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St. James Streetscapes by Bobbi Mastrangelo


During their residence in St. James New York, Bobbi recorded grates, manhole covers and water covers in their paved environments. She captured the street ambience in her prints and sculpture relief works:

“Buckeye” Sculpture Relief

 “Buckeye” was based on a former Lake Ave North Sidewalk in St. James.  This water valve cover was eventually paved over with asphalt.  During the time our family lived in St. James, NY (on Long Island) I documented many of the manhole covers, grates and water covers from  this charming hamlet.  In fact St. James was the Home and Start of My Manhole Art. As some of the covers disappeared (replaced by generic covers) or were paved over, I realized that my art works actually documented the history of the streets.
“Water Service”
“Water Service” is a collagraph print. It was printed on my Dickerson Press on my own handmade paper. The printing plate is created in relief. The various colors of oil based ink are brushed into the lowest areas. Then the high relief is wiped clean. Black ink is rolled over the highest relief. Dampened paper is placed over the plate and run through the printing press. This procedure is repeated for each print.
Penciled around the edge of the image are the names of Mario Palmieri and John Mayleas and the location of the water service mark-out. Both of the Water District Employees were enthusiastic about my “Water Works.” They taught me about the street markings and the various kinds of water covers.


“John E. Potente & Sons”

Potente covers and grates are prevalent on Long Island. When I saw a vine creeping through its openings, I knew  I wanted to record this scene from Woodlawn Avenue in St. James. This is also a collagraph from a small edition. A “John E. Potente” print was recently exhibited with a Heckscher Museum Permanent Collection.

“Broken Cover”

It’s not too often that one sees a damaged manhole cover. Mario Palmieri and John Mayleas had discovered it in the  St. James Water district and knew I would be interested. After I created this sculpture relief ( 48″ x  36″ x 1.5″)  people teased that the image reminded them of Pac Man (side view)

 “Blue Bell”  (collagraph)

Most people recognize the Bell System Telephone Cover Design. Note the Bell in the center circle.  The actual covers in St. James were a rusty iron color.  How many of you have seen this cover? The familiar hexagon pattern may even adorn the streets of your town or city. The papers for these prints were made from cotton linter fibers dyed blue and netting was added to some of the prints before printing.

“When the People Care”

The Ford Water Meter Cover was a prominent cover in St James. Sometimes Litter was prominent. Consequently, a small group of residents formed a grass-roots organization to adopt areas to clean and beautify. It was named: C.L.E.A.N. ( Committee for Litter Elimination And Neatness).  My adopt – a spot was the King Kullen Parking Lot, which RJK Gardens now maintains.

The St. James Streetscapes can also be viewed here:

Mastrangelo prints on handmade paper: Bobbi Mastrangelo-Gallery-Works on Paper

4 replies on “St. James Streetscapes by Bobbi Mastrangelo”

Hi Bobbi,

I loved the last topic on the grates… I was not aware that the detail around one was sand: “John E. Potente” and the other: “Buckeye” captured the cracks etc.
Great job…between the homepage news and the blog. It makes such interesting reading.
Your Web Master,
Cheryl Wilson

I love your work! I especially love how you use so many mediums, all with the same theme. The Mod Works were my favorite, but I also liked your sculptural grates. Do you find it hard to focus on just one theme, too? There seems to be so much push to do one thing, but an artist’s creative brain has so much to love to do.
Erika McGinnis

I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet
I never found any interesting article like yours.
It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view,
if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did,
the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

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