'Coney Art Walls' to Return for Second Season with 20 New Murals

As this month winds down, the Coney Island season gets ramped up. The beaches open Memorial Day weekend, and so do all kinds of summer activities. Brooklyn reporter Jeanine Ramirez has the exclusive interview with area developer Joe Sitt about his creative plans.

More color is being added to the already colorful Coney Island. The free public art exhibition Coney Art Walls is returning for a second season with 20 new murals. Several artists are already making their mark, including graffiti artist Crash, who's using his childhood memories as inspiration.

"What did I used to do at the beach as a child? Read comic books. So there are references to Captain America, Archie, Flash, Superman," Crash said.

The art installation is the brainchild of Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt, who owns the property on Stillwell Avenue. He partnered up with Jeffrey Deitch the former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA to first bring the concept to the vacant site last summer. Sitt says it was such a hit, it deserved a second run.

"Last year we were just getting set up. This year, we'll be going full blast," Sitt said. "We've got some of greatest graffiti artists from all over the world. Literally four continents all represented here."

Artist Aiko is making her Coney Island return.

"I think this is a great opportunity for artists and also audience to feel this whole Brooklyn atmosphere," Aiko said. "Especially, I'm Asian, I'm from Japan, and so this is so unique."

And it won't just be art. There will be food set up in shipping containers, including Table 87 for pizza, Calexico for Mexican and Dinosaur for barbecue.

Sitt didn't reveal details for his site across the street, saying only there will be ground-level amusements. However, he did say these are only temporary uses for the space. Long-term, he has bigger ideas.  

"We'd like to be able to build a really great stadium-style movie theater here. We'd like to build a great big hotel," he said.

For that, Thor Equities needs some zoning changes. Sitt says he's dealing with the city on that issue. Meanwhile, this summer, he says it's all about a creatively fun experience.

Thor Equities says the goal is to have both sites up and running by Memorial Day Weekend.

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