Pelham Bay Park’s ‘Picture the Park!’ winners exhibited

Picture the Park! grand prize winner Nilka Martell stands alongside her captivating ‘Split Rock’ photograph.
Photo by Miriam Quin

A new exhibit showcasing Pelham Bay Park’s seldom seen beauty and history is set to open this Sunday.

According to Barbara Dolensek, City Island Nautical Museum vice president, the Friends of Pelham Bay Park and City Island Nautical Museum’s ‘Picture the Park!’ exhibition will begin Sunday, July 5 and conclude in mid August.

Dolensek said ‘Picture the Park’ is a traveling exhibit and will be displayed at the Huntington Free Library in September.

The contest began in February and featured five categories including ‘Infused by Bronx History’, ‘Seasons’, ‘People in the Park’, ‘Wildlife’, and ‘Scenic Vistas’.

The winners were determined through FPBP’s Facebook page where the top six photos in each category receiving the most ‘likes’ were recognized in the exhibit.

This same method was used to declare the top five winners from each category as well as the overall grand prize winner.

“As volunteers, Friends of Pelham Bay Park see many areas of open space which the public may not be aware of,” Lizbeth Gonzales, FPBP president expressed. “Through the lenses of these photographers, we are able to see not only new vistas, but also familiar places with new eyes.”

On Thursday, June 18, a private reception was held at City Island Nautical Museum for the contest’s winners and runners-up,

FPBP representatives, trustees of the City Island Nautical Museum, former Borough Commissioner of Parks Hector Aponte and newly appointed Borough Commissioner of Parks Iris Rodriguez-Rosa attended.

The top five photos were Laura Sanchez’s ‘Reflection’ from the Scenic Vistas category, Leah Nani’s ‘Deer into the Woods’ from the Wildlife category, Miriam Quinones’ ‘Cannot Wait for Spring’ from the People in the Park category and her ‘Lady in Red’ from the Seasons category, and Nilka Martell’s ‘Split Rock’ from the Infused by History category.

Martell was named grand prize winner and presented a gift bag containing a Sony portable DVD player and headphones, a FPBP hat and pens, and a journal.

To Martell, her photograph represents a period of her life marked by big change and a growing curiosity to learn more about the Bronx.

“I hope this photo stirs people’s curiosity to learn more about Split Rock and about its importance here in the Bronx,” she said.

Runners-up were Alfonso Rodriguez, Dan Feil, Kathleen Canzoniero, William Murray, Mindy Fisher, Jorge Santiago, Samantha Halpern, Fernando Justiniano, Cristias Rosas, Angelo Bellocchio, Jim Kortleven, Laurie Galioto, Charles Kreig, Jack Rothman, Lauren Chernin, Nacho Mena, Jennifer Illig, Thomas Casey, and Sharon Behnke.

“It was great to see so many friends and family accompanying these photographers at this reception,” Gonzalez shared. “People were surprised by the beauty and power of these images.”

“I’ve been taking pictures for so many years and to go to the museum and see both of my photos exhibited here is very exciting,” Miriam Quinones shared. “My ‘Lady in Red’ was one of the most talked about photos because of the mystery surrounding it.”

“We appreciate the hard work invested in our contest not only by the Friends of Pelham Bay Park and the Parks Department, but also by the City Island Nautical Museum. It is a wonderful partnership,” Gonzalez expressed.

To stay informed about FPBP’s exciting and on-going events, visit their official website and their Facebook page.

The museum is open to the general public every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

For special appointments and general information, contact Barbara Dolensek at (718) 885-0507.

More from Around NYC