On this sunny Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I volunteered with City Year New York at Patrick Henry Prep (PS/IS 171 Manhattan) to paint this book cover of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in one of the school’s stairwells for #MLKDayofService.
I was invited to help out with #MLKDayofService by my guy, David. He served with City Year in 2015-16.
As soon as I saw the outline for The Fault In Our Stars in the stairwell we would be working in, I immediately knew I wanted to work on it for the day. I haven’t read the book, but I love John Green, and yes, I’ve seen the movie adaptation.
Now, David and definitely are not Picassos, but I think we did a pretty good job with this. Some other books that were painted as murals in the stairwells included Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Maya Angelou’s I Know Where the Caged Bird Sings. Other community service projects for #MLKDayofService involved painting college pennants, putting together health and hygiene packages, and more.
I’m really happy that the students at PS/IS 171 will come back to school tomorrow to find inspiring artwork to look at throughout the day. I know I would have loved it as a kid.
Learn more about City Year, and check out NBC’s news video that features footage of the day’s volunteer work at PS/IS 171.
P.S.: David and I are in the auditorium scenes!
Remember that awesome Audubon Mural Project mural I saw a couple of months ago? The “Western Tanager” by Yu-baba? Well I found another one, this time a “Peregrine Falcon” by Australian street artist Damien Mitchell!
This mural can be found on St. Nicholas Ave. between W 147 and W 148 Street near the A, C, B, D station and M3 bus stop. I love how the falcon is depicted in mid-flight. Its eyes are also very captivating.
Watch Damien Mitchell paint the mural in the video below!
It’s been 16 years since the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001. I almost remember it like it was only a few years ago.
I was seven years old sitting in my second grade classroom in Queens, NY when it happened. I couldn’t really understand what was going on but everyone was sent home early and the footage of the Twin Towers, also known as the World Trade Center buildings, falling down kept replaying on every channel on the TV.
My parents tried to explain it to me. Seven-year-old Dana only wanted to know one thing: “What happens now?”
Back in 2015 I visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum where I saw this photograph of a Lower East Side mural by graffiti artist Chico. In it, Big Bird sits in a boat on the Hudson River, the Twin Towers and the rest of the skyline in the background as he holds U.S. flag with a bent stick. A heart with a crack down the middle appears in the foreground to the right of Big Bird.
The juxtaposition of a lighthearted children’s show character and the tragedy of 9/11 in this mural really hit home for me, as I was young when it all happened. Big Bird wasn’t the only one with a broken heart after those events.
See more of Chico’s art here.
During my trip to Puerto Rico, my friends and I visited Casa Blanca, the ancestral home of Juan Ponce de Leon, in Old San Juan.
In one of the rooms, there were a few colorful murals on the wall that really stood out to me. This one by Taller Coco de Oro in collaboration with Edgardo Larregui, native of Bayamón, Puerto Rico, was my fave.
I’m pretty sure the black and white portion of the portrait is an old photo of Juan Ponce de Leon and the rest is a top hat and blazer paired with a colorful beard of plantain. Also, peep the watermelon grin.
It’s basically a party in a portrait.
If you’re ever in Puerto Rico, I’d definitely recommend visiting Casa Blanca!
Over the weekend I came across this beautiful mural in Washington Heights on the iron gate of Marina Dental Center.
Painted by Belarusian artist Yu-baba as part of the Audubon Mural Project, the mural features a gorgeous western tanager, an American songbird, surrounded by leaves and berries.
In collaboration with Gitler &_____ Gallery, the National Audubon Society’s Audubon Mural Project brings awareness to the climate-threatened birds of our environment.
Needless to say, I’m going on a hunt for all the rest of these murals! There are 67 murals currently complete, with 247 left to be painted.
Learn more about the Audubon Mural Project.
Today I said goodbye to my first apartment in East Harlem, so I thought it would be fitting to feature this mural I saw in the neighborhood recently.
It’s such a tropical and vibrant mural with a butterfly, birds, and bright colors. Sponsored by KFC and Amber Charter School, the mural fits in so well with the community of East Harlem.
I’m not completely sure but it appears that the mural was created by
National Council de la Raza.
Adieu, East Harlem…
I stumbled upon South Carolina artist Patch Whisky’s mural for the Not a Crime campaign in East Harlem on the wall of Fabco Shoes a few weeks ago when I got off the M103 bus.
I cannot handle how adorbs his colorful monsters are! The one featured in this mural is reading a book and wearing a black graduation cap, hot air balloons floating around her.
Can I get a book recommendation? I’m always looking for something fun to read, and whatever she’s reading looks like it’s quite entertaining.
See more of Patch Whisky’s monsters at www.patchwhisky.com/murals and learn more about the Not A Crime campaign.
I was on the way to the New York Public Library a few weeks ago when this vibrant mural by South Carolina artist Tripp Derrick Barnes stopped me dead in my tracks.
Called “Dali Swirl,” the mural is painted on the doors of The Bar Downstairs at Andaz 5th Avenue. In it, Salvador Dali’s face, signature mustache included, is painted against a backdrop of rainbow of swirls.
As if Dali’s mustache isn’t wild enough, Barnes painted them to stretch above a set of bushy eyebrows, causing it to look like there are two palm trees on either side of the Spanish artist’s face.
It’s a riot and I love it!
Check out this behind the scenes video on the making of this fun mural.
We got our first snow in NYC over the weekend, but I wasn’t even mad because I had a reservation at Russian and Turkish Baths in the East Village.
I went with Karina, who has been to a few other bath houses before the one we went to on Saturday. It was my first time going to a bath house and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the aromatherapy rooms. It’s perfect for a cold day!
The mural above is on the wall in the hallway outside of Russian and Turkish Baths. I love how the entire painting has a steamy vibe to it, making it look so relaxing and dreamy.
If you’re thinking of going to a bath house or spa in NYC you should definitely check out Russian and Turkish Baths for a couple of hours this winter!
I saw this vibrant mural on the side of the Police Athletic League (PAL) on the west side of Harlem a few weeks ago while headed to pick up some items I found in a Craigslist ad.
I just had to stop and understand what was happening in this mural. There’s a trumpet-playing man popping out of a phonograph, and it appears that the sound he’s producing sounds like swirls and flowers?
Basically summer in NYC during the Harlem Renaissance.
The mural, called “Art of Jazz,” was done by Creative Art Works. Learn more at www.creativeartworks.org.