The folks over at Groundswell contacted me last week, advising that the start of their 2014 schedule of mural painting was at hand. Their list of projects spanned three boroughs, with murals being created in Queens’s South Jamaica and Jackson Heights, over in Brooklyn’s Brownsville, Bushwick, and Greenpoint, and a couple of installations were even happening up in the Boogie down Bronx as well.

I opted to visit the Jackson Heights project, which was set to occur on the wall of a supermarket found at 34-20 Junction Boulevard. The actual mural project is on 34th Road, which is between 34th and 35th avenues.


Groundswell brings together artists, youth, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change for a more just and equitable world. Our projects beautify neighborhoods, engage youth in societal and personal transformation, and give expression to ideas and perspectives that are underrepresented in the public dialogue.

More after the jump…


Groundswell Mural Project has just unveiled two murals painted by young adults on probation along Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville. The works are part of “Transform/Restore: Brownsville,” a two-year public art project that aims to transform vandalized walls into colorful canvases that highlight the neighborhood’s hidden strengths.

The wall pictured above, Moving Forward, depicts important community figures like Rosetta “Mother” Gaston, a Brownsville organizer who lived to be 96 and founded the Heritage House cultural center on the second floor of the Stone Avenue library. The second mural, pictured after the jump, is called “Hidden Treasures of Brownsville” and celebrates the neighborhood’s youth. You can find the murals at 1788 and 1747 Pitkin Avenue.

Groundswell Unveils New Mural on Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville [Brownstoner]
Photos by Groundswell Mural Project


It’s a multi-faceted event for a multi-purposed cause. On Saturday, the eighth annual Rockstock and Barrels Festival will fill the Rockaway peninsula with about 11 hours of live music, gnarly surfing contests, rad skateboarding exhibitions and fun beach games. There will also be art, clothing and food vendors. Last year’s extravaganza attracted about 8,000 attendees, including surfers from as far away as California and musicians from all over the United States, to an area that was still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. This year’s event should be even better and proceeds will support the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that supports everything the peninsula has to offer, including the work of artists, writers, musicians and all lovers of surf and beach. 

Details: Rockstock and Barrels Festival, Boardwalk at Beach 90th Street, Rockaway Beach, June 28th, 10 am to nighttime. Free.

List of scheduled main stage performers: Matthew Kiss, 11 am; The Mourning War, noon; The Wordy Bums, 1 pm; Exit Verona, 2 pm; The King’s Heartbeat, 3 pm; Groundswell, 4 pm; Symptom 7, 5 pm; and Grim Pickens, 6 pm.

List of scheduled second stage performers: John Simonelli, 10:30 am; Ethoscope, 11:30 am; The Ready Hentchmen, 12:30 pm; The Disfunction, 1:30 pm; Rat-Trap Bumpkin, 2:30 pm; Kilzone, 3:30 pm; The Rev Jefferson, 4:30 pm; Shipwrecks, 5:30 pm; and Indaculture, 6:30 pm.

Plus, Kooly Chat will be the DJ all day long.


The Groundswell Mural project revealed its latest creation in Greenpoint on Wednesday. The mural was painted by teen artists and supervised by muralist Esteban del Valle.

Splashed across the front of music and film production center Broadway Stages, the vibrant mural greatly improves this block of Greenpoint Avenue, which sits next to the sci-fi digester eggs of the Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project highlights the neighborhood’s architecture and history, in addition to featuring the G and L train logos in “Welcome to Greenpoint.”

If you want to go see it, it’s on Broadway Stages at 370 Greenpoint Avenue.


Community arts organization Groundswell Mural Project unveiled a new mural yesterday called “Intersections Humanized” in Brownsville. Fifteen young people, some with a history of court involvement, collaborated with artists Chris Soria and Don Christian Jones to design and paint a 35-foot-high and 55-foot-wide mural on the side of a Lane Bryant store at 1550 Pitkin Avenue. The piece depicts a “central constellation of individual portraits” that “highlight the strength and diversity present in Brownsville, while creating a positive shared identity for the neighborhood’s 116,000 residents,” according to Groundswell.

The city is also awarding a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to Groundswell for a larger mural project in Brownsville called “Transform/Restore: Brownsville,” which will involve high-risk young adults, local businesses, and community members. As many as forty young people on probation will interview community members and then paint five murals inspired by Brownsville’s strengths along vandalized parts of Pitkin Avenue. GMAP

Photo by Groundswell