On Saturday, September 15th, Creative Art Works Teaching Artists and CAW Youth Apprentices recruited from Queensbridge Houses and Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement came together to create a community mural in Queensbridge Baby Park. This was the first of five murals to be created as part of Long Island City Partnership’s “‘Community Arts Connection,’ an arts-based strategy to connect all areas of Long Island City to enhance cultural vitality. Public art will adorn various public spaces around LIC to create a walking art gallery.”
CAW Teaching Artist Michael Mitchell designed the mural and, together with Teaching Artists Toccara Davenport and Sofia Pujol, supervised the painting. The design of the mural is based on feedback from a survey of local residents who were asked what images best represent their community and their hopes for the future of Queensbridge. Images includes families enjoying a picnic, children playing in the park, sailboats on the East River, a futuristic New York City skyline, and an iconic image of a man playing handball. The far right edge of the mural features a trompe l'oeil image of a blooming cherry tree casting a shadow on the handball court.
A show of community support
Parents and children as well as leaders of the Long Island City Community took part in painting the Queensbridge Baby Park mural. Deputy Leader of the NYC City Council, Jimmy Van Bramer joined Elizabeth Lusskin of the Long Island City Partnership and Robert Madison of Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement at Queensbridge Houses to kick off the “Community Arts Connection” Initiative. It was a joyful day of community art-making that will have a lasting impact on the neighborhood for years to come.