Opinions & Observations: Adelphi Academy’s art earns rave reviews on Fifth Avenue


Hundreds stop to view student artists produce inspiring creations ‘in process’

A few weeks ago, members of the Merchants of Third Avenue (especially Charmed’s Jeanine Condon) joined with Chrisie Canny, who heads the highly regarded cancer benefit shop known as Vented in Brooklyn, to raise more than $7,000 as merchants and shoppers combined to aid a cause dear to the hearts of so many here.

Last week, Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn — led by Head of School Iphigenia Romanos and Director of Academy Operations Albert Corhan, along with expert guidance from Director of Community & External Relations Chip Cafiero — brought youth and art to Fifth Avenue as part of the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue BID’s “Street Moments” art walk event. The academy, located at 8515 Ridge Blvd., presented an engaging display of some of the finest work created by students and staff. Located adjacent to the seated dining crowd at Skinflints, talented student Erika Xiang sketched the outside of the iconic eatery in real time as spectators looked on! Skinflints proprietor Gerard Bell excitedly checked her progress at various intervals.

Pictured in front of the Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn display are (standing, left to right) Adelphi’s Art Instructor Nikki Fregara, Head of School Iphigenia Romanos and Director of Academy Operations Albert Corhan, Chuck Otey, Skinflints proprietor Gerard Bell, Verena Mentzel-Otey, Adelphi’s Director of Community & External Relations Chip Cafiero and science teacher Silvester Rragami, whose artwork was also featured in the display. Kneeling in front are some of Adelphi’s featured artists: Ilona Makovetskaya, William Chen, Luana Lin San and Erika Xiang (left to right).

Adelphi’s art instructor Nikki Fregara was present as the academy highlighted the work of dozens of young artists on an impressive display spanning nearly 20 feet of available sidewalk space. The fun and safe event adhered to social distancing guidelines and also featured live music.

Bell has long been known for his kindness, providing hundreds of holiday meals to Bay Ridge seniors and others. By playing the role of host last Saturday, he helped to fashion a tradition at a time when the Greater Bay Ridge community is seeing its traditions (the Ragamuffin Parade, Summer Stroll on 3rd, the Third and Fifth Avenue Festivals) temporarily snuffed out by this persistent pandemic.

Influencer suggests Third Ave. is ready for art shows as well

“We were truly pleased to see how Adelphi worked with Gerard Bell to bring this truly positive event to Fifth Avenue, and there’s a lot of discussion going on now about staging regular art shows along Third Avenue as well,” an influencer who preferred anonymity told us.

It certainly is time to get socially distanced events out there. Hundreds stopped by the Adelphi presentation over the course of the afternoon last Saturday to “ooh” and “ahh” at the talented students sharing their art as a sign of hope in these troubled times.

Merchants of Third Avenue President Bob Howe, along with Condon and Canny, got the ball rolling with their successful cancer benefit. Now it’s time, we hope, for more art — especially from our students — to bedeck the public scene here.

These events benefit our restaurants, which are the collective center of civic and economic life here. They also give young folks a chance to publicly test their art against an evolving public stage.

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