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Art show latest partnership between Cord Meyer Development Company and Bayside Historical Society

Feb. 28, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

Cord Meyer Development Company and the Bayside Historical Society have a long history of partnering together, with the current Bayside Historical Society Winter Art Show at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center being the latest example.

This year marks the 23rd year for the show. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held live at the castle at Fort Totten, where the Bayside Historical Society is located. With the pandemic preventing in-person shows, the 2021 show was arranged to be online.

Cord Meyer Development had been looking for creative ways to enhance the Bay Terrace Shopping Center during the pandemic. After seeing the 2021 show online, the company offered to display the art at the shopping center for people to view in-person. The tradition has continued to this day.

Bayside Historical Society Trustee Laura James with a “Best of Category” oil on canvas by artist Geoffrey Atkin. Geoffrey Atkin. Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

“We display the art in a number of the store windows on tables, easels and the walls,” Cord Meyer Vice President and Bay Terrace Project Lead Joe Forgione explained. “It’s been a great connection for us. It brings foot traffic to the area and gives the artists a chance to have their work viewed by the public.”

Admiring one of the many historical photographs on loan from the Bayside Historical Society in
the hallway of the second-floor professional offices in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center.
Photo by Gabriele Holtermann

 

The art on display at the shopping center has also provided added exposure for the Bayside Historical Society, according to Laura James, a trustee for the Bayside Historical Society. As a result, sales of works by the artists have increased and more artists are eager to allow their work to be displayed.

“This is a wonderful way for us to fulfill our grant mandates [from New York City] by making what we do available to a wider group of people, not only from the immediate area, but for anyone who shops in the Bay Terrace,” James said.

The art on display is diverse, from paintings to photographs. This extends to the artists as well, with some being veteran artists while others are students at Bayside High School.

“We are amazed every year at the quality of the student art,” James said. “It just seems to get better and better. People see it and want to invest in young emerging artists.”

James credits Bayside High School art teacher Kerry DeJean for helping to provide the works from students. She has also provided some of her own works of art.

The art on display is concentrated between Sobol and Rosa Pizza at the Bay Terrace. Forgione pointed out that many of the events and festivals held at the shopping center are situated in that area, allowing for attendees to view the art.

The upcoming Winter Festival, held in partnership with Dancing Dreams, is scheduled for Mar. 3 from 1-5 p.m. It coincides with the final day of this current art show, granting attendees one more opportunity to view the works on display. An in-person ceremony for the art show participants only, sponsored by Cord Meyer Development and Parker Jewish Institute, will occur following the conclusion of the Winter Festival, with the artists receiving awards.

A painting of the castle at Fort Totten, home to the Bayside Historical SocietyPhoto by Gabriele Holtermann

Cord Meyer Development and the Bayside Historical Society have a longstanding relationship. This year marks the 120th anniversary of Cord Meyer Development Company and the 60th anniversary of the Bayside Historical Society. In the past, members of Cord Meyer Development served as board members on the Bayside Historical Society, according to Paul DiBenedetto, its President.

“It’s particularly meaningful to be able to partner with Cord Meyer, which has such strong ties in Bayside. A shopping center like the Bay Terrace brings value to Bayside. It’s a place to go shopping, have dinner, and more,” DiBenedetto said. “The Bayside Historical Society appreciates being part of it with the art show and being part of Bayside’s culture and what’s happening right now.”

“It makes it very easy for Cord Meyer to be active in the neighborhood when we have so many groups, like the Historical Society, that have all these events and resources, because we are able to partner with them and get involved,” Forgione observed. “The Historical Society is the perfect fit for us. We’re a shopping center that’s growing and changing constantly. We’re under construction right now, but we’re a company that’s been around for 120 years, so the history of Queens is very important to us.”

“We’re both organizations that have needed to evolve and not only celebrate the past and our roots, but to move forward into the future and embrace the way things are today and tomorrow,” concluded James.

More information on the Bayside Historical Society is available by visiting www.baysidehistorical.org. Check out their “Passport Concert Series” (next show Mar. 2) held at the castle at Fort Totten and learn more about educational programs like “Grandmother’s Trunk” for school children.

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