June 21, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A public art project is underway in Long Island City, with a workshop and fundraiser already in store to garner community support for it.
The mural, with no definitive location as of yet, will likely be painted at one of several sites under consideration in the Hunters Point area, including Hunters Point Community Park and the LIC Dog Park on Vernon Boulevard.
The mural is still in its early stages of planning, but is a collaborative effort between an arts non-profit and several private donors and volunteers—all spearheaded by one local woman.
Sindy Aprigliano, a Queens native who has lived in Long Island City with her young family for nearly a decade, wants to see more artwork in Hunters Point.
“I want to do something that helps promote the cultural and artistic identity of the neighborhood,” Aprigliano said.
The area, while ever-growing, still retains an industrial feel, and doesn’t showcase the fact that people and families are actually living here, Aprigliano said. She believes Hunters Point needs more public art to promote a residential vibe.
“It’s one of those neighborhoods where all of these buildings are getting built, but there’s not a neighborhood feel,” she said.
Aprigliano has enlisted the help of Morgan Stanley, where she works, and CITYarts, a non-profit public arts and education organization, to get the mural project started.
One of the project’s first major steps will be taken this Saturday, when a workshop will be held to gather ideas from neighborhood kids and families as to the images and concepts they want displayed.
The mural will follow a theme of “peace,” Aprigliano said, and is one of many works that will form part of CITYarts “Pieces For Peace” collection.
The workshop will aim to have children come up with ideas and images centered on peace, which will then be synthesized by a professional artist and rendered into what will become the actual artwork for the mural.
“The genesis of the project is that kids come up with the idea for the mural,” Aprigliano said. “We don’t dictate it to them.”
Filling in the mural itself, however, will be done by local children, families, and other volunteers with the aid of the artist over the course of several sessions and months.
Aprigliano anticipates that the artwork and painting will begin in July, once a permit to paint at a desired location has been issued.
The perforated walls of Hunters Point Community Park on Vernon Boulevard and 48th Avenue, for example, is Aprigliano’s preferred location for the mural. But the permits must be approved by the MTA and the State Parks Department, a process still being worked out.
In addition, $45,000 needs to be raised in order for the project to be completed. Private donors, including Morgan Stanley, have already donated toward the project, but roughly $40,000 remains to be raised, Aprigliano said.
This Saturday’s workshop will also act as a fundraiser for the mural. For instance, a piece of art by Peter Sis, the famed illustrator and author of children’s books, will be auctioned off at the event.
The mural, if permits are secured, should be completed by October, and will be the first public art project in Queens by CITYarts.
The first workshop will be on June 23 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Playday, located at 5-37 51st Ave. To RSVP, e-mail Sindy Aprigliano at [email protected].