Coney Island Museum
June 25, 2014
I recently attended an all day sketching event with the NYC Urban Sketchers.
We started our day at The Coney Island Museum. I had never heard of the museum and I was so glad to have the opportunity to explore it.
Our tour guide for the museum (and the day) was Coney Island resident artist and lifelong Coney Island resident, Marie Roberts.
Marie was an *amazing* tour guide. She knows so much about everything Coney Island. It was inspiring! And her art is wonderful! She painted most of the large banners and posters that we saw -- both inside and outside the museum!
The museum was full of wonderful artifacts from Coney Island's history.
I liked the fun house mirrors!
The museum has lovely views of the amusement park.
Perhaps coolest of all, we got to go where regular museum visitors can't. You see, Marie's studio is in the museum behind a closed door. And it was super cool to take a peek at what she was working on.
This is a skateboard comission she's working on:
She's not the only artist with a studio at the museum. It's a honeycomb of studios and many of them have beautiful old murals on the walls. Marie restored this mural many years ago.
Apparently the paint was chipping off in huge sheets. She soaked all the chips and put the mural back together again in a painstaking process.
The whole museum has a wonderful kitschy feeling to it. There's an actual bar in the lobby for starters.
And because we're the NYC Urban Sketchers, we didn't just look around, we spent some time sketching what we saw:
I'll share my sketches with you tomorrow.
However, before I go, I'll leave you with a story....
After a day of sketching, we looped back to the Coney Island Museum for their Side Show. I got dragged onto stage for one of the bits. The host had me sit in an electric chair and ran an electric current through me. Just like the poster...
...I lit a lightbulb with my hand. The host also had me light a kerosene soaked baton with a spark from my finger. It's like a really strong electrical shock and you can see the electricity jump to the baton right before it bursts into flame. Even crazier, he had me tilt my head back and light the baton with my tongue!!! Not going to lie, it stung a bit, and my tongue went a little numb for a while. But, it was fun to be part of the side show and Coney Island history!
More to come tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by!