Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meeting local artist Launa Beuhler

One of the many wonderful things about this neighborhood is the presence of a wide array of artists. Looking around one would never guess how big the artist community is here. On Columbia street between Union and Sackett stands the old Sessa Bank building, and inside its walls is sculptor Launa Beuhler's studio, which I had the chance to visit recently.

WoCS: What is your favorite thing about living in the Columbia street Waterfront District?
Launa Beuhler: Being near the water, having open space with so many community gardens, the meadow, and the strong sense of community that you feel between the people who have been in the area for years and people who have moved to the area more recently. Young and old, people from all different nationalities and backgrounds, all share a sense of community in the neighborhood and coexist.
WoCS: What don't you like?
LB: The increased truck traffic and the BQE, and development that does not respect the scale and character of the neighborhood.

WoCS: Which is your favorite hangout?
LB: The community gardens.

WoCS: What is the biggest change you have seen happen to the neighborhood in the 15 years you have lived here?
LB: The loss of all the Mom and Pop stores, and places like the Cammareri Bros. Bakery, Latticini Barese, and Frank's department Store. There has also been a departure of the younger generation of families that have lived in the Columbia Street Waterfront area for years
that have moved away to places like Staten Island and New Jersey.
WoCS: If you could live anywhere else in NYC, where would it be?
LB: No where else in NYC, but if I move anywhere it will be to Italy.

WoCS: What service/shop do you feel is missing in the district?
LB: We could use a green market, a daycare center and another public school for all the new children.

Some art pieces:


Tangled Web



Tempesta (detail)

Peace Motion


Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking us into Launa's studio. I have wondered about the building when I walk by.

Jessie B. said...

Thank you for reading! Keep checking in for more behind the scenes articles.