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coney art walls-NYC-Untapped Cities6All images via coneyartwalls.com

New York City’s Coney Island, the waterside land of color, roller coasters, and ice cream, got a brand new attraction this summer. That attraction is Coney Art Walls, an exhibition of street art featuring the work of 34 artists. Among the featured players are legends like Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, Futura, Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, Maya Hayuk and How and Nosm, and newcomers like Tatyana Fazlalizadeh and Lauren Halsey. Their work is displayed on the attraction’s namesake walls set up in an area of the park and is open seven days a week throughout the summer.

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Before it debuted in May, the walls were set up sometime beforehand, and the artists, hailing from all over the world including Paris, Doha, Los Angeles, and more, came to make their mark. The exhibition, presented by Thor Equities, also contains Coney Smorgasburg, a food court of sorts featuring 12 food vendors operating throughout the day.

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Joseph J. Sitt, one of the show’s curators, said in a press release: “Coney Island has a long history of being the place for New Yorkers to go to escape city life, see the astonishing, or experience something new, if only for a day. Whether that experience came from seeing electric lights for the first time, watching a sideshow performer, or being jostled together with strangers on a ride, Coney Island has been a place to be exposed to the unexpected.”
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Sitt hopes to revitalize the area with Coney Art Walls, which has fallen recently on hard times and seen dwindling numbers of visitors when it once used to attract millions of New Yorkers during the summer. Though the area reported a significant increase in visitors in 2014, around 11 million, there is more work to do to ensure that Coney Island retains its former glory. Coney Art Walls, which has attracted thousands since opening, seems a step in the right direction.

Next, read about the day the Coney Island Cyclone opened to the public in 1927, and see more photos of the art walls here. Get in touch with the author @jinwoochong.

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