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    Posted August 25, 2014 by
    Brooklyn, New York
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    Sideshow "chic!" Marie Roberts, Coney Island USA's Artist in Residence..

    I had the delightful experience of meeting Marie Roberts who is currently Coney Island USA's premier sideshow artist in residence, and being invited into her historic studio which overlooks the inner city streets of iconic Coney Island.
    Roberts who is also a professor of fine art at Farleigh Dickenson university, paints all the banners that adorn the historic landmark Coney Island USA bldg. one of the first sights you see if you get off the Stillwell subway station that brings you into Coney Island, that artist Robert Blake calls The Poor Man's Riviera." And this is certainly not wasted on Marie, who uses her Coney Carny roots to make her art alive.
    The sideshow influence is obvious in all her work and goes back to her uncle Lester Roberts who was the smooth "Talker" for the Dreamland Circus Sideshow that had it's heyday in the 1920's. Uncle Lester's friends were the sideshow "freaks" and spent time at their family home in Gravesend where Marie still lives today.
    As an artist myself, I was so thrilled to be invited into her secret studio which is upstairs in the Coney Island Museum and see firsthand where this colorful art work gets created, that reminds me of the French artist Toulouse Latrec's work.
    Marie's art work can also be found on shirts in the museum gift shop, and hand painted limited edition tote bags. I am the proud owner of one she painted of a red circus lion that goes back to one of her first loves a red kitten. Marie is also an animal activist, rescuer. She gave me some handmade cards she will send out at the holidays of some of her cats. You can see them in my last picture, LtoR- Dorothy, Herbert, Fred.
    The next to last photo is of me next to a painting Marie did on the wall of the Sideshow bldg. carrying the hand painted tote bag she did of the red lion.
    The rest of the photos are of Marie, in her wonderful inspiring studio that overlooks one of my favorite places and influences.
    Thank you.
    August 25, 2014.
    Photos by Lind Glovach
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