Thursday, August 21, 2014

Between the Bridges in Broad Channel

August 21, 2014

Between the Bridges in Broad Channel
By: Peter J. Mahon 

Broad Channel Artists: “Those talented few!”

Last week I told you about our Broad Channel neighbor Lenny DeVirgilio, a retired school teacher and displaced Sandy victim who also worked as an extra in films and television.  That got me to thinking about what other talent might quietly reside within our community of Broad Channel.  So with your permission I have decided to tack this week’s column leeward to explore the oftentimes forgotten artistic segment of our community.

The term “Art” is sometimes defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination on the part of a talented few, typically in a sensory form such as painting, sculpture, music or some other creative venue, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.  (Translation: they make or do stuff we like a whole lot!)  Our community of Broad Channel has more than its fair share of those talented few, you just don’t hear of them too often.  I thought I would use this week’s column to fix that.

One such individual is our Broad Channel neighbor Frank Scafo, best known to his friends and neighbors as “Elf”.  On any given summer weekend with nice weather you can view Frank’s Nautical and Broad Channel themed work neatly displayed in front of his house at 11-17 Cross Bay Boulevard on the corner of West 12th Road.  You won’t be disappointed.

Our Broad Channel neighbor Eddy Wright from East 8th Road also came to my attention last week as being a member of those talented few when he presented my wife Grace with an exquisite, intricately hand carved, animal themed wood sculpture as a gift.  Thank you Eddy, the piece will be treasured.

Lest I forget our Broad Channel neighbor Gloria Tubridy, from West 11th Road, who is a signage artist extraordinaire.  Her work is featured on many commercial buses, cars, vans, and boats as well as seasonal or event themed store window, poster and banner signage art work around Broad Channel and elsewhere. 

Broad Channel is also not without its own exceptional musical artists.  Charlie Arnemann, Diane Arnemann, Jeff Dady, Joe Stephan, Guy Long, Tommy O’Reilly and Sean Minardi all comprise our town’s renowned band, Wax R Back, which revels in good old fashioned rock n roll with the sounds of the 50’s and 60’s. 

It has been said that “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.”  It is without question that our local Broad Channel artists and neighbors mentioned above each possess both the gift and the work to prove it.

I know there are many, many more of our neighbors here in Broad Channel who are unsung “artists” living quietly among us but, unfortunately, my editor has reminded me that this is not a PBS Special and I am limited to 500 words.  If you enjoyed this departure from the norm or know of a BC artist you would like to see mentioned, let me know and I will revisit this topic in the coming weeks.

Broad Channel – Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?  See y’all next week.

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