As the wind whipped off the waterfront of Dock Street, the tables and tents that held paintings, sculptures and photographs rocked back and forth, rumbling in the breeze.
Samantha Weinrib, a rising senior art student at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School, was among her fellow peers and other local artists showcasing their work at the annual East Rockaway Cultural Arts Council Art Walk on June 14.
“Each student will have a concentration, which is basically a topic or purpose of the works of art, mine being location and women’s rights,” Weinrib said. “I also love to travel and take photos wherever I go, so I tried to find a way that I could incorporate my own pictures with other people’s experiences and events occurring around the world. Most of the other artists here will also have a pattern with their theme that you can see throughout their work.”
The walk, a continuing collaboration between the high school Art Department and the Village of East Rockaway, started back in the fall of 2016. “Mayor Bruno Romano and the entire village board is committed to enriching and promoting the cultural, social and economic attributes of East Rockaway by nurturing and supporting our local visual and performing artists,” said Cynthia Lark, the deputy village clerk for East Rockaway. She added that the event welcomed artists of all ages with a variety of interests, but the major contributor of talent were high school students.
Kristie Galante and Kelly Cabasso, two teachers in the Art Department at East Rockaway High, helped organize the first event and have been participating ever since. “It was in conjunction with the town, where they wanted to give an opportunity for local artists and also for our students to show their work and also sell it,” said Cabasso. “It’s kind of a way to get more appreciation and exposure throughout the community.”
Aside from student artists, local artists had tables and displays set up as well to showcase and sell their works. Oceanside resident Joseph Samoles, 27, a freelance illustrator and designer, said he found out about the event via a Facebook group.
“They were basically looking for people to vend for the event and I live locally so I let my other friends Jerome Muscarella and Dana Glick know about it as well,” he said.
In the end, both students and local artists alike came together to express their love for art and its various forms. “A lot more artists have come through and with that, all the work that we’ve been doing, we wanted something to show our works to the public more than just through an art show or something similar,” Weinrib said. “We wanted something more fun that can incorporate everyone.”