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Public Art With A Caffeinated Twist

Nicolina Marie is one of those fortunate East Villagers who are able to make a living with their art.

This holiday season, she is decorating 40 city stores with snowflakes and sleighs throughout the city. On Tuesday at The Bean, a coffee house on Third Street and First Avenue, she painted overnight and into the next day, when customers came in for their morning coffees.

Ms. Marie considers her work at The Bean, B-Cup Cafe, and Two Boots, among others, a commercial form of public art. “I get paid, which is great,” she said. “But I also get to reach a lot of people, which is ideal.”

Ms. Marie has also done projects worldwide, and this December’s sparkly windows are the last of her work before she heads to Chile to complete a public art piece.

She also runs a non-profit group, The Free Art Society, through which she creates public art with her friends. A Seattle native who’s lived in New York for the past four years, Ms. Marie is already well known in the neighborhood, and in November her Free Art Society hosted an Art Explosion of free outdoor art.

NYU Journalism’s Meredith Hoffman reports.