Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gala*: A Unique Industrial-Chic Art & Dinner Party

A massive New York Container Terminal turns into a contemporary museum for a dinner and art party highlighting the work of ten borough artists.

The Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island
Friday, October 2, 2009
7:00pm - 11:00pm

Warehouse 74/75, New York Container Terminal
241 Western Avenue
Staten Island, NY
Phone: 7184473329
Email: statenislandarts.org
The Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) will turn Staten Island’s massive New York Container Terminal into a contemporary museum for a special arts weekend highlighting the work of ten borough artists.

The exhibit, entitled “Mapping Staten Island,” explores these artists’ perceptions of their resident borough, through physical installations, video, light, and musical recordings, and will feature works by Nick Fevelo, John Foxell, Steven Lapcevic, Brendan Coyle, Paul Moakley, Robin Locke Monda, Mandy Morrison, Kala Pierson, Don Porcella, Mike Shane and Cynthia von Buhler.

The exhibit space – created by the newly established firm Archicorp -- will be a work of art in itself, as actual shipping pallets will be used to build walls, tables and other structures to display the artwork. After the exhibit, the pallets will be recycled and used for their original purpose of transporting consumer goods.

In “Mapping Staten Island,” the selected borough artists will play with ideas of psycho-geography, and other non-traditional ways of interpreting the theme. COAHSI Grants Director Ginger Shulick elaborates on the concept of “Mapping Staten Island”:

“The artists selected to participate in “Mapping Staten Island” are not only creating work that physically or conceptually represents the unique geography, history, or mythology of Staten Island, but they are also truly putting Staten Island ‘on the map’ artistically.”

The selection of the New York Container Terminal as the venue for the exhibit also builds on Staten Island’s specific geography and history. Each exhibition room will be constructed from shipping pallets and designed like a fort, 20x10 feet long. The pallets will literally be “branded” by hot iron brands, bearing the logo or tag line of each sponsor. Deconstructed after the gala, these branded pallets will then rejoin the flow of global trade, sharing with the world a small part of Staten Island. Artists will be on site both during the Gala and the public exhibit to discuss their installations with the public.

Gala tickets are available online at the COAHSI website: statenislandarts.org, starting at $125. A shuttle will be available to pick up attendees at the Staten Island ferry and transport them to the New York Container Terminal at 241 Western Avenue. For information about table sponsorships, please contact Frank Williams at COAHSI, 718-447-3329. BUY TICKETS HERE.

Artist Bios

Cynthia von Buhler

Von Buhler will recreate the old-timey historical boardwalk of Staten Island’s South Beach, combining contemporary art criticism with a carnival motif to add a modern element to her installation – including a number of her animated sculptures. Von Buhler will be costumed in traditional carnival garb, wielding a microphone that samples pretentious artists statements mixed with the words “Step Right Up”.

Cynthia von Buhler is an internationally exhibiting visual artist, performer, and author. In March 2006, Art & Antiques named von Buhler as “one of the top contemporary surrealists”, and has been linked to the Fluxus and Lowbrow movements.


Nick Fevelo

Fevelo will create a “Staten Island Water Museum” featuring a collection of water from around Staten Island, including purified rain water for drinking, found water bottles filled with urine from the Island’s shores, as well as images marking Staten Island’s nature and topography. Nick Fevelo is a multi-disciplinary photographer balancing journalism and conceptual artistic practice. He holds a BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, and recently received the Society of Silurians Breaking News Photography award and the National Headliner Awards 3rd Place Breaking News Photography award.


John Foxell

John Foxell will recreate a room of his extraordinary house for the gala. Foxell is a poet whom resides in a historic house in Port Richmond, Staten Island. His home, built in the Saltbox style in 1848, houses many curiosities: skeletons, taxidermied animals, and numerous historical artifacts, including vintage radios from the 1940s and a letter from President Roosevelt to his wife Eleanor.

Steven Lapcevic and Brendan Coyle

Lapcevic and Coyle are collaborating to create a mixed-media installation, depicting the corner of Victory and Corson Avenues in St. George. Recorded sounds from the street will serve as the backdrop to Lapcevic’s animation – a digital window onto the world just outside 15 Corson Gallery/The Assembly Room.

Steven Lapcevic’s work addresses themes of volition, identity, and alienation within the framework of a darkly fictional world that strongly mirrors the more frightening characteristics of our own. It is through his work that he hopes to explore and shed light on the smaller, abstract and darkened corners of our collective experience.

Brendan Coyle works in various artistic media such as sculpture, comics, and performance art, practicing in variance and combination. Coyle also directs and curates The Assembly Room, a contemporary art gallery on the North Shore of Staten Island.


Paul Moakley

Moakley will show his film “Memory Loop”, filmed along the shoreline of Staten Island. During the editing process Moakley will incorporate ephemeral objects, family photos, archival film footage, and historical photography. This film will be displayed alongside large prints, and a reproduction of the bench outside the Alice Austen House Museum along the waterfront, wherein Moakley hopes to create a place for people to contemplate the shoreline and their own lives.

Paul Moakley is a photographer, curator, and editor who lives and works at the Alice Austen House Museum. Moakley was a senior photo editor at Newsweek (2002-2009) and previously served as the photo editor for PDN (Photo District News).


Robin Locke Monda

Locke Monda will create “Wave Circle,” an installation made entirely from old boom boxes set in a circle with their speakers facing toward the center, creating a dialogue. Each boom box will play a CD of Staten Island sounds, including urban, suburban, natural environments as well as Staten Islander’s voices, all recorded by Locke Monda.

Robin Locke Monda is a graphic designer, photographer, and writer working in both old and new media. She is especially interested in cultivating active listening among Staten Islanders, and has created an initiative called “Sounds Like Staten Island” to engage locals in sharing and initiating sound projects.


Mandy Morrison

Morrison will create a mixed-media performance titled “Initial Public Offering of Staten Island: We are Co-Dependent and Connected” regarding Staten Island’s sometimes problematic relationship with power and resource-sharing with other boroughs and the greater New York City.

Mandy Morrison is a video and performance artist whose work is an inquiry as to how we structure our lives through thought and action. Her work is an investigation that focuses on the outward manifestations of the self, whether as an individual or as part of a collective.


Kala Pierson

Pierson will create a “Tibetan Sand Mandala in Audio,” where over the course of the night, the audio will dissolve, starting with thick layers and ending with one layer and eventually silence. Once this happens, the sound will exist only in the memories of the people who were present.

Kala Pierson is a composer and sound/media artist. Pierson has studied at the Eastman School of Music where she held a George Eastman Scholarship, Bard College at Simon’s Rock where she won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, and Tanglewood Institute/BUTI.


Don Porcella

Porcella is creating a cave with figures that narrates his understanding of ancient artists as it relates to art history and early Staten Island people. “The Cave Painters” by Don Porcella intends to show the passion artists have for their craft, how artists have always lived on Staten Island, and how it is connected to our understanding of contemporary artistic practice.

Don Porcella, in his unique approach to encaustic painting, hopes to “reinforce the significance of life’s blunders by presenting a mysterious world: shamelessly awkward and unabashedly comical” (NY Times). The bulk of Porcella’s recent work has involved creating whimsical and subversive sculpture from pipe cleaners. Porcella transforms this “craft material” into a form of high art, as the content and structure of his sculptures play with our conceptions of consumerism, reality, and our own weird mortality.


Mike Shane

Shane will create a temporary mixed-media installation integrating at least 150 square feet of black and white photography and a monochromatic mix of brush paint, ink, and spray paint. The images will portray the emerging artist scene in Stapleton, where Shane resides.

Mike Shane is a photographer and a life-long Staten Islander. He holds a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from Kingsborough Community College, and has independently studied photography for over a decade. Shane considers himself an artist, who chooses photography as his weapon of choice.


Vincent Appel

Vincent Appel is an architect, urbanist, industrial designer and artist. His professional experience includes work at Archi-tectonics in Manhattan, Koetter Kim Architects in Boston, Estudio Borelles in Barcelona and his own practice, Of Other Places. His work has received recognition, fellowship and awards from Judith Seinfeld, The Center for Architecture, and Syracuse University.

Paul Miller

Paul Miller holds the Bachelor of Architecture cum laude from Syracuse University’s School of Architecture. In May 2009, his thesis on the political underground of Washington DC won the James Britton Memorial Prize. Prior to co-founding Archicorp, Paul worked with PARA-Project in Syracuse and New York City and Chaintreuil Jensen Stark Architects in Rochester, New York.

Rob Daurio

Rob Daurio is an architect/urbanist and graphic designer. Previous to Archicorp, Rob Daurio worked with OMA/Rem Koolhaas in the Netherlands on a number of projects including: master plans in Italy, Belgium, and France, catwalks for the Milan Prada fashion shows, and a print for a Prada 2009 Spring/Summer dress. Rob Daurio is a graduate of Syracuse University.

About Archicorp:
Archicorp is a design research collaborative based in New York City. Archicorp operates in a methodology that is affirmatively social, and maintains an optimistic position about the role of design as a device for solving complex problems. The studio engages in a spectrum of work ranging from urban planning and building design to large scale public art, cultural analysis, industrial and fashion design.

The Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) works to foster, develop, and support the arts and humanities on Staten Island. We do this through professional development, technical assistance, and regrants to artists and arts organizations. COAHSI works hard to bring together artists, organizations, and the greater Staten Island community. For more information on the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) visit www.statenislandarts.org.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Running On Staten Island

Brian Fidelman, The Roving Runner, tries Staten Island out for running in this New York Times article.

A Time Out NY Staffer Explains Why She Loves St. George, Staten Island

One of our favorite things about St. George is The Staten Island Museum.

Meredith Bodgas loves St. George, Staten Island and she picks her favorite haunts below. We also love the places she mentions, but there is so much more. Browse our site to find out about our lovely, quirky island. Click HERE to see a slideshow and read the article on TONY's website.

From Time Out NY:

“I grew up on the South Shore,” admits freelance writer Meredith Bodgas, “but St. George, on the North Shore, is what the cool ’hoods in Brooklyn were like before you couldn’t afford to live there. It’s a wonder that more Manhattanites don’t hang out here—especially in a recession. The very pleasant ferry ride (you can buy beer on the boat!) is free, and once you’re on the S.I. side, fun it’s cheap, too.”

Her favorite bars and restaurants

Enoteca Maria (27 Hyatt St between Central Ave and St. Marks Pl; 718-447-2777, enotecamaria.com) “What makes this Italian restaurant stand apart from the countless other ones on the island? The rotating grandma-chefs are actually from Italy—not Bay Ridge. As a result, the restaurant is more European with a menu that changes nightly based on what’s fresh. Rest assured, you can always order pasta.”

Beso (11 Schuyler St between Richmond Terr and Stuyvesant Pl; 718-816-8162, besonyc.com) “Meat and seafood lovers will like the choices at this cozy Spanish restaurant. Order mojitos or sangria, and split tapas, like fried goat cheese and coconut-crusted shrimp, with your friends. Dim lighting and brick walls make it a good date spot.”

Jimmy Steiny’s at Baker Square (2 Hyatt St between Central Ave and Stuyvesant Pl, 718-442-9526) “Though it’s not much to look at from the outside, the inside of this bar is sparkling—it has Blue Moon, Magic Hat and nine other beers on tap. Go after work when pints and well drinks are $3 or less and the jukebox is pumping.”

Her favorite places to visit

Richmond County Bank Ballpark (75 Richmond Terr at Wall St; 718-720-9265, siyanks.com) “Staten Island Yankees games are fun (Scooter the Holy Cow has been known to shoot T-shirts into the stands) and cheaper than the real Yankees. When the Major Leaguers get sent down for a few weeks, they often play here. I saw El Duque pitch a game from a $15 seat behind home plate!”

15 Corson Gallery: The Assembly Room (15 Corson Ave between Daniel Low Terr and Victory Blvd, second floor; 917-586-2325, myspace.com/assemblyroom) “This hipster-friendly gallery is a paradise for anyone who likes his art off the beaten path. Plus, you can catch lively music and comedy performances from local talent here.”

St. George Theatre (35 Hyatt St between Central Ave and St. Marks Pl; 718-442-2900, stgeorgetheatre.com) “You know the battle of the bands concert in School of Rock? That was shot here. Checking out a big-name act at this 1920s theater would be very cool, but I’d highly recommend a kitschy show with local acts, such as Staten Island’s Got Talent.”

Postcards (141 Richmond Terr between Hamilton Ave and Stuyvesant Pl, statenislandusa.com) “I got chills the first time I went to this September 11th memorial, and not just because my husband’s uncle is one of the victims whose profile is accurately depicted on the wall: The wings of the sculpture frame where the Twin Towers used to stand across the bay.”

Her favorite shops

Every Thing Goes Thrift & Vintage (140 Bay St between Central Ave and Victory Blvd; 718-273-7139, etgstores.com/clothing) “Staten Island is not really known for its shopping—the main retail draw is the mall, after all—but there are three floors of vintage threads at this store. It’s as great for everyday duds as it is for Halloween costumes.”

Every Thing Goes Book Cafe and Neighborhood Stage (208 Bay St between Minthorne St and Victory Blvd; 718-447-8256, etgstores.com/bookcafe) “Cater to your ADD with this used-book-and-record store/tea shop/art gallery/performance space/Internet cafĂ©. The events are usually free, and you can even make a couple of bucks by selling your dusty paperbacks and vinyls.
One of our favorite things about St. George is the gorgeous, old houses.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Staten Island Advance Plugs Forgotten Borough (and its blogger)

Staten Island home owners: Cynthia von Buhler and Tevah Platt in front of Cynthia's house. Photo from an article about Staten Island's North Shore in Japion, a New York Japanese newspaper.

Thursday, September 03, 2009
Staten Island Advance
by Tevah Platt

Cynthia von Buhler, an artist with profoundly gothic sensibilities, was bound to fall under the spell of Staten Island's old, desolate and abandoned places.

House-hunting in 2005, she discovered the borough and snatched up an Iberian castle at the pinnacle of St. George.

Her "quest for a turret" made the New York Times' real estate section.

And ever since, Ms. von Buhler has been singing a siren song, luring New Yorkers willing to sail to the North Shore.

She's chatted with reporters with the Japanese weekly Japion, brought in adventurers from Forgotten NY, and, for the local and foreign crowd, maintains an elegant blog featuring Staten Island's cultural offerings: Forgottenborough.com.

In what was formerly titled the "Prodigal Borough" blog, Ms. von Buhler maintains the voice of an insider who is also an outsider, as in the tag line: "We took the ferry to Staten Island and decided to stay."

But notably, Staten Island has decided to stay with Ms. von Buhler.

Since buying a second home in pastoral Connecticut, she spends more time in New England than she does in New Amsterdam, yet she continues to blog and to tout Staten Island's North Shore.

Ms. von Buhler, who helped found St. George's SHOW Gallery, recently completed the children's book, "But Who Will Bell the Cats?" (Houghton Mifflin). She is among the artists to be featured at the upcoming Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) "Mapping Staten Island" Gala at the New York Container Terminal on Oct. 2, with a public exhibit Oct. 3.

Visit the blog at: forgottenborough.com and her new book's Web site: www.butwhowillbellthecats.com

Link to the article HERE.