Calling all artists

File photo of Second Avenue Firehouse

Calling all artists


BAY SHORE—The Second Avenue Firehouse Gallery and Performance Space has issued a call for artists’ submissions for an upcoming exhibit called “Spring Migration.” The limit is two pieces per artist, with hung works not to exceed 2-by-3 feet. All media is accepted. The deadline is Friday, March 30.

Lisa Smith, development director at the Seatuck Environmental Association, suggested the theme “Spring Migration.” Susan Barbash, president of the South Shore Restoration Group, says the title is related to Seatuck’s River Revival Project, which seeks to restore the ecological health of the region’s coastal rivers and streams. 

Artists, however, are free to interpret the theme as they choose. Margarita Espada, director of the Yerbabruja Arts Center in Central Islip, pointed out the word “migration” has connotations for the Latino community.

“We hope that our exhibition will show a wide variety of artistic interpretations,” Barbash said. “That’s what makes the open call so interesting.”

The Second Avenue Firehouse was built in 1898, serving as the South Shore’s first centralized firehouse. It was then sold to the United Hebrew Congregation in 1919, serving as a synagogue and a religious school for more than a decade. The building was then converted into a boarding house and, over the years, fell into disrepair, as did many of the older homes on 2nd Avenue, a street wrought by decades of absentee ownership. 

The South Shore Restoration Group bought the deteriorated structure in 1997, with the intention of removing later additions, restoring the existing elements and reconstructing the parts that had been removed, such as the bell tower and hose-drying tower. The restoration was completed in 2000. 

The Second Avenue Firehouse is now listed on both the New York State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places. 

The “Spring Migration” exhibit opens Saturday, April 14 from 2-4 p.m., with an artists’ reception from 7-9 p.m. The exhibit continues Sunday, April 15 from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, April 21 from 1-4 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 from 1-4 p.m. The exhibit concludes Saturday, April 28 from 2-7 p.m., with a closing reception and a concert from 4-7 p.m. 

Saturday, April 28 is also the same day as the Penataquit Creek Cleanup, which is being co-sponsored by the Seatuck Environmental Association and the First Baptist Church of Bay Shore. Those who wish to participate in the cleanup, which runs 10 a.m.-2 p.m., will be invited to the closing reception. It’s suggested they bring gloves and rubber boots if they have them.

Seatuck water quality scientist Maureen Dunn hopes this is the first step in a larger revitalization. 

“It’s a beautiful creek,” Dunn said in regards to the Pentaquit Creek, “but it’s definitely overlooked. It’s right by [Southside Hospital], but nobody knows it’s there.”

Keep Islip Clean will also be helping with the cleanup behind the First Baptist Church on 2nd Avenue, less than one mile from the Second Avenue Firehouse.