Village approves new location for A Port of Views art project

The Greenport Village Board has approved a recently proposed multimedia art project now that the creator has picked a new location.

Flanders artist Andrea Cote’s original idea was to install a temporary interactive art sculpture highlighting village history near the camera obscura in Mitchell Park next summer.

But the Village Board rejected the proposal during its September meeting because they believed the location wouldn’t work during the upcoming Tall Ships festival.

On Monday, the Village Board approved Ms. Cote’s proposal by a 4-1 vote to place her temporary art structure in a different location at the Mitchell Park Marina office’s observation deck.

Ms. Cote’s Greenport art project, called “A Port of Views,” includes imagery of “the eyes and stories of Greenport families who have resided here for several generations,” according to her website.

Trustee Mary Bess Phillips, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said she believes a policy needs to be put in place regarding usage of Mitchell Park prior to the Village Board approving requests.

“We have a business community that depends of those events — Mitchell Park is part of the economic engine,” she said. “If we don’t decide to do something before the month of February, I fear some of the businesses in this community will lose the opportunity of having events in the park — that are approved by us — that will also bring customers to their storefront.”

Since June, there has been a temporary moratorium on issuing permits for park events until a more definitive policy on park usages is developed.

Mayor David Nyce said he believes Ms. Cote’s application doesn’t apply to those discussions because it isn’t an event.

“It has nothing to do with mass public assembly permits,” the mayor said prior to casting his vote, adding discussions about drafting a policy for Mitchell Park events is ongoing and will continue at future work sessions.

Last summer, Ms. Cote created an interactive art piece called “Eyes on Main Street,” through which she interviewed and photographed people who have close ties to downtown Riverhead and its history.

There will be an art exhibit of Ms. Cote’s “A Port of Views” project on display from Dec. 28 to Feb. 17 at Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport.

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