Arts & Events

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About Marina 59

Marina 59 is a five-acre property nestled in Somerville Basin, Jamaica Bay, Queens. The marina is an hour from the city or Brooklyn on the A train to Far Rockaway. The elevated line bisects the peninsula, with the bay to the North and the ocean to the South. It is a strange but compelling intersection of fishermen & boaters, airplanes flying overhead, the projects, the beach and boardwalk, old houses and bungalows, sometimes tropical climate, goats, piping plovers and many other birds, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Arverne-by-the-Sea condos, hipsters, surfers, and artists.

"Marina 59 has opened its gates to artists in recent years, helping to solidify and strengthen the local arts community, but also creating another layer in addition to the complex social strata of the fishing and boating cultures, low income housing, and burgeoning condo developments. This project facilitates a dialogue between groups which are suddenly colliding, rather than forgetting local residents in a fog of gentrification."


Sea Worthy is a summer-long exhibition and event series on the water presented by Flux Factory, the EFA Project Space, and The Gowanus Studio Space. From

"With 72 islands and over 700 miles of coastline, New York City is a formidable archipelago. This project invites discussion about water access, activates the largest open space in the city, and engages maritime themes in contemporary art practice. Sea Worthy brings together artists from here and abroad – in consultation with boat builders, world-class mariners, historians, writers, activists, and ecologists – to make new work about, around, and on the waterways of New York City in the summer of 2011.

Sea Worthy presents work by artists who employ the boat as a platform for collective action, private reflection, and liberatory possibility. The sea excursion suggests both an opening and a crisis – the expanse is daunting, uncontrollable, and full of dream potential. To explore this terrain, the artists take to the high and low seas, metaphorically, virtually, and in reality."

The following Sea Worthy projects can be seen at Marina 59: Constance Hockaday's Boggsville Boatel and Boat-In Theater; MarinArt; Natalia Porter & Ben Cohen's Trajinera Boat; A'yen Tran's Boat for Singing Together; Ian Warren's Walden 59; Andrew Eutsier, Shane Heinemeiere & Alison Ward's Sea Shanty; Hans Maharawal & Thomas Robinson's Pirate Ship

More details at

Jerko the Gowanus Water Vacuum is a renovated houseboat slash sustainability project by Gowanus Canal pioneer and DIY tinkerer Adam Katzman. His most recent project at Marina 59 is the Poop and Paddle, a floating constructed wetland toilet that mimics natural systems of waste and recycling in a zero discharge system.

Expedition Gowanus website
Photos of Jerko's Maiden Voyage by Elizabeth Weinberg
The Earth Institute at Columbia University's article
Photo Gallery at Inhabitat

The Swimming Cities collective has taken up headquarters at Marina 59. This fall the group of artists and builders will travel 400 miles down the Ganges River, India on a fleet of handmade stainless steel motorcycle-driven pontoon boats. Their passage leads them to Varanasi, where they will present a floating installation in collaboration with Indian artists that changes over the course of five nights during festival of Dev Diwali.

American Airlines In-flight Magazine article on Swimming Cities
Antenna article featuring the "Radial" on the Gowanus Canal
Article by Nick Normal for MakeZine
Swimming Cities News

Art Bloc is a mobile, multifunctional pop-up art gallery & performance space created by joining two 20 ft. shipping containers together. Flux Factory has curated the MarinArt event series this summer bringing in artists working with sustainability and boats with local painters and photographers.

MarinArt at Flux Factory
Art Bloc website

Rockaway Artists Alliance is a local non-profit that engages the community of Rockaway in the arts and cultural activities, with a special focus on educational programs for the youth. Their one of a kind houseboat is passed down from vagabond hero Poppa Neutrino and was one of his handmade houseboats from repurposed trash materials.

Rockaway Artists Alliance

ShakeOut is an annual Far Rockaway group art show featuring site-specific art installations, live music and performances, local food vendors, and boat rides. Art installations and performances take advantage of the 5-acre grounds at the Marina, the MarinArt gallery, the floating docks, and the waters of Jamaica Bay. This year marked the fourth annual ShakeOut festival.

ArtCat Listing for ShakeOut IV