Thursday, February 11, 2010

Second Saturday

From The Staten Island Advance:

Time for 'Second Saturday'
By Tevah Platt
February 11, 2010, 7:30AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Because it’s smaller than others in New York City, the arts scene on Staten Island’s North Shore expresses itself in periodic flashes.

I try to be there when the pyrotechnics crackle. They illuminate my borough in a fleeting aura of cool and make me feel part of a community as everybody goes “oooh.”

Staten Island Second Saturdays, a monthly, one-night “art walk,” was inaugurated on Jan. 9 as six galleries and nine private households opened their doors to anyone interested in taking a gander.

The organizers of the event, Brendan Coyle and Amanda Curtis, of the living room-based Assembly Room gallery in Tompkinsville, billed it as a chance to expose local artists to the rest of New York City and an attempt to “boost cultural tourism and the economy of this quickly-growing artist community.”

Part cultural experience, part social event, the art walk brought together creative people from the belly of the North Shore, especially New Brighton, Tompkinsville, and St. George, for fun, wine and mutual support.

“It’s a no brainer. We have to be aware of each other and help each other out, and art doesn’t thrive without an audience,” said Coyle. “.¤.¤.Stringing together the common interests of disparate underground artists and movements seems to be the thing to open a vein for the lifeblood of the neighborhood to flow through.”

I came from Tompkinsville in a bit of a rush that evening. I left my reporter’s notebook at home and instead brought my dog, Fergus.

Popping into four apartments along Stuyvesant Place and Corson and Central avenues, we saw a woman enclosed in plastic and painted white, ceaselessly knitting. We saw a sagging, conceptual goldfish bag full of Pepsi. I wielded a chainsaw sculpted from pipecleaners while a matching headset played a vocal track by the artist, Don Porcella, vocally imitating the tool. Nyyyuuuuh, nyyyyuuuh. Fergus smelled welcoming people, fresh paint and the odd house cat.

The venues were uncrowded, but the flow was constant, one of the curators said.

People familiar with participating artists were likely to run into people they knew.

And yet the shows and private settings offered intimate glimpses into the lives and minds of strangers.

At one point, I realized that everyone I saw out on that cold night had map in hand, and was participating in this tour of strange worlds. Central Avenue temporarily became a blank museum hallway linking exhibits.

And linking neighbors with neighbors.

The second Second Saturday is Feb. 13.

Assembly Room
6 p.m. to midnight; 15 Corson Ave. 2nd Fl., Tompkinsville; Curators: Brendan Coyle and Amanda Curtis; Artists: Katie Torn, Tom Ronse

Blue Mohawk Lounge
(time TBA); 9 Corson Ave. 3rd Fl., Tompkinsville; Curators: Johann Rublein and Leilani Pickettl; Artists: Leilani Pickett, Shawn Bishop-Leo, Eliza Bazillian and music by Automatons Anonymous at 9:30; DJ Maciej Lenart

Valentine Cave (SelzeRez)
9 p.m. to midnight; 180 Corson Ave., New Brighton; Curator: Ann Marie Selzer and Industrial Television’s Ed Droogie; “Best in Underground” screening

ETG Cafe
208 Bay St., Tompkinsville; Curator: Steve Jones Daughs; Live Music: 8pm Brian XO opens; Pheobe Blue and Tommy Bones Blurple CD Release Party; Paintings: J. Montana

Nick Fevelo, performance and sound installation
7 to 8 p.m.;33 Central Ave. 6G, St. George; Curator: Nick Fevelo; Artists: Nick Fevelo and Alma Benussi

15 Cent
7 to 11 p.m.; 15 Central Ave. #2A, St. George; Curators: David and Jen Bianco and Sabrina Mazza; Exhibition: Installation and Live Entertainment

SHOW Gallery
6 to 9 p.m.; 156 Stuyvesant Pl., St. George; Curator: Theo Dorian; Exhibition: GLAM! by Mick Rock

Top Flight
6 to 10 p.m.; 100 Stuyvesant Pl. A5, St. George; Director: Don Porcella; Artists: Patrick Dintino, Don Porcella

Parish Grill
Dinner until 9 p.m.; (some galleries on the tour will offer a 10 percent discount coupon); Artist TBA.

Mandy Machine
6 to 9 p.m.; 100 Stuyvesant Pl. G-1; Installation Director: Mandy Morrison

Papouli’s Restaurant
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 9 Hyatt St., St. George; Mural by David White

7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; 36 Richmond Terr., St. George; Valentine’s Day astrology love forecasts by Adrianna Goffredo and Tarot readings by Patti Earl

CPG Gallery (Creative Photographers’ Guild)
1 to 5 p.m.; 814 Richmond Terr., Livingston (entrance on Tysen Street); Exhibit: “Rear View” featuring Marilyn Kiss; In honor of Valentine’s Day, CPG invites you to bring your favorite love poem to read aloud in the gallery; the first 10 readers will receive a Lee Simms chocolate heart.

Richie’s Lot
Noon to 5; 18 Van Pelt (@ Richmond Terrace), Mariners Harbor; Exhibit: Richard Plunkett’s “Muskrat Husk” animal skinning, “not for the faint of heart.”; (The rodents in question were killed in the course of nature by the artist’s dog.); Keg of beer for early birds

St. GeorgeNoon to 6; 11 Phelps Pl.; Director: Gary Brant; City LightsArtist: Joseph Greenberg

Art at Bay
6 to 9 p.m.; 70 Bay St.; Director: Tim Moran; “Art Recycling” with Day de Dada, and “Residual Effects” exhibit featuring Barbara Beyar, Ed Davin, Phyllis Forman, Joyce Malerba Goldstein, Timothy Moran, Denise Mumm, Lenora Paglia, Vincent Verdi

Staten Island Museum
Noon to 5;75 Stuyvesant Pl., St. George; Exhibit: “Growing a Collection: Recent Art Acquisitions”; Free admission

Cargo Cafe
120 Bay St., St. George; Music and art TBA; For updates, check