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Bayside holds first fair for artists and crafts

The parking lot near the Bayside Long Island Rail Road station was transformed into an outdoor gallery as the neighborhood hosted its first Arts and Crafts Fair Sunday.

Nearly 35 venues were on display at the event, including 10 stands from artists from the area. The works included a wide variety of projects from sketches and paintings to photography, jewelry and knitted goods.

Dominic Bruccoleri, vice president of the Bayside Village Improvement District, which co-sponsored the event with the community art group Village Artist Organization, said the fair was created to give residents a cultural experience during a nice autumn day.

“It’s really just great family fun,” said Bruccoleri, who owns Papazzio restaurant on Bell Boulevard.

Aside from the art, the event included musical performances, a raffle and the opportunity for visitors to take home some of the works. Joyce Serra, a Bayside resident of 36 years, picked up a lot of drawings for her collection and said she was impressed with the work.

“I enjoy going out and I’m happy to see something different and colorful in the neighborhood,” she said.

Artists who came from outside the borough also appreciated the distinctiveness of the event. Garnet T. Vaccaro, a Westchester County artist who was selling and showcasing her colored drawings, said it was the first time she had visited Bayside and she was amazed by the friendliness of the neighborhood.

“I’m from Westchester and when I think of Queens, I think of the city,” she said.

Fellow Westchester artist Mike Rizzo said he enjoys coming to free art shows because it gives people a chance to experience new works without hurting their wallets. The sketcher said he was inspired by cartoons and comics instead of big museum presentations to get into the field.

“Sometimes people do not get into art galleries, but they go outdoors,” he said.

Some of the works were done by up-and-coming artists like Adam El-Sawaf of Douglaston. The 16-year-old already has done several photography projects and other works and his parents set up a table to promote his work.

“I think it’s really great,” said the teen’s mother, Diane. “It takes a while for people to appreciate art, so the early you get it out there, the better.”

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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