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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA
Silver Gull Beach Club
by Andréanna Seymore

Project Statement:

My interest lies in social class, subcultures and countercultures, and how people identify within these groups. What are the deciding factors that delegate people’s identities within these groups? How do societal norms affect that process? How much choice do we choose to exercise—and how much choice are we allowed to exercise—when creating our identity within a community?

Just at the edge of the summer heat radiating from the concrete and steel of New York City, there is a beach club cabana culture; something you would think existed during the 1950s in Miami Beach. Perhaps the most iconic of these seasonal communities is the Silver Gull Beach Club in Breezy Point, NY. The cabanas in which people rent each summer, year after year, generation after generation, create a seasonal community, a home-away-from-home from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

This subculture is a mixture of working class New Yorkers: teachers, firemen, doctors, and city workers. Each beach club has its own personality. And although they might be barely 40 minutes from downtown Manhattan, long-standing members claim that their beach club is the city’s “best kept secret.” The clubs are made up of personalized, decorated cabanas—including refrigerators, showers, changing rooms—that members rent just for the season, but have the opportunity to return to year after year. For the die-hard cabana lover, there are endless ways to customize their summer space, shaped as much by a strong sense of community traditions as by individual personalities. It is a vibrant world seemingly frozen in time, where families have retreated over and over again for more than 40 years; each family raising their children, then those children raising their own, passing on this nostalgic summer tradition.

Artist Bio:

Andréanna Seymore uses photography as a means of inquiry into social class, subculture, and counterculture. Her vivid color work captures the organized chaos of everyday people, and illuminates them in ways that prompt the viewer to think about what is occurring beyond the frame of the photograph.

 Andréanna has shot for numerous editorial publications and has been invited to participate in group shows throughout the United States. Her professional experience has included numerous publications in American and international editorial publications. She has been assigned to shoot newsmakers from Bill Gates and Linda McMahon to Zach Galifianakis and Taylor Swift.

Her first monograph Scars and Stripes: The Culture of Modern Roller Derby was published by Schiffer Books in October 2014. Andréanna was also featured in the book 25 Under 25: Up and Coming American Photographers, (cover and interior) published in 2003 by Powerhouse and the foreword written by Lauren Greenfield.  In 2017 Andreanna’s images from the book, Scars and Stripes the Culture of Modern Roller Derby was acquired by The Smithsonian National Museum of American History in the Sport History Collections of the Division of Culture and Arts.

Andréanna holds a Masters in Arts and Social Sciences from Queens College and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the School of Visual Arts.