Seas the day: Coney Island Library makes a splash with ‘Mermaids & More’ exhibit

‘Mermaids & More,’ featuring the work of artist Miriam Rankin, debuted at the Coney Island Library on Saturday, June 8.
Courtesy of BPL/Miriam Rankin

Weeks ahead of Coney Island’s storied Mermaid Parade, the neighborhood’s local library debuted a new art exhibit dedicated to the extravagant aquatic creatures.

Coney Island Library on June 8 debuted “Mermaids & More,” featuring the art of Miriam Rankin. On display at the Mermaid Avenue institution, the captivating display of creativity by Rankin invites viewers on a journey through the mystical world of mermaids and beyond.

“Making art in all its aspects has been my lifelong passion,” Rankin’s artist statement reads.

In addition to painting and drawing, Rankin — a Brooklyn College graduate with an MA in Art Education — has built costumes for a theater group, sewn polar fleece creations and made assemblages from objects. She has also taught art-making to students of all ages, for which she received the Art Educator Award for New York City in 2007.

She has also served as the artist-in-residence for the Rockaway Artists Alliance, among other accolades.

Her latest exhibit, curated by Boris Ioselev, promises a fusion of imagination and craftsmanship. From enchanting paintings to intricate costume designs, each piece within “Mermaids & More” is a testament to Rankin’s lifelong dedication to artistic expression.

Coney Island has become synonymous with mer-people, given the neighborhood’s namesake beach and the Mermaid Parade. The annual march, now in its 42nd year, dates back to 1983 and is now considered a must-see event for both residents and tourists are alike.

“It’s such a glorious spectacle,” Adam Rinn, artistic director of parade organizers Coney Island USA, told Brooklyn Paper.

“Mermaids & More” is on display at the Coney Island Library, 1901 Mermaid Ave., now through Aug. 24. It is free and open to the public whenever the branch is open. For more information, visit bklynlibrary.org.