PHOTO ESSAY "A YEAR OF OFFBEAT ARTIFACTS" CELEBRATES VOLUNTEERISM, COMMUNITY, AND QUIRKINESS
September 1, 2014 -- The Sea Cliff Library will be hosting an opening reception for the exhibition “A Year of Offbeat Artifacts” on Sunday September 7. Sea Cliff photographer Geri Reichgut’s photographic essay chronicles four seasons of the tag sale fundraiser that has set up shop on the village green nearly every other weekend for the past two and a half years.
The sale, organized by village resident Mike Lennon with help and support from a core group of volunteers, just recently hit the $25,000 mark in total funds raised for Friends of the Sea Cliff Library.
Ms. Reichgut, a free lance photographer who specializes in today’s jazz scene with portraits of musicians and cd covers, and who has also taught photography at local colleges, said that she has always loved flea markets and quickly developed a great interest in the tag sales taking place on the village green. “It became a sort of sociological study – who would buy the paintings, the books, the sculptures,” she explained. “I became so enamored with the constantly changing array of objects each week and the ever growing community interest that I felt compelled to bring my camera and document the objects and the social gathering it attracted.”
Seeing great value in the tag sale not only from a fund raising standpoint, but also from an environmental perspective as it helps to reduce the burden on landfills with each item that would have been discarded becoming another’s treasure, Ms. Reichgut declares, “This event is recycling at its finest!”
Equally if not most importantly, however, she values the sense of community Offbeat Artifacts promotes as the event has become a focal point of village social activity each Saturday it has been held. “It's been a very popular gathering place for families, teenagers, couples just starting out and looking to furnish their homes and apartments, local residents walking their dogs, flea market aficionados, artists and those who enjoy getting up early on a Saturday morning to see what's new on the Village Green,” she said.
Ms. Reichgut has divided the essay into six parts, with each bound as a book and focusing on a particular theme – “Mike’s Rogue’s Gallery,” “The Children,” “The Dogs,” “The Waiting Chair,” “The Family,” and “The Stuff.” Each is introduced with a quote and then a series of photographs. For instance, “Family” opens - “Jerry Seinfeld, who once said ‘there is no such thing as fun for the whole family,’ obviously was never at the Offbeats Artifacts Sale in Sea Cliff,” and is then followed by a series of photographs of couples, grandparents, parents and children browsing and in some cases excitedly showing off their newly found treasures.
In addition to 20 16x20 inch framed photographs, the exhibition will also include digitized photographs displayed in slide show form on computers.
“I love the people. I love the stuff,” says Ms. Reichgut. Her photographic essay, like its subject, is a celebration of volunteerism, community, quirkiness and the thrill of discovery. And just as a visit to Offbeat Artifacts this coming Saturday will no doubt satisfy, a return trip to the library on Sunday from 3-5 pm for Ms. Reichgut’s opening reception will be equally worth the trip.
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ONLY TWO AND A HALF BUT ALREADY AN INSTITUTION, OFFBEAT ARTIFACTS RAISES $25,000 FOR SC LIBRARY WHILE PROMOTING COMMUNITY
August 20, 2014 -- Beginning modestly with a table displaying an assortment of small second-hand items, and evolving over two and half years into an event that attracts bargain seekers from across Long Island and New York City, Offbeat Artifacts has hit the $25,000 mark in funds raised for the Sea Cliff Library. READ MORE