Let’s take a closer look at Staten Island’s Art and Culture.
Staten Island probably isn’t the first borough that comes to mind when you think about art and culture. Get ready to put you’re preconceived notions aside, because in recent years, a creative community has emerged. Through engaging exhibitions, museums and events, organizations are shedding new light on the rich history, art and culture that make Staten Island such a vital component to the cultural landscape of New York City. Here’s a brief guide to Staten Island’s art and culture.
Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Boulevard
Regarded as a pioneering photographer of the early 20th century, Alice Austin was one of the first women to step outside the studio and document the people, places, and events that defined the time. Dating to 1690 and existing as the family home and grounds for generations, the Alice Austin House celebrates her life and prolific work – she took over 8,000 photographs before ‘digital’ was even a concept! Exhibitions and events also feature photographers, past and present, whose work enlightens audiences on the art of photography.
ArtSpace @ SI Arts, 23 Navy Pier Court
ArtSpace is a visual art and performance space in Staten Island. Exhibitions, projects, and events focus on the local community to engage residents in new ways of thinking about their surroundings on a personal, social, and environmental level. Showcasing art in all forms, dynamic programs feature local and international visual artists, poets, musicians, writers, and performers.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace
Originally built as a home for retired sailors, Snug Harbor Cultural & Botanical Center is a collection of architecturally significant 19th century buildings located on the North Shore of Staten Island. Today, it is a place where history, culture, art, and nature meet, providing enriching experiences for visitors. Arts organizations use the center to offer exhibitions and events related to the visual arts, music, theater, dance, and film. Guided tours of Snug Harbor’s remarkable grounds explore the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, The Connie Gretz Secret Garden, and Carl Grillo Glass House.
Staten Island Museum (Snug Harbor Center)
The Staten Island Museum was founded by a group of naturalists who wanted to make their research and work accessible to future generations in order to track the changes in animal and plant life for preservation. Today, the museum is committed to engaging audiences in art, the natural sciences, and history through exhibitions and events that draw from an impressive permanent collection. The flagship is located in Snug Harbor and the other branch in St. George is open by appointment only.
Newhouse Center For Contemporary Art (Snug Harbor Center)
Housed in a 19th century Greek revival temple in Snug Harbor, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art features artwork dating from 1945 to the present. The exhibition program focuses on Staten Island and under-recognized artists. In addition to hosting exhibitions and events in its 15,000 square feet gallery and outdoor and off-site spaces, the center has thirty artist studios and runs an international residency program.
Noble Maritime Museum (Snug Harbor Center)
Artist and one-time seaman John A. Noble was so moved by the workers and scenes surrounding New York Harbor that he used them as subjects in his art. Located in a former dorm on Sailor’s Snug Harbor, the Noble Maritime Museum pays homage to the marine artist’s art, life, and legacy while celebrating the people and traditions that make the waterfront such a fascinating narrative in the history of New York City. In addition to exhibitions, the museum hosts events and classes on authentic maritime songs, printmaking, watercolor painting, and marine navigation using the stars!
If you’ve never been to Staten Island, I recommend starting with St. George. And of course, you’ll ride the ferry to get there! Just be sure to get off the ferry and explore some of Staten Island.