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Ottomanelli’s by the Water unveils second phase of community mural project

 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

June 17, 2024 By Ramy Mahmoud and Queens Post News Team

Frank Ottomanelli, the owner of the popular Ottomanelli By the Water café at Hunter’s Point South Park, has launched the second phase of his community mural project. The project aims to beautify the Long Island City waterfront and promote the work of local artists simultaneously. 

Ottomanelli announced the project last year, calling on local artists to submit paintings and murals to be featured on the planter walls that surround the waterfront café’s expansive dining/picnic area.  

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

The first five murals were unveiled at the waterfront café last December, and seven more were unveiled at an event on Tuesday, June 4. Together, they create a visually stunning representation of Queens’ diversity and charm. 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

More than 300 local artists submitted request-for-proposals for the project, prompting Ottomanelli to form an advisory committee to select the 12 best designs.

Frank Ottomanelli speaks at the unveiling of the second phase of the community mural project. Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

He said the advisory committee consisted of local community leaders, adding that the committee judged submissions on how well they followed the theme of “Community Togetherness.” 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

Ottomanelli said the committee will select more submissions in the future. The idea is to eventually cover each planter wall with a mural created by a local artist. 

Ottomanelli with the mural artists. Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

He added that he hopes the project will help attract more people to Hunter’s Point South Park and showcase the talent of local artists. Each mural will be credited to the artist who created it. He also plans to produce a plaque acknowledging every artist who contributed to the project. 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

“We just wanted it to be something that almost everyone can come to and enjoy looking at,” Ottomanelli said. “It’s like everyone gets something out of it in a different way.” 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

He said the project was a “nice way of adding” to Hunter’s Point South Park, which already boasts magnificent views of the waterfront and the Manhattan skyline. 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

Meanwhile, Ottomanelli hopes that the project will give talented local artists the exposure and recognition that they deserve. 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

“We really want to help the artists, too,” he said. “It’s not just about beautifying the park. We would like to really do something good for the artists.

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

“I think it’s really important to support local art.” 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

Each artist received a $500 stipend for the project, while Ottomanelli’s By the Water also covered all expenses incurred. 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

Ottomanelli said he has received extremely positive feedback since launching the second phase of the project last week, receiving a letter from State Assemblymember Juan Ardila. 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

Ardila expressed his “heartfelt gratitude” to Ottomanelli for his commitment to beautifying the Long Island City waterfront, writing that Ottomanelli has also “enriched the cultural landscape of the neighborhood.” 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

“The creation of murals has not only transformed the area aesthetically but also fostered a spirit of creativity and community engagement,” Ardila said. 

Each artist was presented with a certificate of merit by Assemblymember Juan Ardila’s office. Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

Ardila also presented Ottomanelli and the artists with a certificate of merit in recognition of the project. 

Photo by Ramy Mahmoud

email the author: news@queenspost.com
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