The Arts

Public art project JumpstART kicking off in Riverhead


More than a dozen artists will make downtown Riverhead their canvas this summer when public arts project JumpstART — spearheaded by East End Arts — comes to Main Street in early August. 

Part of a six-month professional development series, the program was designed to introduce 16 artists to the business and professional aspects of art, such as creating and executing, marketing, finance and budgetary plans.

“It calls attention to how the arts invigorate a town,” said Pat Snyder, East End Arts’ executive director. “There will be plenty to see and lots to do. We hope this will be a project that will be replicated in other communities in the years going forward because of the success it has had so far.”

Ms. Snyder received 34 applications and awarded 16 people the opportunity to participate in JumpstART. Fifteen projects will be displayed, as one is a team effort. Works include dance performances, monthly poetry readings and numerous art displays, such as painted horseshoe crabs, a peaceful sanctuary, window murals, fiberglass sculptures, paintings and photography.

Featured artists are Miranda Gatewood, Lorraine Angeletti, Tina Folks, Karen Noack, Annemarie Waugh, Caitlyn Shea, Jessica Valentin, Ginger Balizer-Hendler, Kristina Howard, Susan Dingle, Carolyn Munaco, Charles Manfredi, Charlene Pulsonetti and Barbara Maslen. Performances by Blue Spruce Cloggers, Peconic Bay Ballet and the Riverhead Free Library Thriller Choreography will also take place.

The application process required artists to provide samples of work and a personal statement explaining why they thought they were good candidates.

“The artists needed to convince me that they were going to commit to the time involved, because this is well beyond the typical workshop series,” Ms. Snyder said. “As [the artists] learn about marketing, budgets, and finance they have to go one step beyond.”

Some artists have turned to Kickstarter, a crowd-sourcing website, to take that extra step and raise money for their projects.

Caitlyn Shea, who is creating large scale murals and fiberglass sculptures for numerous locations, is asking for $6,500. On the site, she breaks down how much money is needed for each aspect of her project so that backers can see exactly where their money is going. Ms. Shea also included a self-produced video explaining it.

“Kickstarter is well-known and allows me to make a video, which is the best way to explain if I can’t talk to someone in person,” she said.