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Derelict Home Replaced by Art Highlighting Wait Faced by Sandy's Victims

By Nicholas Rizzi | March 29, 2013 8:33am

NEW DORP BEACH — On a lot where the Traina family home once stood, an art installation now highlights the waiting game so many of Hurricane Sandy's victims are forced to play.

Artist Scott LoBaido, 47, known for painting American flags in every state, created his “Waiting” piece to show how long it takes for the proposed government buyouts after homes are demolished.

“I love doing these crazy installations,” LoBaido said. “This one was a powerful and very special one.”

The piece, which features two people made out of aluminum foil sitting at a table over coffee, was installed in the now-empty lot once filled by Sheila and Dominick Traina’s home on Cedar Grove Avenue, on Staten Island.

The artist said the couple asked him to put something up on their lot and he immediately came up with the idea. He said he set the watch and clock in the piece to 10:29, the date Sandy hit, to remind people how long some are waiting to move on.

“Time is just melting away,” he said. “They’re waiting that long for something.”

Dominick Traina, 66, hoped the art would help kick some urgency into the buyout process.

“Nothing's written in stone yet,” he said. “Hopefully with this, maybe they’ll realize we want to get settled.”

Traina said he has been in limbo since the storm destroyed the house they lived in for more than 40 years. He and his wife want to get on with the process of getting a new home.

“The clock is ticking here,” he said. “We’re not getting any younger. If we were 30 years younger, we’d put a house here. We just want to move on.”

LoBaido said he plans to leave up his artwork until the Trainas get situated.

The piece has a light hanging over it that is turned on at night, which LoBaido said “gives it that same sadness of the cold, dark night.”

He said he hopes the piece will take neighborhood residents' minds off their struggles for a little bit.

“It’s good to take people’s mind off of the tragedy,” he said. “Even if it’s just going to be for a few days.”