Lina Montoya and NYC SBS Commissioner Greg Bishop 

Photos: Sam Samore and NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)  

Lina Montoya, “who has basically cornered the public art market on Staten Island,” according to Staten island Advance, is a force to be reckoned with. For Sonic Gates, NYC's first sound sculpture walk on Staten Island's North Shore, Lina created two installations. The walk stretches along the Bay Street corridor from the waterfront to the diverse neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, and Stapleton. 

Ballena & Vallenato (Whale and Calf), created in partnership with 100 Gates Project, is a colorful mural on the bus shelter at Barrett Triangle that depicts the endangered Right Whale and her calf.

Lina's other piece, Dolphins del Fin, is a series of dolphin and wave shaped sculptures built from recycled bottle caps that will rattle with the wind on a Bay Street median.

"I want to make a difference and create a meaningful message for my community through art. This project shows that we can make a change by transforming our environment little by little,” Lina Montoya said. “Sonic Gates is just the tip of what’s happening in Staten Island and more to come.”

When asked about her inspirations, Lina quickly replied, “Music is a big driver of ideas for me.” Lina’s practice also draws from her memories of growing up in Colombia. “Every Christmas in Medellin, we make these bells out of can lids tied together with wire," Lina said. "I used the same technique to make three dolphin figures for my Dolphis del Fin sculpture.”

You can also check out her works at the FemaleCentric art and fashion festival on Staten Island on Sunday, August 5.

Lina founded the Ele Eme Project (LMProject) before she left Colombia and came to New York City in 2010. The project explores different cultures and languages through visual art and community participation. She installed 18,000 plastic butterflies on a fence at Richmond Terrace in 2014. She is a also an influential member of La Isla Bonita, an outdoor festival on Staten Island; and the founder of the Do Me A Faber community group. Learn more about Lina's projects here.

Staten Island Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space launched the Sonic Gates sound sculpture walk created by artist Volker Goetze on July 14, 2018. The eight public art installations, on view for a year, vary from nautical buoys covered with bells on the waterfront along Front Street, to a self-playing wind harp on Thompson Street, to a drum totem in Tompkinsville Park, to a 90-foot-long mural of the endangered Right Whale at a bus shelter that pays homage to Staten Island’s maritime heritage. Learn more about each artwork on SonicGates.com.

A team of Staten Island-based artists directed by Volker Goetze created the artworks with Staten Island MakerSpace as an integral community partner. The team includes Scott Van Campen, Alassane Drabo, DB Lampman, Jeremy Munson, Lina Montoya, Arthur Simms, and students from PS 78. Sam Samore is the artistic advisor. Learn more about each artist on SonicGates.com.

Community partners include 100 Gates, Citizens Committee, Island Voice, Projectivity, PS 78, Staten Island MakerSpace, Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness and Universal Temple of the Arts.

New York City and State partners include NYC Department of Small Business Services through the Neighborhood 360 initiative, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Parks, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Office of the Staten Island Borough President. Read about the De Blasio administration's visit to Sonic Gates here

Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront, home to hundreds of artists and arts organizations, is rapidly developing with residential, commercial and urban planning projects. Community members worry about the long-term availability of affordable housing, artist studio space, and venues for other cultural uses. In response, Staten Island Arts and the Design Trust for Public Space developed the Future Culture initiative to promote and sustain the existing cultural assets, as well as to foster community connections and shape a vision for culture on the North Shore.

Sonic Gates is made possible through the generous support of New York City Department of Small Business Services through the Neighborhood 360 grant program, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC & Co Foundation, Citizens Committee, Thornton Tomasetti, and 100 Gates.

I want to make a difference and create a meaningful message for my community through art. 'Sonic Gates' shows that we can make a change by transforming our environment little by little.

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