SOUTH WILLIAMSBURG – A mural painted by the Brooklyn community and PS 257 was completed at 46 Graham Avenue over an October weekend, all curated by the non-profit Sacred Arts Research Foundation (SARF) and the Graham Avenue Business Improvement District.
A decade ago, a mural reflecting the local farmers market was painted on that wall and was vandalized over the years. Whited out, the wall was ready for a fresh narrative.
SARF is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide support for the arts through the provision of funds, space, and resources for artists. They seek to support those who create in the realms of visual arts, music, crafting, performance and healing arts.
The project was lead by artist Craig Anthony Miller, conceptualizing the mural to have environmental elements to bring the city block a piece of nature, and also encompass PS 257’s core values that they’re focusing on in the school year.
The school’s visual arts funding was cut two years ago, prompting SARF to involve PS 257’s children. In the initial inception of the project, SARF and the lead artist met with the school’s representatives and children to discuss ideas for the piece.
“We wanted to provide quality arts programming and quality art experiences to a neighborhood that may not necessarily get this type of programming, and specifically to give this experience to the school kids,” Andrew Jonathan “AJ” Block told Bklyner. “School kids being able to paint on something that resulted in a very grand scale piece of art is very rewarding and an opportunity that most kids don’t have especially in underprivileged neighborhoods.”
Block, a board member of SARF and one of the main producers of the mural project, hopes to bring at least one public art project a year to underprivileged communities–last year it was the mural at Borinquen Plaza.
“Every kid that goes into that school every day is going to walk by this mural,” said Block. “And they’re going to say ‘wow, I remember when we painted that.'”
Block and Miller emphasize the importance of community-building around this project and how beautifying the area has a great impact on the neighborhood’s identity.
“[Murals] make neighborhoods a go-to destination and beautify the mundane. I think a lot of people enjoy art but are too busy or intimidated to visit galleries or museums,” Miller wrote to Bklyner in an email.
The new mural titled “Nature Celebration” radiates positivity to every passerby.