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Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVIII, Number 5888
Thursday, Jun 27, 2013

Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project Winners Announced

Design Submitted by John Garcia

NYC Parks is pleased to announce the winning designs for the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project, selected by the Rockaway community by popular vote. Over Memorial Day weekend, nearly 500 people cast their votes for their favorite design at MoMA PS1’s VW Dome 2. Artists Jade Chan, John Garcia and Patty Harris received the most votes, and will join volunteers to paint their striking designs along both sides of the jersey barrier protecting the new pedestrian and bike lane on Shorefront Parkway. Painting will take place this summer, with volunteer dates to be announced shortly. Those interested in helping can email to receive these dates when they are confirmed.

The barriers will separate a pedestrian and bike lane from vehicular traffic for approximately 1.5 miles along Shore Front Parkway from Beach 74th to Beach 107th Streets. There will be approximately 20 access points for pedestrians, bicycles and emergency vehicles, bordered by plastic bollards. The barriers are currently being placed along Shore Front Parkway and are anticipated to be installed along the entire stretch by the end of the month.

For this contest, Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Artists were encouraged to offer proposals that consisted of a simple, bold pattern that could be painted by volunteers using stencils. They were instructed to account for the function of the barrier and its uneven surface, as well as the community’s design preferences, which were gathered at a community brainstorming session. After receiving more than 50 submissions, a committee of NYC and Rockaway artists, architects and designers selected ten finalists. Images of the finalists’ and winners’ proposals can viewed on our website.

Parks is partnering with the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, New York Cares, and community groups – including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach – on this initiative.

About the Artists

Jade Chan’s design for the Rockaway barriers is titled In Flight. When she visited Rockaway Beach, she was inspired by the warmth, the sun and the colors that jumped out at her from the sky, water and sand. The sound of the surf and the breeze upon her skin was exhilarating. She observed the birds in flight and was inspired by this free and liberating vision. Chan sees In Flight as a representation of the freedom and strength of the human spirit.

As a surf regular of Rockaway Beach, John Garcia hopes to pay tribute to Rockaway Beach’s surf culture in his barrier mural. He will paint images of Rockaway surfers riding waves, along with the birds that often keep them company on the water and on the shore. These images of birds and surfers will sit on top of an aquatic abstract backdrop that captures the mystery and beauty of the ocean. The barriers will also include the text “Welcome to the Rockaways” as an invitation for others to experience the waves and serenity of Rockaway Beach.

As an artist, Patty Harris has created animations of floods and is fascinated by the way water moves. Experienced in looking closely at the sea, she pulled a few simple forms that suggest the movement and pattern of a wave. For the Shore Parkway barrier, Patty will paint shapes that express the undulating movement of a wave. She will add curved shapes that hold water of a slightly different color—just as actual water displays a range of hues. To this rhythmical simple pattern, Harris will include the silhouetted forms of surfers at the crests of the waves.


“Humor is also a way of saying something serious.”

T. S. Eliot
(1888 - 1965)
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