If you’re one of the thousands of commuters that boards the Staten Island Ferry each day, chances are you’ve seen a new exhibit up-and-running within the terminal. Just adjacent to the strip of restaurants and storefronts, and right across from the entrance to the Staten Island Railway, is the new office, gallery and shop of Staten Island Arts.
It is called the Culture Lounge
Opening up its doors on June 7, 2014, the Culture Lounge is being called a meeting place and a project space for both international and local artists- from visual artists, poets, musicians, writers and performers- to display their artistic projects.
One thing is for sure, the Culture Lounge will surely turn the heads of thousands of commuters and visitors that pass through the terminal each and every day.
And, for good reason. The Culture Lounge is the perfect window into the rich artistic culture that Staten Island has to offer, but unfortunately, is so rarely seen.
Building Bridges on Staten Island
One of the things that has always bothered me is the fact that the Staten Island Ferry is the largest tourist attraction in New York City; yet, most of the daily passengers don’t even leave the Ferry Terminal. Hopefully, the Culture Lounge will change that.
As the nation’s only permanent art space in commuter quarters, Staten Island artists finally have an opportunity to make a connection with the 75,000 ferry passengers. By engaging them with art, Staten Island Arts hopes to build bridges and make connections- thus inspiring passengers to venture out of the terminal to explore the borough’s cultural roots and hotspots. By turning passengers into participants and by connecting a viewing audience with an artist, hopefully more and more passengers will become engaged with Staten Island.
But the tourists aren’t the only audience Staten Island Arts hopes to draw in.
The Culture Lounge also provides artistic projects that encourage Staten Island residents to make connections within their own communities. The projects on display may encourage individuals to examine their local community from a different point of view- or may even inspire individuals to be more socially engaged within their communities.
The Culture Lounge also makes Staten Island Arts more accessible for local artists. By being in an extremely visible an easily accessible location, more and more artists have a chance to get one-on-one assistance from Staten Island Arts. Either way, all visitors of the Culture Lounge will benefit from an enriching experience.
Here’s what you can expect:
The Artists Market
One aspect of the Culture Lounge is the Artists Market, which is located at the forefront of the space. It offers a wide variety of unique, handmade goods, created by local artists, and all within a “New York Harbor” theme. Perfect for tourists looking to purchase authentic gifts and as a permanent gallery for local artists to display (and sell) their work.
Also located within the Culture Lounge is space for the exhibits, each of which is on display for two months. This is a perfect way for tourists and residents to see what is happening within various niches of Staten Island culture, and is a great way to dispel the myths and stereotypes that are often associated with Staten Island culture.
Currently, the exhibit on display (until July 27) is by Staten Island artist Tattfoo Tan, who will provide an interactive show about sustainable agriculture called “Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship (S.O.S).” The show will include a seed sharing library, mobile gardens, the S.O.S. pledge and “Black Gold” earthworm compost. You may even meet one of Tattfoo’s many chickens!
Future exhibits include Chasing Utopia by artists William Corwin and Neil Greenberg, Flotation Devices by artist DB Lampman, and Tea Transfer by artist Max Liboiron.
Get Involved With Staten Island Arts
Interested in learning more about the Culture Lounge and Staten Island Arts? The Culture Lounge is open 7 days a week (M, W, TH, and F from 11am-7pm, T from 11am – 10pm, Sa-Su from 12-5pm). Besides being an Artists Market, office and exhibit space, the Culture Lounge is also available for workshops, performances, lectures, and parties.
Sponsored by Staten Island Arts, the fifth annual LUMEN festival will take place on Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 7pm to midnight at the Atlantic Salt Company, 561 Richmond Terrace. This six-hour art festival allows visitors to discover art at an industrial site that would normally be off limits to the public. LUMEN 2014 will feature video installations, new media projections, animation, performance art, art interventions, and sound art. Visit www.lumenfest.org for more information and to see images from previous years.
As you can see, there is so much happening on Staten Island’s North Shore! If you are looking to buy a home on Staten Island and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Even better, my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips. My most recent video is on Staten Island Makerspace, and features DB Lampman, a local artist whose work will be on display in the Culture Lounge later on this year. Check it out!
Look forward to meeting up soon! Have an extraordinary day!