Last week, a group of youth-focused community organizations unveiled a new mural titled “We Are, I Am,” designed and installed by artistic young minds at the Marcus Garvey Apartments in Brownsville.
Located on the corner of Rockaway Boulevard and Dumont Avenue, the mural shows a crowd raising signs saying “We are Brownsville,” a young woman speaking into a megaphone, and a man holding a long planted vine in the palm of his hands, all surrounded by a deep purple and gold backdrop.
The colorful art piece was created with help from real estate firm L+M Development Partners and two Brooklyn based non-profits who work to bring about social change and prevent crime, Groundswell NYC and the Brownsville Community Justice Center.
Casey Angelo, associate director of programs for Groundswell, said the installation reflects the organization’s commitment to promoting social justice through youth, art and community.
“This project, a partnership between Groundswell and the Brownsville Community Justice Center, represents the best of what we do,” Angelo said in a statement. “The mural reflects many of the expressed values of both Groundswell and BCJC including investment in youth, community cohesion, and neighborhood stewardship.”
Groundswell artists Yolande Delius and Eric Miles, led the Brownsville artists in researching, designing and painting the mural.
The team met each week and explored the history of public art, identified social issues that affect their communities and developed the technical skills necessary to translate those reflections into a collaborative onsite mural.
According to Nia Hardwick, a spokesperson with Brownsville Community Justice Center, working alongside the Brownsville’s youth in the Groundswell Mural Program has been a journey of art, empowerment, and community.
“Through this program, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of art, instilling hope and a deep sense of belonging in a community often overlooked,” Hardwick said. “The young artists infuse every brushstroke with their passion, reminding us that talent knows no boundaries.”