The People's Playground coney island mural project

The Alliance for Coney Island was proud to commission a series of storefront gate murals for the 2020 Summer season along the Surf/Stillwell Avenue Amusement District.  Home to over 350 businesses and 50,000 residents, Coney Island is a collection of independent businesses and attractions, from high-end restaurants, souvenir shops and amusement rides to smaller mom and pop businesses who are dedicated to serving our diverse community and visitors!  

 

The Alliance for Coney Island’s “The People's Playground” mural project aims to honor the rich and long history of Coney Island as it transitioned from the  Dutch’s Island of wild rabbits to it earning its nickname as the “People’s Playground”.  A historic and iconic community intrinsic to New York history, Coney Island is the birthplace of the amusement industry, Americana, and innovative scientific discoveries.  These include the creation of the roller coaster, the hot dog, and the baby incubator exhibit. With 7 million+ annual visitors coming to enjoy Coney Island’s cultural and sports institutions as well as its iconic landmarks: the Cyclone Roller Coaster at Luna Park, Deno's Wonder Wheel, the Parachute Jump, the Riegelmann Boardwalk and exciting annual events: the Mermaid Parade, Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and Friday Night Fireworks, the mural project adds to Coney Island’s uniqueness and vibrancy.

We are proud to share our completed murals with hopefully more to come in the future!

Artist: Nell Beyer

Nell is an artist working at the intersection of digital and mixed media, movement and the public domain. Her work has been shown internationally in art institutes and galleries (Museo del’arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Sadlers Wells, Cankarjev Dom, The Bangladesh National Museum, The National Academy of Arts & Sciences, Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, MASS MoCA, The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Carroll and Sons, Trestle Gallery, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts) and urban settings. 

Favorite Coney Island Memory: 

Walking on the boardwalk with my children the wind and sea cooling us all, as we tried to recover after much too long hitting each other in bumper cars.

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@nbbreyer

CAI is committed to community building initiatives in Coney Island and we are happy to partner with the Alliance for Coney Island in this mural project that brings inspiration and beauty into the Coney Island Amusement District. We selected Nell Breyer’s design because her artwork depicts youthful playfulness and enthusiastic motion, which serve to counter much of the stillness and gravity of 2020. While the shadows speak to what we missed this year, we also selected the design because Nell’s work is reminiscent of E.J. Perry’s artwork, a famous silhouette cutter at the historic Luna Park. We hope that these murals spark imagination and encourage our community and everyone who sees them to develop meaningful connections between art and their lives. Our community has a rich history and culture of arts and entertainment and our goal with this initiative is to continue the great legacy of creativity in Coney Island, to inspire hope, and to highlight the resiliency of our amazing community.

- Alessandro Zamperla, President of Luna Park in Coney Island

Artist: Danielle Mastrion

Danielle Mastrion is a local Coney Island artist and mural painter who has done multiple projects in the neighborhood as well as around all of Brooklyn & internationally. Her bright, colorful murals focus on social justice, conservation, portraiture, and neighborhood history. Danielle is looking to continue painting walls & gates in every city/neighborhood she visits, hoping to connect communities through art & education- but Coney Island will always be home as she forever has sand in her shoes.

Favorite Coney Island Memory: 

There are so many, as I grew up here. One of my favorites was riding the Wonder Wheel for the first time with my mother. She was taken on the Wonder Wheel in the 1960s by her uncle for the first time, when they first moved to the neighborhood. She didn't tell me we were on a swinging car. When the car swung, she screamed and acted like something was wrong - just to see my face, then immediately laughed and told me that's what they were supposed to do. I'll never forget the view, the thrill of feeling like I would go 'over the edge' - and her telling me her uncle did the same to her on her first ride. So now this is a family tradition for first-time riders. I am proud to be painting & working regularly with Denos now - everything comes full circle.

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@Daniellebknyc

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Artists: Zeehan Wazad & Amethyst Nutting

Zeehan and Amethyst are NYC based artists. We're a couple that paints street art murals together.

Favorite Coney Island Memory:

Zeehan & Amethyst had their first date at Coney Island Aquarium more than 2 years ago. They always had their eyes set on painting a wall in Coney Island.

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@Zeehanwazed

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Artist: Megan Watters

Megan Watters is a scenic artist for theatre and film. She has painted window displays, charged Broadway and off-Broadway shows, and even repaired dinosaurs at a real-life Jurassic Park! Watters produces visual art, which includes painting, collage, and assemblages. She teaches classes on collage, color theory, airbrushing, project management in fabrication, and painting for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Brooklyn Brainery, and privately.

Favorite Coney Island Memory: 

Coney Island is my absolute favorite place, and it has been such an honor to paint a mural there. I am a scenic artist by trade, so I have an immense respect for all the hand-painted signs and scenery there. Whenever I am in a funk or in need of inspiration, I play hookie from real life and walk around Coney, looking at the craftsmanship, soaking in the spirit, and people-watching. Painting at Pete's was a dream come true and I hope to keep adding to the piece in years to come!

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@Meganewatters

Megan Watters' creativity and perception of Coney Island evokes a feeling of whimsy and fun.  I am pleased that Pete’s Clam Stop participated in the Alliance for Coney Island’s initiative to bring public art to the People’s Playground.

 

Pete Agrapides

Pete's Clam Stop

Artist: Julia Cocuzza

I am a Brooklyn-based muralist, painter, designer, print maker, and educator. My paintings capture the loaded intersections, layers, and fragments of daily living, with a particular affection for urban structures, natural systems, music, obsolete media, social collisions, and human interaction.

Favorite Coney Island Memory: 
 

So many to choose from! A recent one would be last summer taking my friend from New Orleans to the boardwalk, beach, and art walls for the first time. Music, drinking, art, and fun everywhere, almost reminiscent of New Orleans, yet completely different. A strange sort of special I can never quite describe. I've always loved Coney, but sharing it with a friend for the first time is always extra special.

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@Juliacocuzzaart

The mural painted by Julia Cocuzza captured the message that Coney Island is still Americas' playground. 

The colors signify the different ties the makes our neighborhood one.

 

Walter Gauto, Sneaker Town USA

Check Out the Map for the Specific Mural Locations

A Resurgent Coney Island:
The Alliance for Coney Island

As we continue our efforts to build a thriving environment for our vibrant community, we appreciate any feedback you may want to share, as well as any questions you may have!

Email: info@allianceforconeyisland.org

Phone: (718) 594-7895

Fax: (718) 676-0179

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