Staten Island's Annual 'Art by the Ferry' Festival Starts This Weekend

By Nicholas Rizzi on June 8, 2012 10:46am 

The map of locations with art events at this year's "Art by the Ferry" festival, which starts on June 8, 2012.
The map of locations with art events at this year's "Art by the Ferry" festival, which starts on June 8, 2012.
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Staten Island Creative Community

STATEN ISLAND — The fifth annual "Art by the Ferry" festival will take over the St. George area this weekend.

The art festival will put up displays and host events in buildings and parks near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal from June 9 to 10, and showcase the work of about 100 local artists.

It includes sales of handmade jewelry, literary readings, comedy shows, street performances and local musicians.

The festival kicks off with a fundraiser Friday at 7 p.m. at 60 Bay St. The opening will have food donated by local restaurants, wine, paintings on display, and six literary readings featuring published authors from Staten Island and Park Slope, all for a $20 donation.

"We're keeping it low because we're all artists and nobody makes a lot of money," said Joyce Malerba Goldstein, president of the Staten Island Creative Community (SICC), who organizes the event.

This year, 13 spaces have opened up their doors to host artist's work.

Art events will take place at restaurants, parks and buildings around the neighborhood.

There will also be arts and crafts for children at Borough Hall park, and several children's musicians performing on Saturday and Sunday, Goldstein said.

Aside from Friday, the rest of the days are free to the public. Goldstein also got interns from local colleges to give a guided tour of the festival for outer-borough residents coming from the Ferry.

"Art by the Ferry" started five years ago because there was a dearth of opportunities for island artists to show their work.

"So we staged a rally," Goldstein said.

"I got political. I'm an old hippy."

After the rally, Goldstein helped form the SICC and was elected president. She got in touch with building owners to donate their space to show artists' work, and Art by The Ferry was born.

"It just took off," she said. "There was a real need, and we looked for places to hang work."

Since then, however, Goldstein said the art scene has turned around on the North Shore. Snug Harbor has a new CEO and has gotten better, the SICC got a permanent gallery space at 70 Bay St., called Art at Bay, to show their work, and newer businesses have starting springing up around them.

"It's really an example of arts and economic development," she said. "It's very typical of the beginning of an arts community."

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