LUMEN-ating the Arts
Atlantic Salt, Inc. is a small, family-owned and operated marine terminal located in Staten Island, NY that unloads salt from vessels and distributes it for winter-time de-icing. The company has become known not only for providing refuge from the bitter cold New York winters, but as a presenter of arts for the Staten Island community, which led to the company being selected as a BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America honoree in 2013.
In 2005, Atlantic Salt assisted the Noble Maritime Collection in developing an art exhibition on the salt industry of New York City. Over the course of one year, the company worked with the museum and artists to cultivate the exhibition, providing materials, imagery, dock access, interviews, and supported an artist to travel to a salt mine in Northern Ireland. These artworks are now on permanent display in Atlantic Salt’s offices.
Since the exhibition, Atlantic Salt has continued to increase its involvement with the arts, organizing and supporting many arts events and installations in Staten Island. The dock has become a frequent arts venue in the summer, hosting festivals and performances through partnerships with artists and organizations. The unique features of the venue allow artists to undertake projects that would not be feasible in more conventional arts venues, the results of which challenge, intrigue, and excite guests, artists, and employees.
One such festival, the LUMEN Film and Performance Art Festival, began in partnership with Atlantic Salt and Staten Island Arts in 2010. The one-day, 6-hour festival features video and performance art by emerging artists and more established artists at the forefront of their media. LUMEN begins before the sun sets and continues until midnight. Videos, performances, and installations occur simultaneously. There is no “main stage” or center focus, instead visitors are invited to safely and organically discover art scattered throughout the site. Thousands of people gather for the event, which is presented every other year at Atlantic Salt’s waterside dock, and in off-years at other locations throughout Staten Island.
“We are thrilled to be working with Staten Island Arts again to help host the 2014 LUMEN film festival,” comments Shelagh Mahoney, President of Atlantic Salt, Inc. “We have been host to this event on our dock twice before, and the event continues to get better and better engaging more artists and transforming our dock in new ways. Every year the artists and curators come up with something unexpected, we are excited to see what they do this year.”
Committed to the local residents, Atlantic Salt also organizes a network of businesses that provide in-kind contributions, ensuring that the visiting public, which can range from 50 to 5,000 people, is not charged for any aspect of an event. Atlantic Salt’s artistic endeavors have generated a dialogue that has helped the community to better understand the company’s business, and helped the business understand broader community goals and how it can support them.
Atlantic Salt will host this year's LUMEN Festival in partnership with Staten Island Arts on June 28, 2014 from 7:00pm-midnight. Visit StatenIslandArts.org for more information.