My 2017 art wall celebrates animals embedded in Coney Island's history. Giant tortoises from the ocean, horses from the three racetracks, rabbits (rabbit = coney - early Dutch settlers called it Rabbit Island), and animals who worked here and suffered sad ends. I wanted to celebrate them happy and fierce: Black Prince and his pride from Dreamland, Topsy and Little Hip. And happy lived Hyjinx the sideshow cat.
Bridging the past and present are the iconic Limulidae (Horse Shoe crabs), the marsh grass we are trying so hard to promote and topping it off, like Venus on her scallop shell, is Weagle #sideshowdog, appearing as Janus the two headed god of past and future.
Marie Roberts is a painter and native New Yorker, living and working in Southern Brooklyn. She received a B.A in art from Brooklyn College and MFA in painting from Queens College, both CUNY. Roberts is a Professor of Art at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Artist in Residence at the not for profit arts center Coney Island USA.
Roberts' work has been shown at venues that include the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum, PS 1, MOCADA, and Deutchbank Galleries. Salina Gallery, LIU, 32 Edgecomb Gallery, Yale School of Art, Gallery SoBab, Seoul, South Korea, and Rivington Gallery, London. Her work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Transit Authority NYC, The Village Voice, Merk, CNN, DiDomenico Partners, Laughing Lotus Yoga, and Feld Entertainment as well as numerous private collections. Roberts has been the subject of several short documentaries, including "Sideshow Picasso" by Marilyn Agrelo, and the 2015 "This Side of Dreamland" by Joshua Glick and Patrick Reagan. She is included in Coney Island Lost and Found by Charles Denson; City Lights: Tales of New York by Dan Barry and in media as diverse as The New York Times and TLC's Cake Boss.
Roberts is included in the traveling exhibition "Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland 1861- 2008", curated by Robin Jaffee Frank, at the Brooklyn Museum.