This month I was commissioned by the city of Yonkers, NY to paint a huge mural on the side of the Harold Statesman Building at 1 Larkin Plaza. I, along with other artists, were invited to add to the beauty of the waterfront area along the Hudson River. The mural project was funded by Mayor Spano’s office and GroundWork Hudson Valley, a non for profit that offers public art programs to the youth of Yonkers and headed by Haifa Bint-Kadi.
“Groundwork Hudson Valley is an environmental justice non-profit that works with communities to improve their physical and social environment. This is done by collaborating on projects, among them: turning dangerous vacant lots into community gardens, planting trees, replacing graffiti with murals, and forming alliances within the community. Some of these projects are done through school programs and many of them are intergenerational. We are dedicated to environmental stewardship and community empowerment. All of our projects engage local residents in hands-on projects, from design to planting.”
The mural coordinated with The Yonkers Art Weekend which featured a multitude of events including a color run, art workshops and live painting. There were also pop up galleries and an outdoor fashion show at the beautiful Untermyer Park with music courtesy of Onda Skillet.
I believe that public art is inspirational to all the residents of any urban neighborhood because it creates an aesthetic and cultural awareness usually found inside art museums and galleries. By creating artistic works on buildings it brings the intellectual ideals of fine art to all walks of life. And, wouldn’t it be more visually pleasing to see beautiful art on a wall as opposed to seeing a drab and lifeless flat surface?
I would like to thank Chris St. Lawrence, Haifia Bint-Kadi, GroundWorks, Mayor Spano and the city of Yonkers, NY for the support they have given me and my approach to the fine art of illustration.