Marie A. Roberts

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Artist's biography
I am a native New Yorker, born, raised and still living in Southern Brooklyn. I became a painter and escaped from the sideshow traditions I grew up with; my family had worked with the Dreamland Circus Sideshow in the 1920's. I ran away to become a painter; 35 years later I am back at my roots; the sideshow in Coney Island.

I received my B.A. at Brooklyn College and M.F.A. at Queens College, both C.U.N.Y. I am Artist in Residence at Coney Island USA and a Professor of Art at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The most important part of my painting life: being part of the Coney Island USA (freakshow) family.

The work
I spend a large portion of my studio time painting sideshow banners - for the facade of our landmarked 1917 building on the corner of Surf Ave and West 12th Street; for the building's interior; for special shows like the Halloween "Creepshow" and for the summer opening Mermaid Parade. And not incidentally, for the performers.

At Coney Island USA freaks are people, just people.

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