Four new paintings were unveiled Thursday across Coney Island’s commercial corridor as part of the peninsula’s ongoing mural project.
The new pieces are an extension of the Coney Island for Everyone initiative, which aims to transform the streets of Coney Island into a public art gallery, and builds upon the 2020 mural project called The People’s Playground — bringing the neighborhood’s collection of eye-catching murals to more than two dozen.
“We now have over 25 murals we have commissioned in Coney Island, and it has changed the public realm in such a positive way,” said Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island, in a statement. “Both residents and tourists are enjoying the art and exploring the different locations. We are so appreciative of the many artists who have participated in this initiative and all who expressed interest.”
The artwork is intended both to beautify the area, and to show how the waterfront neighborhood, devastated by the pandemic, has persevered.
“Seeing how the faces of our community members and visitors light up at seeing this art is all we have dreamed of,” said Silversmith. “We can’t wait to see the many more smiles and photos as everyone explores these four fantastic additions which present a diverse vision from the artists and new imagery to Coney Island!”
The artwork depicts the historic icons of Coney Island, businesses that are part of making the neighborhood what it is, and even abstract images that bring a pop of color to their locations. They are also said to deter graffiti from being spray-painted onto businesses.
The mural projects are spearheaded by the Alliance for Coney Island, the neighborhood’s business-focused betterment group, with funding and support from the Department of Small Business Services’ Neighborhood 360 Grant Program.
The new paintings include work by artists Egypt Hagan (located on West 16th Street, on the wall of Maimonides Stadium), Ledania (located on the gate of Tom’s Coney Island, at 1229 Riegelmann Boardwalk), Mark Garcia (located on the gate of Pizza on the Run, at 1627 Mermaid Ave.) and Mike Long (located on the gate of Mermaid Pharmacy at 2109 Mermaid Ave.).
While the mural at Maimonides Stadium can be viewed anytime, the artwork painted onto businesses can only be viewed when the gates are shut, or when the businesses are closed.
The new murals come as Coney Island’s amusement district and commercial corridors work to rebound from the pandemic, and for the first time in two years with no COVID-related restrictions.