Street Art NYC

I recently had the opportunity to speak to BedStuy Walls Mural Festival founder and chief curator Miki Mu about the hugely successful community arts festival held earlier this month on Lexington Avenue and Do the Right Thing Way in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

This is all so wonderful. What was your initial inspiration for this project?

This is my neighborhood. I’ve lived in Bed-Stuy for over ten years. I was interested in celebrating and beautifying my neighborhood. And I know the huge power of art to uplift a community! I also wanted to create a space where people and businesses in my neighborhood could interact. My vision for this particular project began about a year ago.

How did you secure these walls? They are in such a prime spot, and these murals have totally transformed the entire block.

My neighbor introduced me to the owner of one of the the businesses on the block. But there were many challenges to actually securing these walls. It was not an easy task!

What were some of these challenges that you encountered in seeing this project through?

After I did secure the walls, I had to get a permit to close the block for the day of the festival. The walls and sidewalk had to be primed in advance. I had to purchase supplies. The entire project was quite expensive. I set up a Go Fund Me, but I did have to cover most of the expenses myself.

You have here such a wonderful range of artists here — from legendary graffiti writers to noted contemporary urban artists to newer emerging ones. How did you get the word out to the artists?

We started an Instagram account, and the word quickly spread. So many artists expressed interest in participating — far more than I could have imagined. I still get requests!

How did the community respond to the event?

The response was tremendous! The community loved it! Families came out, and there were so many kids…jumping rope, dancing to the hip-hop music, making art and simply having fun! It was wonderful — actually better than I had anticipated! But I never could have done this alone; there were many folks whose generosity made this possible. Among them are: Chateau Brooklyn for serving as our mothership, headquarters and base; Badman Bus aka Cookie Monster Bus for providing music and a sound system; all of the DJ’s for volunteering their talents; Cheryl Foy, a retired teacher and resident of the block, for helping us secure the block permit and Joe Cirano from Rogers & Sons, the owner of the walls; the Blue Bus Project for providing activities for the kids; Radial Park for lending us ladders; Project Barkada, also, for lending us a ladder and scaffolding; Solidarity Movers for helping us move all the equipment from one location to another  and for providing, as well, a fun activity for kids;  Black Men Build, Black Chef Movement and Josiane Lysius for providing free food; Loop Colors for adding extra cans to our order; Frankie Velez, my co-curator, for assisting and supporting my efforts in every aspect of this project, and, of course, all of the artists for generously sharing their skills and visions with us.

What’s ahead?

I would like to make the BedStuy Walls Mural Festival an annual event and eventually attain non-profit status.

That would be wonderful! Congratulations!

Images

1. Carlos Rodriguez

2. Jason Naylor

3. Chelsea Garcia to the left of Manuel Alejandro

4. Will Power

5. Belowkey

6. Andre Trenier to the left of Megan Olson and Olga Correa

7. Nac 143 (left), OG Millie (center),  Bom5 with character by Miki Mu (right)

Photo credits: Lois Stavsky

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Currently on view at Underhill Walls in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn is a delightfully nostalgic trip down TV’s memory lane.  In the murals featured above, accolades are given to The Sopranos by Paolo Tolentino, while Subway Doodle honors Battlestar Galactica. Several more images from Underhill Walls‘ current iteration follow:

Multi-media artist Sage Gallon pays homage to “The Sonny and Cher Show” for its “talent and variety”

Painter and muralist Jessie Novik celebrates “I Love Lucy”

Artist and arts educator Carnivorous Flora recreates “The Partridge Family” as “little people with a bus rolling out the red carpet to Ukrainian refugees and welcoming them to NYC!”

Tattoo artist and designer DozenFingers Graphics celebrates the animated television series “Sonic the Hedgehog”

 Muralist and illustrator Miki Mu adds the final touches to her playful ode to “Sesame Street”

Visual artist and poet Android Oi — in collaboration with painter and illustrator Melissa Schainker — celebrates “Mork & Mindy,” (with project coordinator Jeff Beler standing to his right).

Founded and curated by Jeff Beler, Underhill Walls is a non-profit public art installation located at the corner of St. Johns Place and Underhill Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn,

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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Earlier this summer, several members of the OTM Graff Crew brought their spectacular skills to Bushwick, where they fashioned their distinctly impressive rendition of  Jurassic World Dominion. Featured above are the talents of Cortes and Scope against a background created by Cortes, Meres, Albertus Joseph and Topaz. Several more images captured from the huge production follow:

Cortes against collaborative background, closer-up

Meres, 5Pointz founder, who spearheaded this production

Austin, Texas-based Sloke One

Close-up  from collaborative background 

NYC-based Image

Boston-bred Qwizm

NYC-based Geobany

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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With support from lead sponsors NAMI NYC and the Howard Hughes Corporation, seven new alluringly fashioned You Are Not Alone Murals have made their way onto the South Street Seaport in honor of the 2022 BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month.  Pictured above are the works of the prolific Brooklyn-based artist Jason Naylor and, to his right, designer and illustrator Kasi Turpin. Several more photos of YANA murals — painted during two of this month’s hottest days and captured at dusk — follow:

NYC-based freelance graphic designer Eric W Lee

Bogota-native Calicho Arevalo does it in Spanish

Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Subway Doodle in collaboration with Iranian-American muralist Will Pay and NYC-based multimedia designer Zipeng Zhu to their mural’s right

Brooklyn-based visual artist Efdot in collaboration with textile artist and educator Jessie Mordine

Founded and organized by Dirty Bandits and Samantha Schutz, You Are Not Alone Murals is a pubic art project that inspires hope and connection though creativity. If you are feeling down, the number to text or call is 988.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

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Working in partnership with UNITAR to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2030, Street Art for Mankind has brought a huge, hugely impressive new mural to Midtown Manhattan. Created by the wonderfully talented Dragon 76, it spans 5,200 square feet at the crossing of Tunnel Exit Street and 39th Street. Several more images of the monumental mural follow:

Earlier on

Close-up with advice we need to heed–

Another detail

The completed mural

And another view with the artist (center) and varied supporters

The official unveiling and inauguration will take place tomorrow,  Thursday July 14th, at 11:30 AM, in front of the mural at 216 East 39th Street.

All images courtesy Street Art for Mankind

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During the first wave of the pandemic, several artists — largely working separately as they painted images onto plywood — joined forces to form the Soho Renaissance Factory. A diverse selection of these original works were salvaged and are on view through Tuesday, June 28 at ChaShaMa in Union Square. The exhibition, Beautiful Barriers: Street Art Beyond Walls, also features varied customized products including apparel, accessories, and skateboards in partnership with CocoRedoux. And joining the members of the Soho Renaissance Factory are guest artists EyeanticOPTIMONYCVanessa Kreytak, and 0H10M1ke.

The image pictured above was fashioned by the indigenous American multidisciplinary artist, Konstance Patton. Several more images captured while visiting the exhibition earlier this month follow:

Contemporary painter Brendan T. McNally

Brooklyn-based African American self-taught artist Amir Diop

Brooklyn-based muralist Manuel Alejandro aka The Creator

NYC-born, Jersey City-based Sule

 The legendary OPTIMONYC, guest artist

Hand-painted apparel, a small sample

A Closing Reception will be held on June 28, 6-9pm. You can register here:

Note:

June 26, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm
Moderated by T.K Mills, Editor-in-chief of UP Magazine
Featured artists: OPTIMONYC, Vanessa Kreytak, Eyeantic, Calicho, and Ohio Mike

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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Launched in 2009, Welling Court Mural Project has transformed Welling Court and its surrounding blocks in Astoria, Queens into a welcoming, wondrous open-air gallery. Under the curatorial direction of Alison Wallis, a diverse range of artists are now busily bringing their talents and visions to Welling Court in preparation for this weekend’s festivities. When visiting on Monday evening, I came upon several artists at work and a few newly fashioned murals. Pictured above is artist, curator and arts educator Alice Mizrachi with spray can in hand. Several more images follow:

Style master Noah TFP at work

The renowned Greg Lamarche aka Sp.One

Thailand-based artist Headache Stencil

The legendary Lady Pink, close-up from her almost-completed mural

Another detail from Lady Pink’s hugely impressive and uplifting mural

Japanese artist Shiro brings new vibes to her old spot

These next few days will bring many more artists to Welling Court culminating this weekend in a two-day festival. Featuring live painting a  marketplace and more, it will take place June 25 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 11-25 30th Avenue.

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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The Second Annual Troutman Rock has once again brought some of  NYC’s most intriguing writers together for a riveting first-rate production in Ridgewood, Queens. The image pictured above features the skills and visions of  FCEE, Nic1 and Curve. Several more murals follow:

French artist Seb Gorey, Homage, In Memory Of Kings

The legendary Greg Lamarche aka Sp.One

Queens-based style master Carlo Nieva aka Diego 127

The ever-ingenious Queens-based Chip Love aka Whisper

The amazingly skilled veteran graffiti writer Strider

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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While checking out several new murals at Underhill Walls in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn last week, I was delighted to discover a new open air gallery just a few blocks away.  Located at Washington Avenue and Clark Place and, also, curated by community resident and leader Jeff Beler, it hosts a captivating array of murals. A brief interview with Jeff Beler — its founder — follows:

What a wonderful addition go the neighborhood! What motivated you to launch this new project, Washington Walls?

I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 17 years and this spot had always been an eyesore.  It had originally been a garage, but it had been empty for years — with damaged panels in need of replacement.

How did you made this transformation happen — in terms of permissions?

I spoke to the contractor who contacted the owner of the property. The panels were replaced, and I was given the “Go ahead!”

When did it officially launch? And how did it go?

In February — right after Valentines Day. The entire community pitched in. Kids got involved. Everything went beautifully, and we all had fun!

These walls feature such a wide range of talents, styles and themes. I am familiar with many of the artists from Underhill Walls and elsewhere, yet several are new to me. How were you able to engage so many artists? And how did they find out about this project?

I put up a post on Instagram that I was seeking artists to paint, and the response was great.

What’s ahead?

A second edition of Washington Walls in September. We are also planning to launch shirts, tote bags, prints and stickers, along with a  book documenting the past seven years of Underhill Walls. And currently we are completing the newest set of murals at Underhill Walls featuring TV Nostalgia.

Murals:

  1. Uncutt Art
  2. Calicho Arevalo — with Jeff Beler on the left
  3. Paulie Nassar
  4. Jaima
  5. Outer Source
  6. Majo San
  7. Carnivorous Flora

Photos: Lois Stavsky

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

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As the Bushwick Collective readies for its 11th Annual Block Party, a first-rate array of artists from near and far have been busy at work around Troutman and St Nicholas Avenues and its surrounding blocks. Pictured above is the Dutch artist David Louf aka Mr. June working on a small section of his new huge, hugely impressive mural. Several more images of newly-fashioned murals captured in the rain yesterday evening follow:

The distinctly skilled Italian artist Ligama, segment of huge stunning mural

 The wonderfully talented Milan-based Mr. Blob at work on a small segment of his huge tantalizing mural

The New York-based highly versatile visual artist Cody James

Pittsburg-based artist Ashley Hodder, close-up from wonderfully ravishing mural

And — on a lighter note — West Coast based aritst James Smith aka 1.4.4.0 completing his delightfully playful mural 

You can view all of the murals — including many by local artists — this Saturday, June 4 at the Bushwick Collective Annual Block Party, while enjoying performances by KRS ONE , STATIK SELEKTAH & FRIENDS, NEMS, TERMANOLOGY, POSITIVE K, & 30 other talents.

Photos: Lois Stavsky

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