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Deep Tanks Art Festival to Debut in St. George

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 30, 2012 10:54am

STATEN ISLAND — A new art festival will make its debut in St. George next weekend.

The Deep Tanks photography studio and gallery will host their new Deep Tanks Arts Festival on Sept. 8 on a street in front of their studio.

Deep Tanks got the idea to host their own festival because they felt that others in the neighborhood were lacking in some areas, said Kristopher Johnson, a photographer and one of the organizers.

"We've been involved in other local art fairs on Staten Island, and we found certain things lacking,"  Johnson said. "We thought we could do a better approach."

Johnson said he felt other festivals were too spread around the neighborhood, so Deep Tanks chose to only be at Central Avenue near their studio.

"Part of it was to be a true festival it all needs to be in one spot, not spread out through the neighborhood," he said. "[Deep Tanks is] all taking place on the street at the side of our photo studio."

Another problem Johnson has with other festivals is that the workshops and activities are too geared towards kids, leaving adults bored.

Johnson hopes the art projects run at Deep Tanks will keep people of all ages interested and engaged.

"If you were an 8 year old or an 80 year old, it will be at your level and you won't be bored hopefully," he said.

In addition to several work shops, the festival will have public art projects that attendees can help work on.

One project will be live painters creating a large mural that will hang after the show on the fence of an abandoned lot near the gallery.

Johnson also got some wood on Craigslist and made 20 birdhouses that people can paint. After the show, he will hang them around the neighborhood.

"The idea is your contribute to the neighborhood somehow with creative public art and birdhouses," he said.

The event will also have a silk dying workshop, a "soap box" open mic, local bands performing throughout the day, a fashion show and dance performances.

The festival will also help kick off the start of this year's Second Saturdays Staten Island.

Second Saturdays, which Deep Tanks is a part of, hosts an art walk in the neighborhood featuring showing in galleries, pop-up spaces, restaurants and people's apartments every second Saturday of the month.

"It varies from month to month, there's no set schedule," said Johnson about Second Saturdays, which will start its third year. "It's all of those things and sometimes none of those things."

The Deep Tanks Art Festival will run from noon to 5 p.m. at Central Avenue, near Victory Avenue and Bay Street.

And while the city would only let them close the street until 5 p.m., Johnson said they plan to continue the event at their studio until late in the night.

"We'll continue in the evening at our space," he said. "Hopefully it just continues to like two in the morning down here so people can come, walk around, and see other Second Saturday venues."