Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk
Volunteers And City Interns Paint Longest Mural In NYC In The Rockaways On Day Of ServiceFor Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White joined NYC Service’s Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford, Benjamin Moore, artists and over 100 volunteers and interns to help paint the longest mural in NYC in the Rockaways as part of a citywide day of service. Hundreds of community volunteers lent their time and talents this past weekend to get the mural started, with City interns participating today as part of NYC Service’s annual “Intern Day of Service.” The day allows City interns the opportunity to provide hands-on assistance to communities in need.
“This mural is a symbol of the strength of the Rockaway community and just another reminder that Rockaway is getting back on its feet after Hurricane Sandy,” said Commissioner White. “We’re so happy to bring this year’s day of service to the Rockaways to complete this mural, the longest ever painted in NYC.”
“NYC Service is proud to host our annual Service in City Internship Day of Service today, helping to promote service as a core part of what it means to be a New Yorker” said Chief Service Officer Billings-Burford. “There is no better place to be celebrating this day than in the Rockaways, a community deserving of the renewed hope symbolized by the murals being painted today.”
“Rockaway has supported the success of Benjamin Moore and its dealers since our founding 130 years ago in nearby Brooklyn, so we’re very proud to participate in the community’s recovery in such an artful way,” said Benjamin Moore’s Chief Marketing Officer David Melançon.
In May, NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of the ordinary barriers along Shore Front Parkway 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. Over 500 community members voted at MoMA PS1’s VW Dome 2 in Rockaway to select three of those designs, which included designs by artists Jade Chan, John Garcia, and Patty Harris.
The mural is painted along both sides of the barriers, totaling more than a mile and a half. The barriers separate a pedestrian and bike lane from vehicular traffic along Shore Front Parkway from Beach 74th to Beach 107th Streets. There are approximately 20 access points for pedestrians, bicycles and emergency vehicles, bordered by plastic bollards.
This project has been made possible thanks to a partnership with NYC Parks and 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. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.
For more information on the project visit www.nyc.gov/parks and search “Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.”
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
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