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Local Artists Add Their Own Layer To Sandy Rebuild

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Many art galleries, and performing arts institutions got hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, but beyond simply cleaning up and getting back to business, many artists have also found ways to respond directly to Hurricane Sandy through their work. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

From rainbows and flags to flash mobs, New York City's creative community is responding to Hurricane Sandy.

The Art Production Fund helped orchestrate a temporary rainbow installation that stretched across the night sky.

"In times of need people want to be brought to another place and they want to have hope, and art can give that to them," said Yvonne Force Villarreal, co-founder of the Art Production Fund.

Whether it’s meant to uplift, inform, raise money or awareness, folk arts curator Kay Turner, of the Brooklyn Arts Council said the art made now will become an important part of our collective memory of the events.

“What art does is it gives you something in consciousness to hold on to," Turner said. "So it becomes part of living memory.”

A flash mob by Ballroom Basix dancers and friends raised money and spirits.

Artist Michael Rimbaud shot video downtown during the blackout. But it’s a painting done in the dark that Rimbaud believes reminds us all of our most basic survival instincts.

"I’d make it the rule that when the power came on, I’d have to stop the painting anyway," Rimbaud says. "This was going to be my blackout painting. So I had candles around the canvas, and everything was pitch black. And the candles didn’t do that much. So I had to put a flashlight in my mouth, clenched to my teeth, and I would verify the colors with the candle and the flashlight and after three days, I actually finished it before the power came back on."

Staten Island artist Scott LoBaido painted his signature American flags to uplift his hometown and memorialize those lost.

Turner expects to see much more Sandy inspired art work in the months ahead including pieces made with found object.

As for the long term impact?

"I think the real thing that’s going to be interesting to see is if art will play a role in addressing the whole issue of climate change," Turner said.

So while so much was lost, local artists continue to create and add another layer to this ongoing story.

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