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Staten Island Arts to Open Art Gallery/Artist Market at Ferry Terminal, 6/7

Staten Island Arts to Open Art Gallery/Artist Market at Ferry Terminal, 6/7

Staten Island Arts, whose mission is to make the arts accessible to every member of the community and provide recognition and support for artistic achievement will be taking their operation to a highly visible, accessible location and adding a gallery, to be known as the Culture Lounge with a local artist retail space to be known as the Culture Lounge Artist Market, as it opens at the Staten Island Ferry.

If you are curious about the space just up the steps and ramp from the parking lots and Staten Island Yankees that seems to be on the verge of something, check back on June 7 when the public can join members of the Staten Island Arts community as they celebrate art and reveal new gallery space, that initially will feature artist Tattfoo Tan. In the Culture Lounge, Tan will present his long-term project, Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship. (S.O.S.), which is a call to action. Realizing the ecological problems we face, this exhibit encourages visitors to learn as much green knowledge as they can, set out to be an example, and be the catalyst of positive change.

Visitors can also shop at the Culture Lounge Artist Market, which will sell a well-curated selection of art and craft works made by local artists and designers. Many works are one-of-a-kind or limited editions. Products include functional works for home, fashion & jewelry, and unique and beautiful art, paper goods & decorative objects that reflect the spirit of New York Harbor and Staten Island.

"Knowing that the Staten Island Ferry transports 75,000 passengers a day, we are so very excited to offer a space for artists to share their talents, offer items for sale and offer visitors and passengers information about the abundance and diversity of talent Staten Island has to offer," said Melanie Franklin Cohn, Executive Director of Staten Island Arts and added "Our new space offers locals and visitors another reason to ride the Staten Island Ferry."

Correlating programming includes:

Opening Day

Date: Saturday, June 7

Time: Noon to 5 p.m.

As part of Art by the Ferry, visitors can stop in to see the space, enjoy and interact with Tattfoo Tan's S.O.S. exhibit, shop the Culture Lounge Artist Market and enjoy community-based musicians, such as Mountain Dulcimer player and native Staten Islander, Harry Oppenheimer.

Family Day

Date: Sunday, June 8

Time: Noon to 5 p.m.

The Staten Island Arts new ferry terminal location will host a Family Day with special activities and workshops for families. Come meet your neighborhood chicken flock and S.O.S. artist Tattfoo at 12pm. This chicken collective eats organic kitchen waste, lays eggs and their waste is prized by the artist as nutritional natural fertilizer for his garden. Come and learn how you can start your own flock and build your dream coop.

Legend Business Award Ceremony

Date: Sunday, June 8

Time: 3 to 5pm

Join us for a ceremony and exhibition of the Legend Business Awards. The Legend Business Group Award will be awarded to five Staten Island students for their artistic excellence at the event. The First-Place grand prize is a grant of $1000. The Legend Award for High School Artists is open to Staten Island students in grades 9-12 who work in painting, drawing, sculpture, or installation. The award was conceived and underwritten by Mark and Sharon Voto, of Legend Business Group, as a way to recognize the talents of local young visual artists, and give them the financial support to help them achieve their goals.

S.O.S. Action Guide Artist Lecture

Date: Tuesday, July 8

Time: 8pm

Author Patricia Watts will present the S.O.S. Action Guide, a 36-page, how-to-guide for educators, community groups and individuals. The guide gives the reader permission to co-opt Tan's creative strategies to activate citizens so that anyone can recreate or replicate his vision for a sustainable future in their own backyard.

The Permiculture Exchange

Date: Tuesday, July 15

Time: 8pm

Claudia Joseph will present her work at The Permaculture-Exchange ( The Permaculture-Exchange was established in 1998 to facilitate the free exchange of ideas, materials and labor pertaining to permaculture. Permaculture is more than just good gardening. It is a lifelong approach to analysis, actions and social structures that results in better relationships, more functional systems and a clearer understanding of everything necessary for human communities to thrive. Claudia Joseph, founder and Director of the NY Permaculture Exchange, is a permaculture teacher, consultant and community gardener. As the Director of Environmental Programs at the Old Stone House she has designed and installed a permanent useful landscape with students, apprentices and volunteers as well as the programs and events that promote community sustainability.

About Staten Island Arts: The mission of Staten Island Arts is to cultivate a sustainable and diverse cultural community for the people of Staten Island by: 1) making the arts accessible to every member of the community; 2) supporting and building recognition for artistic achievement; 3) providing artists and organizations technical, financial, and social resources to encourage the creation of new work. Staten Island Arts does extensive outreach to communities that are underserved geographically, ethnically, and economically. The organization works hard to impact the arts across all borders.

About the exhibit:

Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship. (S.O.S.)

Artist Tattfoo Tan presents his long-term project, Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship. (S.O.S.) The Culture Lounge will serve as the staging area for the components of the project, including S.O.S. Free Seeds Library, S.O.S. Mobile Garden, S.O.S. Pledge, and S.O.S. Black Gold.

S.O.S. (Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship.) is a multiyear project that Staten Island artist Tattfoo Tan began in 2009 to address how we can live more sustainability. By acknowledging the shortage of food on a global scale, his S.O.S. projects such as S.O.S. Herbarium, S.O.S. GREENade, and S.O.S. Free Seeds Library ask that we consider more closely what we are eating and where our food is coming from. Tan truly believes that in order for us to live more sustainably that we will need to grow at least some if not most of our own food. This way we can ensure through hands on gardening that what we are eating is good for our health and well-being. And, while also reducing environmental impacts of industrial agriculture including the use of pesticides, C02 emissions from transporting goods, air pollution and soil depletion.

S.O.S. is the logo or brand that the artist wears as a merit badge on his coveralls while performing eco-actions such as activating his S.O.S. Mobile Classroom while working with school age children. It is his motto and is part of his "do-gooder" identity or invented boy scout personae which he incorporated into his art practice after taking certificate courses in composting, pruning, permaculture, and neighborhood leadership in New York City. Tan's eco-actions have been primarily local, however, his goal is to do good for the entire planet. And, since Tan is only one person, he is now inviting anyone around the world to recreate or replicate his vision for a sustainable future in their own backyard and communities.

As NY Art Beat writes, Tattfoo's work "force(s) us to question what we eat, how we use our land, why we are wasteful with food and with our materials, and they suggest new ways to consider these questions." Organized by Melanie Franklin Cohn.

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