Graffiti, Street Art, Graphic Air Museums all Over NYC

My husband and I took an early morning drive to Astoria, Queens in NYC to experience the Welling Court Mural Project (WCMP).  The street art – with murals on urban walls, fences and garage doors – is an 11+ year collaborative art project with graffiti and street artist created to bring life, peace and support to people.  It works, this art will inspire your thinking and make you smile.  We have come a long way since the 1970s when street art was illicit (and illegal), to a celebration of wall murals as art and self-expression.  Neighborhood communities nurture it and tourists seek it.  For those who think art has become too commercial, wall murals are the ultimate gift to the public – no gallery, no auction house, no museum…. Just take a neighborhood walk.

 

 

 

 

There are murals by more than 150 artists from NYC and around the world.  WCMP accepts applications from artists to paint the remaining flat surfaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

People can also apply to be volunteers – helping the selected artists prep, clean up and document the work.  WCMP will advise other neighborhood groups with their own plans for mural walls.

 

 

 

The Mural Project is at 11-59 Welling Court, Queens, NY.  There is a water taxi stop nearby and Citi Bikes ready to ride.  We drove there early and at 7:30 AM on a winter Saturday, we were the only car moving in the neighborhood.  We could stop to see every mural.  There is street parking available within a block of the murals.  The nearest subway stop is the Astoria-Ditmers Boulevard stop, then walk west on Astoria Avenue for about ten minutes towards 12th Street.

 

The Welling Court Mural Project

Why is Street Art in New York Such a Thing?  This article explains that New York’s graffiti art has flourished since the 1970’s and was spread throughout the city by taggers like Blade who tagged subway cars – moving walls.

 

These maps by Wayfaring Views show areas of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn which have concentrations of street art.

 

This Brooklyn hipster hound makes me smile.

 

Workshops

You can try your hand at this Graffiti workshop in NYC.  It is harder than it looks – an exercise in humility for most of us – and a LOT of fun.  Brooklyn Graffiti Art Workshops.

It is the nature of street art to skip the curators, the museum and the helpful information cards.  People experience the art without interpretation.  If you enjoy a little expert perspective, try Simon Armstrong’s 2019 Illustrated book, Street Art (Art Essentials)$16.11

Trespass.  A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art was published in 2010 and updated in 2015.  It is a collaboration between the author and featured artists, including a preface by Banksy.  It gives historical perspective to graffiti movement when it was an illicit form of self-expression and social commentary.  With political, social and technological change, street art has evolved. Trespass. A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art. $47.65 (used)