painting a fashion-conscious witch. Her painting on the window of Pizza Wagon featured a witch doing her shopping on 86th Street and carrying a shopping bag from Century 21 Department Store.
Courtney Rossicone, the art teacher at P.S./I.S. 104, said the window-painting contest brings out the best in her students. “Painting on glass is hard. They learn patience and overcoming difficulties,” she said.
The Bay Ridge Community Council is an umbrella group composed of nearly 100 member organizations, including business groups, church organizations, senior citizen clubs and parent-teacher associations. Established in 1951, the Community Council is dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton.
The artwork will remain in the store windows for several weeks.
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