Art in the HEART of Port Washington

The Island Now
In a collaborative effort between HEARTS, Port Washington schools, and theatre owner Iris Hami, student artwork is being displayed in the windows of the former Bow Tie movie theatre. (Photo courtesy of HEARTS)

A new pop-up art gallery at the former Bow Tie Cinema movie theater on Main Street has been launched through a collaboration by the Port Washington schools’ fine arts teachers, theater owner Iris Hami, and Damon Gersh, the founder of HEARTS.

Unveiled last month, with support from HEARTS, a local non-profit organization focused on enriching the community through the arts, the entrance and poster cases in front of the former movie theater were made colorful with vibrant artwork created by students from Port Washington’s Weber Middle School and Schreiber High School.

Currently on display at the pop-up gallery are a series of works, including explorations in radial symmetry on color wheels by middle school students, experiments with monoprints from the AP Art Studio, and the studio art class’s quilt paintings. The exhibit was curated by the Art Honor Society.

HEARTS helped open the door for this artwork to be on display in the now-closed theater space this past June. These efforts demonstrate the non-profit’s expanding role in the community to offer meaningful arts programs and experiences for the benefit of the Port Washington community. In addition to its more than 30 grants to Port Washington schools for arts programs, HEARTS also launched a new master class series at Landmark on Main Street this year and supports programs with the Port Washington Senior Center, the Parent Resource Center, and a new community mural project with Residents Forward.

Nicole Thomas, Schreiber art teacher said, “HEARTS has been so generous to the Port Washington schools, especially Schreiber, in helping to bring our creative endeavors to life. Through grants for teaching artists, new equipment, materials and experiences that allow us to reach beyond our local community, we’ve really been fortunate to partner with them so often. When we were approached about this exhibit and the one before it in June, it just felt like a natural extension of both of our goals – to inspire creativity and promote the arts in our community.”

Gersh added: “HEARTS is proud to help bring such incredible artwork to our community. I’ve received so much positive feedback about the exhibits featuring beautiful work by Schreiber High School’s Art Honor Society. This was a truly collaborative effort where everyone involved shares a passion for the arts and a love for the community of Port Washington. We applaud Ms. Thomas for curating this wonderful exhibit and appreciate Ms. Hami’s generosity in partnering on this public art project for all to enjoy.”

“There is nothing worse than 100 feet of blank windows. I felt that while we are figuring out the next life of Port Washington cinemas nothing better than showcasing local art,” Hami said.

Art Honor Society president Sarabeth Schiff said: “As someone who loves art and also loves to help make Port Washington a better place, this was an incredible opportunity to beautify our town using student artwork.”

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