A student-created, hand-painted mural took its place on Greenpoint Avenue, to welcome people as they arrive into the community across the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge.
On Wednesday evening, the mural, entitled, “Stages of Greenpoint,” went up along the front facing wall of 370 Greenpoint Avenue, a Broadway Stages owned building in which “Blue Bloods” is filmed – just a short distance away from the Brooklyn-Queens border.
The project, which has been underway since October, is a collaboration between Groundswell – a non-profit organization that brings together artists, community groups and youth to beautify neighborhoods and create social change; students from the Williamsburg High School of Architecture and Design (WHSAD); and the Greenpoint Youth Court – who took part in Groundswell’s Teen Empowerment Mural Apprenticeship Program (TEMA) to create the mural.
“This more than any other project we’ve undertaken so far exemplifies what a community project looks like,” said Patrick Dougher, the Program Director at Groundswell. “We are thrilled to be a part of Greenpoint and hope that this is just the beginning of several such projects.”
The idea behind the mural was to create something that would represent the history and future of Greenpoint – through the eyes of the students and artists creating it. The group took several trips through the neighborhood, interviewed longtime residents, and researched the landmarks and traditions of area.
Just some of the neighborhood landmarks that stand out on the mural include depictions of the USS Monitor, St. Anthony’s Church and McGolrick Park – a giant, unspooling, film reel – reflects the growing presence of the film industry in the neighborhood.
“I’m glad that I got to do this for the community,” said Safiyyah Wilkerson, 17, a student at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts, and one of the student participants in the project. “I want people to know that there’s a place for everyone and everything in our mural of Greenpoint.”
The project received significant support from local residents and organizations. Elaine and Norm Brodsky, Broadway Stages, Two Trees Management, the Greenpoint Chamber of Commerce, Roux Associates and Lori and Kevin Thompson are just some of the individuals and organizations that made the mural a reality.
“You should be so proud for beautifying the neighborhood in this way,” said Elaine Brodsky, who was one of the driving forces behind the project, to the students and artists who created the mural. “The minute I heard about this project I knew we had to work on it together as a community.”
Community members present at Wednesday’s unveiling said they would continue to work with Groundswell to find other locations in the neighborhood to follow through with the momentum created by this project.