Friday, November 2, 2007

CITYarts celebrates its 268th Mural Project at Ribbon Cutting

On Friday, October 26th, CITYarts held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of its 268th mural project “Heat Dances to the Sun’s Beat”, part of the Engaging Graffiti Kids in Creation not Destruction mural program. Participating in the ceremony was the Deputy Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, Tsipi Ben-Haim, artist James Evans and Adam Peachy, volunteers and guests.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Baruch Park Mural project completed!

The finishing touches have all been made as the Baruch Park Mural project "Heat Dances to the Sun's Beat", is completed and soon to be celebrated at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on the 26th of October, at 3:30pm. Many thanks to the artists, artist assistants, volunteers, to all the sponsors, and supporters who have contributed throughout the development of this Mural. This is a true monument of awareness and encouragement to the community, that will last for generations to come.

"CITYarts is proud to present its 268th public project. It is our responsibility to engage youth in becoming a part of the solution to reduce global warming. To achieve this, we have created a mural that raises environmental awareness."
- Tsipi Ben-Haim,
Executive & Artistic Director

Monday, August 13, 2007

Who Thought Questionnaires Were So Useful

While absently flipping through the CityArts volunteer questionnaires I came across inspirational answers. The answers that jumped at me this slow summer afternoon were filled with excitement and gratitude for the Baruch mural that is almost complete.

Question #8- Why do we need art in our lives?

- "To express how we feel without hurting others. To release any form of stress."

- "To make us smile, and brighten up the place."

- "Beautiful artwork inspires me to do art."

- "It gives the world a new look."

- "Art and other forms of creativity create balance in our lives."

Balance is especially important when you don't have the best environment. The volunteers from the Grand Street Settlement really captured the essence of the mural. Often times people tend to get wrapped up in the deadlines and arrests of life, but when you step back and observe you are less concerned with the little things and more receptive to the bigger picture. One volunteer wrote, "this particular mural comes to show that people do care about others."

What is glorious about the execution of murals is the social expression. One question in the questionnaire asks, "What do you imagine it is like to be an artist?" and one volunteer writes, "lots of wine, studio apartment and canvases everywhere." Even though painting in solitude is fine, intimate, and dandy, murals bring people of all backgrounds together to partake in one thing, "art".

- Nico, CityArts summer intern

Friday, August 10, 2007

A World of Magic: Disney Visits Baruch Place

Helping Hands

August 10, 2007

August 10, 2007

Things are moving swimmingly along at Baruch Park. Yesterday cheerful volunteers from the Lehman Brothers banking corporation came and exercised their creative talents by helping paint. James Evans organized the volunteers and a weeks worth of work was completed in one day! During our lunch break of Ray’s pizza Tsipi Ben-Haim, the executive and artistic director of CITYarts, talked to the volunteers and thanked them for their support. Listening to her motivating and visionary words renewed my faith in the project. This mural is a positive force in the neighborhood and as put by Michelle, CITYarts Scholarship winner; “We are bringing smiles into the neighborhood”. Michelle is right. We are brining joy and hope into a neighborhood that, at times, lacks these qualities. Watching this mural grow and transform has been one of the most rewarding opportunities of my young life and I can only imagine the impact it has made on the youth from the neighborhood. The Volunteers seem to understand the positive impact they were making and worked diligently, leaving their permanent mark in the community. With their help the underwater scene is almost complete. Outlines and further details were added by the volunteers making the sea creatures pop. A fanciful and whimsical seascape is coming to life and catching the eyes of the neighborhood. “You guys are doing beautiful work” was one comment made by neighborhood local while passing by the mural, further encouraging the group.
Bill Moakler, who created the CITYarts mural “Longfellow” in 1992, also joined the large group yesterday, bringing his artistic talent and enthusiasm to the mix. I was able to talk to Bill for a bit, asking him questions about his own art work and his history with CITYarts. He expressed his loyalty to the organization which has shaped his own life and brought him in touch with the youth of New York City. Bill quickly became one of my favorite people in the project. His veteran experience is admirable and has helped guide the hands and minds of James and Adam on their first mural project.
Overall the day was a huge success and passed quickly with lots of laughing and painting. Next week we look forward to getting further help from RockCorps, Vision Urbana and volunteers from the Trinity Wall Street Chruch!

Try to stay dry with all this rain!
Until next week,

CITYarts summer Intern

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Broad Strokes: Interning at CITYarts in NYC

Even as the days get hotter our painters, James and Adam, along with the many volunteers and interns, faithfully return to the Baruch mural. Day by day the underwater scene seems to become more and more vibrant filling with sea creatures and now scuba divers! We’re also adding some people among the rolling hills – walking their dog, feeding the birds, etc. Overall the mural is becoming a very beautiful and colorful piece of work that the community seems to be embracing nicely. As children play in the surrounding playground they often come by and ask us questions about what we’re doing and seem very interested and willing to help. Even the adults from the community ask if they can help paint something.

Next week is going to be a very busy and important time for CITYarts as we add more to the mural with the many new volunteers and groups coming by to help.

Stay cool,

Catie – CITYarts intern