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Staten Island, New York, United States

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Wistful Day at ART at Bay

Our group show MAXIMUS/minimus at the ART at Bay community gallery is over. The last day we found ourselves in the middle of the 5 Boro Bike Tour, with Bay St. closed to car traffic all day. I love this day, when the noise level on the street drops to a whir of bike wheels. It's NOT fun to travel on the ferry, when the schedule often gets disrupted and the bicyclists rule the waves.  But on this day I was gallery sitting and just observing.

There was a lot of activity on the street and sidewalk in front of the gallery, with the bar next door offering up $2 pints, but very few cyclists IN the gallery. They all looked so awkward off their bikes, clomping around in their bike shoes, and definitely felt more comfortable outside, not happy with the requests to keep their beers inside the bar.

Not all my friends who I had hoped would come to see the exhibit on the last day showed up, but that's okay. If their travel would have been disrupted, that might have left a bad taste for Staten Island. It's happened before.

One of the other artists, Judy Hugentobler, had a great turnout among her adult students in Manhattan. Apparently, they were promoting the exhibit and Staten Island among themselves. And Judy was going out of her way to give them a tour and make it a pleasant experience.

So, Sunday night, true to form, all the artists showed up on time at 6:00, to de-install, despite having to park around the corner. They all efficiently packed up their work, patched the holes in the wall and swished paint over the patches. We were all out of there, with garbage hauled away, by 7:20.

A round of e-mails expressing appreciation and mutual admiration went out the next day.

And that was that.

An empty community gallery is a sad thing, but the gallery won't be empty long. Today a group exhibit for Art By the Ferry will start to be installed. Activity is gearing up for that festival, which kicks off Friday night, May 20th and runs through that weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for taking on the task of curating this ambitious show, Denise. It was really a positive experience to work with the other artists, and get to know several of them better during the shared gallery-sitting. It's a lot of hard work to organize and mount a group show in a community gallery, but so important for the neighborhood and its cultural scene. You did a great job, and we're very grateful. -- Sheryl Humphrey