The Black Surfers Association held their first-ever art class on Beach 106th Street on July 8th. The weather was bright and sunny as kids and parents gathered on the sand to create their own art pieces. 

The day, said BSA Marketing and Event Planner Tina Schlissel, had been for the kids to get outside and be creative, and each kid was set up with art supplies courtesy of the Rockaway Artists Alliance (RAA) to help them bring their imaginations to life.

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“This is the first time we’ve ever done this and because COVID-19 is still around, we’ve set up the group circle to be as socially distanced as possible to accommodate the kids,” Schlissel told The Wave.

The class was led by Evan Mazellan, who taught kids the basics of doing representational art and color etches.

“It’s pretty simple, you color the entire paper with crayon, then you paint black ink over. After it dries, you use a utensil to etch whatever you want,” Mazellan explained. 

In the midst of the pandemic, it can be pressing for parents to find something for their children to do while keeping them from harm’s way. 

“I think for the kids, I’m sure they’re looking for something to do, something to stay busy – and art is a really fun thing to work on,” said Mazellan. 

BSA Founder Lou Harris came later in the day to see the artwork and give kids cool surfing gear provided by Vans. 

“We’ve been working with Vans for two years, they give us donations. Today we have wetsuits, surfboards, and free shoes,” Harris said. 

“I think this is a fun thing and hope these kinds of events pick up, giving our kids the opportunity to explore,” said Hammels resident Rose-Marie Gulston who came to the beach with her two daughters, Nina and Jael. 

“This is so refreshing form being at home, BSA has been very inclusive and I feel welcome here. I’ve been getting into nature, taking my kids outside,” said Arverne resident Senath Mossallam.