Sea Cliff artist Frank Ferrara finds the balance between art and music


The fall has brought with it the changing of the leaves in Sea Cliff, and also a changing of the featured artwork on display at the Sea Cliff Arts Council. The art of Frank Ferrara, a local musician who has performed at events throughout the village, has been shown at the council building since the beginning of November, and marks the first time his artwork has been publicly displayed.

Noelle Fiallo-Evans, the chief creative officer for the arts council, explained that the process for choosing what art would be shown was chosen months in advance. Prospective artists fill out a submission with their idea of what the themes of the show could be, as well as some examples of their artwork and some biographical information.
Fiallo-Evans said that the arts council settled on Ferrara because of the uniqueness of his artistic style and the numerous artistic forms he utilized in creating his art.

“With Frank, I though his art was very much uninhibited,” Fiallo-Evans said. “When Frank mentioned wanting a show, we thought it was a great fit because so many people know him through his music, and this was a great opportunity for people to be able to see his visual artistic side.”

Ferrara said that he has been interested in drawing and visual art his whole life, but that he was unsatisfied with his early work. Although he continued drawing and painting intermittently over the years, he said that his primary relationship with visual art was primarily as “as a viewer and a reader.”

Ferrara, who has been a lifelong musician, added that over the years he has come to see the different types of artistic expression not as contrasting, but as complementary forms of conveying complex thoughts and emotions. While this is the first time he has displayed any of his artwork to the public, he said that in many ways it feels like just another type of performance.

“I find a lot of similarities between visual art and music, to which we can add literature and mathematics,” Ferrara stated. “I have always thought in a multidisciplinary way, and the older I get, the more the thoughts and the processes merge, to the point where I have based musical compositions on visual works, and vice versa.”

The display, which will be open through December, features a wide range of pieces in different artistic styles, from drawings to graphically edited pieces. The first piece in the exhibit is actually a sketch that Ferrara’s father, also named Frank, which Ferrara explained is “the one original sketch we have from him.”

In addition there are traditional portraits, drawings that emphasize shadows, as well as photographs. Ferrara added that all of the pieces were made in Sea Cliff, and reflect a wide variety of both artistic styles and aspects of village life.