Public Art in My Neighborhood

East New York

I have lived in my neighborhood for more than 7 years and not too long ago (7/24/2012 to be exact), I noticed work being done on the wall underneath the park, leading into my train station. Like a thief in the night, one morning, I woke up to find that a mural had been painted on the wall. At first, I was annoyed by it because I took it as a sign of gentrification. As I passed by it every day, I gave it more and more appreciation. The mural is vibrant and full of just enough confusion to make me enjoy it. It is filled with inspirational sayings that help uplift my day just enough to get me to take the train in the morning with a smile on my face.

I looked into it and found out that an organization called Groundswell, had a Public Design Sharing event. Groundswell is an organization that stands to encourage collaborative art. According to them, “This process combines the sanctity of personal expression with the strength of community activism.” I admire this statement so much. They promote social change in the communities they serve and I fully support them. Before they made the mural that is there now, the wall as a formidable battered wall that I would refuse to walk by everyday. I would literally walk in a completely different direction because the dingy wall created a more dangerous atmosphere. Now that the mural is up, it lessens the feeling of alarm that usually comes with the area.

I must say that public art is one for the better. Public art is a simple technique that pleases the eye and the look of the city just a little bit more than usual. It is an honor to be amidst such artists all over New York City that come together to create such powerful pieces.