By John Pitera

DNA Info carried a story recently, “Gallery Aiming to Bring Chelsea to Staten Island Opens With First Exhibit” about an arts show opening at the Staten Island Arts Building Corporation Gallery, 73 Wave Street in Stapleton.

The free show that will open on March 26 entitled “Obscured/Omitted” will open on March 26th. It is free and it is the first show at the newly renovated building.

The show is important to anyone who has been living or working on Staten Island’s North Shore because it is the next step towards turning the Bay Street corridor into a full live|work|play neighborhood.

The North Shore of Staten Island has always been renowned for its rich history and its close proximity to the St. George ferry terminal. Those who live or work here will tell you that the town centers of Snug Harbor, St. George, Tompkinsville, Stapleton, Clifton and Rosebank continue to act as meeting places for residents.

As with many historic districts across the nation, Staten Island’s North Shore has experienced some difficult times, but thanks to a bit of attention from New York City Mayors and the persistent doggedness of our elected officials, Staten Island’s North Shore is getting the attention that it deserves thanks to projects such as: The New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, URBY, and Lighthouse Point.

It has been my privilege to work on several of these transformative projects. In addition to Empire Outlets and URBY, me and my colleagues have worked on Downtown Plaza and The View, by Madison Realty Capital, The Rail by BFC Partners, and The Accolades and The Pointe by Meadow Partners (where we rented space to Key Food, the first supermarket located in St. George in 40 years).

The presence of artists at SIABC and Makers’ Space in Stapleton, Culture Lounge in the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Creative Photographers Guild in Snug Harbor are drawing the attention of people of all ages from outside our borough. What is keeping their attention is the ease of travel from the ferry to these galleries by MTA bus or Staten Island Railroad. As word spreads that there is a part of Staten Island that is easily accessible by public transportation, the North Shore will again be celebrated which is as it should be.