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Red Hook arts group to present ‘The Art of Coney Island’

Along with artists, sword-swallowers, magicians, mermaids

July 8, 2021 Jaime DeJesus,
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The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC) will play host to two exhibitions this weekend for the summer season at its gallery space at 481 Van Brunt St. in Red Hook starting Saturday, July 10.

First up is “The Art of Coney Island.” The exhibition is a love letter to everything about America’s Favorite Playground, including the amusement parks, beaches, history and neighborhood nostalgia.

This exhibition will feature the art of 100 artists in a wide range of media that uses Coney Island as inspiration.

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Featured artists include locals Marie Roberts, Philomena Marano and Richard Eagan.

“From its inception as a resort area in the 1800s, Coney Island was a symbol of an escape from the realities of daily life, providing diversion and fun while at the same time infusing a certain benign decadence in food, culture and feeling,” said BWAC in a statement.

Audrey Anastasi’s “Aquatic Figure” mixed-media collage. Ms. Anastasi is the owner-director of the Tabla Rasa Gallery in Sunset Park. Photo courtesy of BWAC

“Through subsequent years of boom, decay and neglect and back again, Coney Island residents embody the adaptability of survival, especially among the artists and performers who made it their business and their home,” the statement added.

In addition to the artists, performers from Coney Island will be present at the opening reception. There will be a sword swallower, a roving sleight-of-hand magician, mermaids and mermen. In addition, Sing for Hope, a nonprofit known for placing pianos in public spaces, has donated a Coney Island-themed piano called “Luna” to BWAC in honor of the show. The exhibition will conclude August 15.

The other program hosted by BWAC is called “Art Over Time” and is a celebration of the arts of people over the age of 65.

“After a year in isolation and contemplating the challenges and personal tragedies we all experienced, we at BWAC felt it was high time to celebrate the perseverance and longevity of people making great art well into their senior years,” said Susan Handwerker, co-president of BWAC and co-curator of Art Over Time stated.

Audrey Anastasi’s “Neptune” oil on canvas. Photo courtesy of BWAC

The exhibition juror is Charlotta Kotik, a former head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Art Over Time opens with a reception for the artists on Saturday, July 10 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the BWAC Gallery on Van Brunt Street. It concludes on Aug. 15.

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