Sept. 16, 2021 By Allie Griffin
An acclaimed Queens-based artist has begun painting a mural on Steinway Street that celebrates Astoria.
Zeehan Wazed, painter, graffiti artist and performer, is creating a 175-foot mural reading “Welcome to Astoria” on the east side of the P.C. Richard and Son building, located at 35-18 Steinway St.
Wazed, a Bangladeshi American raised in the borough, will use a mix of spray paint and brushwork to complete the mural in his signature style that mixes street art and fine art abstraction.
The mural will feature iconic Astoria landmarks amid colorful overlapping lines and shapes to reflect the constant movement and interconnectedness of the community.
He is expected to complete the colorful mural — inspired by the diverse energy of Astoria and its residents — over the course of next two months.
“Growing up in Queens is so central to my perspective as an artist, and the richly diverse culture and people of Astoria are essential to ‘The World’s Borough’ being what it is,” Wazed said.
Kaufman Astoria Studios commissioned the mural to promote its “Innovation QNS,” a plan that involves the construction of 12 buildings along five blocks on 35th Avenue adjacent to Kaufman Astoria Studios as a hub for the visual and performing arts. The plan also includes the construction of 2,800 apartments and 209,000 square feet of commercial space.
“I’m so excited to help kick off the expansion of the Kaufman Arts District through Innovation QNS, which will help bring more arts and culture to the neighborhood and create more opportunities for Astoria artists to make it here,” Wazed said.
The vice president of Kaufman Astoria Studios said the team is thrilled to have Wazed as a part of the plan.
“Zeehan Wazed is among the most inspiring young artists in Queens, and that’s saying a lot,” said Tracy Capune, vice president of Kaufman Astoria Studios. “He’s one of us – his style reflects the vibrancy of our neighbors and the communities we love.”