June 3


Marine Park – More than Just Arts and Crafts – It’s About the Park and the People Too!

June 3, 2024

Vol. 104 No. 23

A variety of unique and handmade treasures could be found at the Marine Park Alliance (MPA) Arts and Crafts Showcase at the Fillmore Avenue entrance to Marine Park on Sunday, May 19th, but it was also about community and enjoying all the park has to offer.

“One of the delicious things about this event is when it’s outdoors like this — because we are part of the basketball, we are part of the park —  it’s just so wonderful and people can just walk right through,” MPA Board Member Margot Perron said.

With new signage branding the event as a local staple, the event was bustling with activity as it drew in the usual crowd, as well as people walking to and from the Carmine Carro Community Center; basketball, handball and bocce courts; and the oval, adding visiting bicyclists. The sound of dogs barking and greeting each other as people walked their pets through the area added to the excitement and fun.

The arts and crafts of local artists lined the walkway and nearby areas displaying beautiful handmade jewelry and one-of-a-kind paintings, home décor, woodwork, customized apparel, crochet work, artisanal soaps and more.

According to MPA Board Chair Maria Carro-D’Alessandro, the event has taken place for over a decade at the Carro Center, but its origin goes back even further to the Salt Marsh Nature Center.

Currently, the biannual event takes place in the spring and fall with many return vendors, but there are always some new ones to add to the diverse offerings.

Vendors from the Bead Project at Urban Glass in Downtown Brooklyn joined this year’s event and showed their handmade glass jewelry, beads and other wares for the first time.

“It’s a program for women to get into the glass industry through the process of beadmaking and flameworking,” Abigail Akindude said, adding that there were not a lot of black women in the male-dominated industry.

Glass rods are heated with flame to melt glass onto a metal stick called a mandrel, which is turned to form each individual glass bead, which are then transformed into beautiful jewelry.

Marine Park resident Kayla Juarez was also at the event for the first time with her parents and sister, making a family affair out of her hobby of making jewelry, bookmarks and other handmade items.

Another Marine Park resident and cookbook author Erisbelia Garriga was there with her sister, Aurelia, who was selling paintings and painted mussel shell earrings (see ”Local Author Shares Her Family’s Most Loved Puerto Rican Recipes,” Canarsie Courier, January 4, 2024).

Other interesting people included a number of woodworking craftsmen such as returnees Bob Kaplan, Don Quigley and Tim Halliday.

At another table, Perron was working with her new summer intern, Kadiata (Kadi) Kaba, who is visiting from McGill University in Canada. They were crafting paper inchworms together in preparation for an upcoming MPA children’s event, Inching Along, to take place at the Gerritsen Beach Library on June 22nd at 11 a.m.

To see the full Marine Park Alliance calendar of events, visit marineparkalliance.org/events/

New signage lets people know what’s going on in Marine Park.
Returnee Alicia Heller brings the bling with Bottle Bling.
Michael Ortiz with his colorful painted rocks and inspirational messages.
Woodturner Tim Halliday strums his guitar in between customers.
MPA Board Member Margot Perron with summer intern Kadiata (Kadi) Kaba.
Cookbook author Erisbelia Garriga holds up her book with sister Aurelia by her side.
Marine Park Alliance members: Kristy Di Cario, Stephanie Samaroo-Martinez, Board Chair Maria Carro-D’Alessandro, Todd Lichtman, Karen Eichel, Margot Perron and Kadiata (Kadi) Kaba.
Kayla Juarez was with her parents and sister to support her.
There were also plenty of dogs to see as they passed through the event.
Abigail Akindude and other glass artists from Urban Glass.



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