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The following is from our friends at the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group (BSAG):

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Roz Cohen with a portrait of her late husband, Norman.

Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) and the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group dedicated a new exhibit space in the hospital to the memory of Norman Cohen, the late husband of Councilman Domenic Recchia staffer Roz Cohen.

Cohen, 83, passed away on January 29, 2013, at 11:45 p.m. with his family at his side, shortly after being diagnosed in October with acute leukemia. During that time, the hospital was still grappling with rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy and was in close communication with the councilman’s office. Upon learning of Roz’s loss, the hospital and the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group decided to dedicated the planned space in his memory.

Now the ninth floor waiting area of the hospital’s oncology department is a rotating art space, which will feature new pieces from the artists’ group once or twice a year and be the permanent home of a plaque and photo dedicated to Norman Cohen.

“He was a really good father, a good grandfather, a good husband,” Roz Cohen recalled. “He was very understanding.”

She remembers Norman, who retired after working in the stock market, helping her kids and grandchildren with their homework, as well as his sense of humor.

“He had a very good sense of humor. Very dry,” she said.

Norman and Roz celebrated 56 years of marriage before his passing. He is survived by Roz, his children Sharon and Howard, and five grandchildren, Matthew, Melissa, Jared, Chelsea and Ethan.

Roz has served  in Councilman Recchia’s district office for the last 12 years, as the senior constituent liaison. Friends and local leaders remember Norman as a quiet fixture at her side during community events and gatherings.

“We just want Coney Island Hospital to know how much we appreciate this in the community, but Norman most of all, for all the work that he has done,” said Recchia at the dedication of the exhibit space last week. “Behind the scenes, Norman was the man who made Roz what she is today. And she’s still going strong. Nothing’s holding her down.”

The Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group also maintains a gallery on the second floor of Coney Island Hospital’s main building and can be seen during normal visiting hours.

The following is from our friends at the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group (BSAG):

Click to enlarge

One of Southern Brooklyn’s only art groups – the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists Group – was welcomed by Borough President Marty Markowitz this week, as they celebrated the first art exhibit at Brooklyn Borough Hall newly-renovated Community Room.

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From our friends at the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group:

From our friends at the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group:

The Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group launched a free program this week for troubled youths who have been arrested due to minor offences and for students on probation, with the hopes of nurturing their creativity and helping rehabilitate them.

The program builds on the group’s mission to “promote interest in the arts and nurture the creative spirit of our youth” by enriching the lives of kids who have taken a wrong turn. Using art, BSAG will help them focus their creativity into productive efforts and encourage them to get back on track.

Jennifer Amass

Jennifer Amass, professional artist and three-year art teacher will teach these students basic art skills and guide them towards creative self expression.

“My goal is to not only teach them the fundamentals of art but to teach them how to express themselves through art and maybe open their eyes to it,” said Amass, as she watched the students draw silhouettes of themselves and fill the page with things they identify with, including basketballs, headphones, music notes and laptops.

“I think this will open their eyes and help them form a path they want to go on, helping them form an expression,” she added.

The program is currently held every Wednesday at William E. Grady High School (25 Brighton 4th Road) in room 115 and consists of eight sessions.

The students, engaged in their artwork at the first session this Wednesday, sat quietly as they shaded in their silhouettes and smiled from time to time when complimented on their work.

“That is absolutely unbelievable, they are spectacular, really beautiful,” Community board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo told the students as she gazed at the three different artworks presented to her.

“You can see that they are really engrossed and that they are really getting involved,” she said.

After explaining that the students involved have been arrested for minor offences while some are on probation, NYC Department of Probation Director Claudia Hinkson said that she thinks the program will be “awesome” for the students.

“They will learn technique skills and I really believe and hope this program will keep them out of trouble,” said Hinkson.

Both Scavo and Hinkson explained that while some children are lacking attention, programs like these are a great way for children at risk to get one on one attention.

“Many parents are working and these students need all the attention they can get. Programs like this are so important because there are people with time who are there, people who can give them the attention they need,” said Scavo. “It’s a great way to keep them out of trouble.”

BSAG Executive Director Arthur Melnick said that the enrichment program is part of their mission to create opportunities for artists and art lovers of all ages. He said he hopes to expand the program to additional locations and various organizations, eventually including students of all ages and backgrounds.

“The Department of Probation is a great place to start,” said Melnick. “Most kids like to doodle and I really think we could provide some great opportunities for the students.”

Saunders, middle, and the artists of BSAG (Photo: Emel Stebleva)

The Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group (BSAG) presented an award to Coney Island Hospital administrator James Saunders on Wednesday for his efforts to showcase their artwork at the hospital.

Saunders, the hospital’s associate executive director of public affairs, recently announced he would be leaving the hospital to work elsewhere in the public hospital system, and the artists said they wanted to acknowledge his contributions in bringing art to the institution’s hallways before he left.

The award ceremony kicked off BSAG’s sixth showing at Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway), in which the facility’s second floor hallways get lined with scores of original works from local artists. The group presented Saunders with an award for his involvement and hospitality.

“We couldn’t have done it without him,” said BSAG Director Arthur Melnick. “James brought us into Coney Island Hospital and helped us establish the gallery at the hospital…we have a home there, thanks to him and above all he’s been a very good friend to us.”

The event held at Coney Island Hospital exhibits a wide range of works, including drawings, paintings and photography. Each opening event is accompanied by entertainment from local singers, actors and musicians.

“Its an honor and a privilege for the staff to come to this floor, walk down that hallway and be surrounded by the incredible works of art that all of you produce, so its our privilege to actually be in the same environment as your work,” Saunders said.

Saunders and BSAG Director Arthur Melnick (Photo: Emel Stebleva)

Singer Sheila Smalls performed at the exhibit's opening (Photo: Emel Stebleva)

The following is a message from our friends at the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group:

Looking for something to do on your lunch break? Take a stroll over to Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway), take the elevator to the second floor, and make a right.

Lining the hallway you’ll see dozens of original artworks hanging on the wall, the latest exhibit of the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group. In between seasonal shows for their members – the next of which is themed around cultural diversity – BSAG turns to the talented students of Mark Twain Junior High School, Abraham Lincoln High School and William E. Grady High School to showcase their works.

We got a special preview last week and were mighty impressed with a lot of the offerings. Check it out, support local arts and encourage students to follow their creative pursuits!

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