Events

gilf LMNOPi mural art Henley Vape NYC1 DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

Busy last week in the lovely backyard garden of SoHo’s Henley Vaporium were Gilf! and LMNOPi – two Brooklyn-based activist artists — collaborating on a mural in tribute to Kalief Browder.  When we stopped by, I had the chance to speak to Gilf!

It’s wonderful to see the two of you working together. How did this collaboration come to be?

When Kimyon Huggins, the curator of the Secret Garden Series, hit me up to paint a mural, I immediately thought of LMNOPi.

Gilf LMNOP at work Henley NYC DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

Yes, it seems like such a natural collaboration. How did you decide on the subject of this mural?

My work has recently focused on the kinds of issues and injustices related to the case of Kalief Browder‬. And since LMNOPi is such a wonderful portrait painter with a strong social and political consciousness,  I thought we would work well together.

What — would you say — is the intent of your art?

The only reason I make art is to change the world.

gilf lmnopi Kalief Browder mural Henley NYC DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

And what is it about Kalief Browder‘s story that has triggered your work?

What happened to Kalief is, sadly, not unique.  And it is outrageous. Yet, many people aren’t aware of these kinds of widespread injustices.  Kalief was incarcerated at ‪Rikers‬ Island at age 16 for three years for a crime he never committed. Two of those three years were spent in solitary confinement. Eventually his case was dismissed. This past June, Kalief Browder committed suicide by hanging himself.

What would you like people who see the mural that you have fashioned with LMNOPi walk away with?

I would like them to question what happened and demand justice.

LMNOP and gilf DEMAND JUSTICE: A Collaborative Mural by LMNOPi and GILF! in Tribute to Kalief Browder at Henleys Backyard Garden

Yes, what happened to Kalief is such a blatant, horrific injustice. We certainly need to raise awareness of the need for radical change within our prison system.

Note:  The mural will be unveiled this Saturday, July 11, at Henley Vaporium‘s backyard garden at 23 Cleveland Place, between Spring and Kenmare Streets, in Soho. The event is free and open to the public — with a BBQ and DJs — from 2-10pm. There will be a Q+A with the artists and curator at 7:30 pm.

Interview with Gilf! conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky.

Photos: 1 & 3 Dani Reyes Mozeson; 2 & 4 Tara Murray 

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Lady aiko street art mural coney island coney art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Featuring over two dozen beautifully-executed murals representing a diverse range of artistic styles, Coney Art Walls is a cause for celebration. Here are a few images captured this weekend.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh pays homage to the long-time residents of Coney Island

Tatyana Fazlaizadeh street art mural coney art walls coney island At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Lady Pink

lady pink coney art walls coney island street art nyc At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Kashink

Kashink street art coney island cobey art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Sheryo and the Yok 

Sheryo and the Yok street art coney island coney art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

El Seed

el seed coney art walls calligraffiti At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Roa, close-up

Roa skeletan coney art walls coney island At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Buff Monster

Buff Monster street art coney island coney art walls At Coney Art Walls with: Lady Aiko, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Lady Pink, Kashink, Sheryo & the Yok, el Seed, Roa and Buff Monster

Curated by Jeffrey Deitch, Coney Art Walls is located at 1320 Bowery Street off Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island.  And on Sundays — through September 6 – a curated summer music series and dance party happening takes place from 5pm – 11pm.

Note: First image is of mural by Lady Aiko. Keep posted to the StreetArtNYC Facebook page for many more photos of Coney Art Walls.

All photos by Lois Stavsky

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Wane graffiti Demolition Exhibit Jersey City  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

Green Villain‘s Demolition Exhibition has it all! With everything from stylish tags to captivating characters to first-rate pieces, it is a graffiti lover’s wonderland. Just minutes away from Downtown Manhattan, it is located at 410 Marin Boulevard, a short wall from Newport Mall. Here are a few more images I captured in the interior of the former Jersey City Pep Boys Auto Store while visiting Monday evening. 

Doves

Doves graffiti Jersey City  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

Curve and Mr. Mustart

curve mr mustart graffiti Demolition Exhibition Jersey City  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

The prodigious Evikt

evikt graffiti jersey city demolition exhibition  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

Jahan

Jahan graffiti jersey City  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

Mes, ThemoDistoart and Kingbee

themo kingbee mespfe distoart graffiti jersey city  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

Era

creep cloth era pfe graffiti Demolition Exhibition Jersey City  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

Goomba and Stay One

goomba stay one graffiti   Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

And the mastermind behind it all — Greg Edgell aka Green Villian

Green Villain  Green Villains <em>Demolition Exhibition</em> Converts Former Jersey City Shop into a Graffiti Wonderland: Wane, Doves, Curve, Mr. Mustart, Evikt, Jahan, Mes, Themo, Distoart, Kingbee, Era, Goomba, Stay One & more

This amazing feat — coordinated with dozens of artists and community members — was accomplished in partnership with real-estate developers Forest City Enterprises and G&S Investors. Through this weekend, you can visit the space any day from 12-8pm.

First image is Knows aka Wane; all photos by Lois Stavsky

Note: Check out StreetArtNYC on Instagram for more photos of images from Demolition Exhibition, and keep posted to our Facebook page, as well.

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icy sot welling court street art edited 1 The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

Curated by Ad Hoc Art, the Welling Court Mural Project is once again bringing a wonderfully diverse array of public art to Welling Court and its neighboring blocks in Astoria, Queens. Here is a sampling of what’s been happening as artists ready for today’s official launch:

Chris Cardinale

chris cardinale welling court street art The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

LMNOPI

LMNOPI street art welling court1 The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

Wane

wane paints graffiti welling court The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

RRobots and Evan Cairo to his right

RRobot evan cairo The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

Sinned

sinned street art action welling court The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

See One

see one welling court street art The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

Queen Andrea

queen andrea graffiti welling court The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project Launches in Astoria, Queens with: Icy and Sot, Chris Cardinale, LMNOPI, Wane, RRobots, Evan Cairo, Sinned, See One, Queen Andrea and more

The 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project officially opens with a block party today, Saturday, June 13, at 30th Ave & 12th Street from 12-8PM.

Note: First image is of Icy & Sot.

All photos by Tara Murray.

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studio sweet home public art NYC  <em>Juguetería/Toys Warehouse</em>    Interactive Exhibit by Studio Sweet Home    to Open at Exit Room NY for Bushwick Open Studios

The Studio Street Home duo — Colombian native Yeimi Salazar and Puerto Rican native Melvin Sanchez – began collaborating six years ago, soon after they met in NYC. Their first solo exhibit will open tomorrow and Saturday at Exit Room NY during Bushwick Open Studios. While visiting Exit Room last week, we had the opportunity to speak to its art director Daniela Zoe.

It’s great to see Exit Room NY so alive again! What a wonderful home for Studio Sweet Home‘s first solo exhibit!

Yes! To coincide with Bushwick Open Studios, I wanted to feature artists with a unique multidisciplinary approach. And I’m delighted to host Studio Sweet Home here at Exit Room NY, as Juguetería/Toys Warehouse is a great opportunity for the artists, our space and the public.

studio sweet home with text  <em>Juguetería/Toys Warehouse</em>    Interactive Exhibit by Studio Sweet Home    to Open at Exit Room NY for Bushwick Open Studios

studio sweet home healing  <em>Juguetería/Toys Warehouse</em>    Interactive Exhibit by Studio Sweet Home    to Open at Exit Room NY for Bushwick Open Studios

Can you tell us something about this upcoming show? What will Juguetería/Toys Warehouse feature?

There will be paintings, installations, sculptures, video projects, and performances. There will be something for everyone – as Juguetería/Toys Warehouse is not just an art exhibit, but an interactive experience.  A participatory performance will be held at 7pm on both opening days.

studio sweet home  <em>Juguetería/Toys Warehouse</em>    Interactive Exhibit by Studio Sweet Home    to Open at Exit Room NY for Bushwick Open Studios

Have you worked with Studio Sweet Home artists Yeimi Salazar and Melvin Sanchez in the past?

Yes, they have participated in group shows before here at Exit Room NY.

Studio Sweet Home art installation  <em>Juguetería/Toys Warehouse</em>    Interactive Exhibit by Studio Sweet Home    to Open at Exit Room NY for Bushwick Open Studios

What was it about Yeimi Salazar and Melvin Sanchez that initially drew you to them?

Their mastery of their craft, their talents and their versatility.  And I love the way their works attract participants.

Studio Sweet Home tragedy  <em>Juguetería/Toys Warehouse</em>    Interactive Exhibit by Studio Sweet Home    to Open at Exit Room NY for Bushwick Open Studios

What do you expect those who visit the show to take away from it?

The constructed objects and scenarios are certain to engage the viewer’s senses. There will be so much to see, stories to hear and objects and people to touch. And there are many subtle, suggestive, somewhat ironic, messages.

Studio sweet home at exit room nyc  <em>Juguetería/Toys Warehouse</em>    Interactive Exhibit by Studio Sweet Home    to Open at Exit Room NY for Bushwick Open Studios

What’s ahead for Exit Room NY?

We are expecting a visit from a legendary street art crew in August. We will keep you posted!

It sounds great! Good luck! We are looking forward to it all!

Note: The exhibit’s opening will take place tomorrow and Saturday, the first two days of Bushwick Open Studios. The exhibit will then continue until June 26. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.  EXIT Room is located on 270 Meserole Street, a short walk from the Montrose stop on the L train.

Interview conducted by City-As-School intern Diana Davidova. All photos courtesy Studio Sweet Home and Exit Room NY.

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N Carlos J The Beautiful Decay of fear <em>The Beautiful Decay of Fear</em>: Installation Underway for this Weekends Bushwick Open Studios with N Carlos J, Kirby Santos, Justin Carty, Danielle Mastrion and more

Exuding beauty, decay and fear, the extraordinarily atmospheric The Beautiful Decay of Fear opens Friday at 12pm. We visited yesterday evening and got a glimpse of the installation in progress. Here are a few close-ups:

Another image by curator N Carlos J

N carlos J art <em>The Beautiful Decay of Fear</em>: Installation Underway for this Weekends Bushwick Open Studios with N Carlos J, Kirby Santos, Justin Carty, Danielle Mastrion and more

Kirby Santos, close-up

Kirby Santos art <em>The Beautiful Decay of Fear</em>: Installation Underway for this Weekends Bushwick Open Studios with N Carlos J, Kirby Santos, Justin Carty, Danielle Mastrion and more

Justin Carty, close-up

Justin carty painting <em>The Beautiful Decay of Fear</em>: Installation Underway for this Weekends Bushwick Open Studios with N Carlos J, Kirby Santos, Justin Carty, Danielle Mastrion and more

Danielle Mastrion at work

Danielle Mastrion paints <em>The Beautiful Decay of Fear</em>: Installation Underway for this Weekends Bushwick Open Studios with N Carlos J, Kirby Santos, Justin Carty, Danielle Mastrion and more

The site of the exhibit is 225 Starr Street, where you will be greeted by a masterful outdoor mural by the wonderfully talented Ben Angotti.

the beautiful decay of fear <em>The Beautiful Decay of Fear</em>: Installation Underway for this Weekends Bushwick Open Studios with N Carlos J, Kirby Santos, Justin Carty, Danielle Mastrion and more

 Photos: 1 & 2 City-As-School intern Diana Davidova; 3-5 Lois Stavsky

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INTI santiago chile street art <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

Outdoor Gallery NYC author Yoav Litvin recently returned from a five-month trip abroad, where he explored the street art in several key South American cities and towns. I had a chance to catch up with him last week:

Those of us following you on Instagram got a mere glimpse into your incredible adventures on the streets of South America. You visited Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. What spurred your interest in that region?

I was curious. I had seen amazing works from South America online, and while I exploring the streets of NYC, I had met a number of South American artists.

Gonzalo Sánchez Painters vaparaiso <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

In what ways did your findings meet your expectations?

I expected to be blown away and inspired. And I was — beyond any expectations.

Stinkfish and APC crew street art bogota <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

What were some of the highlights of your trip?

There were so many!  Among them were: walking around the streets of Lima with Entes; coming unexpectedly upon an art festival in La Paz, Bolivia and being in São Paulo during its 3rd annual Graffiti Fine Art Biennial.

Entes y Pesimo Lima street art <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

Decertor street art Lima Peru <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

Do any particular impressions stand out? 

The juxtaposition between Peru’s rich culture and history and its current street art particularly struck me. And navigating Bogota was what NYC was like for me in the early 80′s. I always had to keep my eyes open!

Marcelo Mente street art Rio de Janeiro <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

Tarm1 street art rio de janeiro <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

What about some of the challenges along the way?

The biggest challenge — I would say — was the language. And living in the Vidigal favela in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro certainly was an experience.

Nove graffiti sao paulo brazil <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

Where do you think the street art scene in South America is going? Do you think it will continue to remain so authentic?

It is difficult to generalize as each city and town is unique. But I suspect that it will continue to thrive.

Apitatan street art quito ecuador <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

What’s next for you? 

This Wednesday evening, May 27, I will be speaking about my personal style as a street art and graffiti documentarian, along with the role — as I see it — of the street art photographer.  After sharing some of my experiences in photographing NYC street art and graffiti and publishing Outdoor Gallery NYC, I will speak about my recent trip abroad and present many images of street art that I photographed in Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. The event will take place 7:00 - 9:00pm at Nowhere Studios, 582 Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.

EVENT FLYER <em>Outdoor Gallery NYC</em> Author Yoav Litvin on the Streets of South America with: Inti, Gonzalo Sánchez <em>Painters</em>, Stinkfish & the APC Crew, Entes & Pésimo, Decertor, Marcelo Ment, Tarm1, Nove and Apitatan

Note: All photographs © Yoav Litvin, 2015

1. Inti, Santiago, Chile 

2. Gonzalo Sánchez “Painters”, Valparaíso, Chile

3. Stinkfish and the APC Crew, Bogota, Colombia

4. Entes & Pésimo & 5. Decertor, Lima, Peru

6. Marcelo Ment & 7. Tarm1, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

8. Nove, São Paulo, Brazil 

9. Apitatan, Quito, Ecuador

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NDA Iena Cruz paint Henley SoHo NYC  <em>The Secret Garden Series</em> Launches at the Henley Vaporium Backyard Garden in Soho with NDA and Iena Cruz

We stopped by the Henley Vaporium earlier this week to watch two of our favorite artists — NDA and Iena Cruz — as they were collaboratively painting a huge wall in the splendid backyard garden at 23 Cleveland Place. We also had the opportunity to speak to Kimyon Huggins, the curator of the newly launched Secret Garden Series.

Kimyon Huggins NDA Cruz HenleyVape  <em>The Secret Garden Series</em> Launches at the Henley Vaporium Backyard Garden in Soho with NDA and Iena Cruz

This looks fabulous! Just what is the Secret Garden Series?

Beginning this month and continuing through late fall, several leading street artists and muralists will spend one week each month collaboratively painting the back wall of the garden at 23 Cleveland Place.  During that week, visitors to the Henley Vaporium will be able to watch the artists in action. And at the end of the week, a reception will be held to unveil the final work and to celebrate the artists.

NDA paints street art mural HenleyVape NYC  <em>The Secret Garden Series</em> Launches at the Henley Vaporium Backyard Garden in Soho with NDA and Iena Cruz

Your first public reception takes place this Saturday, May 16. What can visitors expect?  

They can expect, of course, to meet and socialize with the artists and view the completed murals. They can also expect music by such DJs as DJ Jaclyn, KC and the Real Christiano?, along with food and drink. And they will find themselves among a great community of artists, art lovers, patrons and tourists from throughout the globe.

Cruz paints Henley SoHo NYC  <em>The Secret Garden Series</em> Launches at the Henley Vaporium Backyard Garden in Soho with NDA and Iena Cruz

How did you discover this particular venue? It is lovely.

The owners are friends and I like their anti-establishment vibe. The Henley Vaporium is part retail store, part education center and part social hub. Featuring a huge lounge, performance space and outdoor garden, it is ideal. Each month smaller works of art by each of the artists will be displayed inside the Henley Vaporium. Along with limited edition photographs of the completed murals, they will be made available for purchase online, with 10% of the proceeds going to public arts advocate StreetArtNYC and vape industry advocate SFATA (Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association).

NDA Cruz street art mural the Henley NYC  <em>The Secret Garden Series</em> Launches at the Henley Vaporium Backyard Garden in Soho with NDA and Iena Cruz

Which artists can we expect to see in the months ahead?

Other artists already lined up include GILF and Ivan Orama in June and Elle and Vexta in July.

It sounds great! We are looking forward to it all.

Note: The Henley Vaporium is located between Spring and Kenmare Streets and is easily accessible by public transportation.

Secret garden series  <em>The Secret Garden Series</em> Launches at the Henley Vaporium Backyard Garden in Soho with NDA and Iena Cruz

Interview and photos 2, 4 and 5 by Lois Stavsky; photos 1 and 3 by City-as-School intern Diana Davidova

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T Kid graffiti august martin high school The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

This past weekend over 100 artists — including such graffiti legends as T-Kid 170, Cey Adams, Cycle, Claw Money and Part One – transformed the blank white walls of August Martin High School into a dazzling, brilliant canvas. Curatated by Meres One with Marie Cecile Flaegul, the freshly-painted artworks represent a multitude of cultures, sensibilities and styles. While visiting yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to August Martin student, Justin Price.

This is all so amazing! Your school is an absolute wonderland! What inspired this magical change?

The walls in our school were recently painted white. They looked dull and unwelcoming. We wanted to bring color and life to our surroundings, so that we would look forward to coming to school. And we wanted to look at art that we could relate to and that reflected our culture.

Will Kasso grafffiti August Martin High School The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Whose concept was this?

August Martin’s Future Project Dream Team surveyed 500 students to find out what change they most wanted in our school. The students’ consensus was that they wanted to change the appearance of the school’s interior.

cey adams graffiti august martin high school The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Once you knew what you wanted to do, what were some of the challenges you faced? 

We had to come up with a proposal and a budget. That took us at least a month. Then we had to identify artists who could work with us. That was our biggest challenge until we were introduced to Meres and Marie of 5Pointz.

Zeso graffiti The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

How have things been working out since you met them?

Once we met up with Meres and Marie, everything went smoothly. Meres is an amazing artist and knows so many other amazing artists. And I just can’t say enough about Marie! She is so conscientious and caring.

Miss Zukie character art august martin high school The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Most of the students haven’t yet seen the murals. But what kind of response have you gotten from those who have seem them?

They love them. They can’t wait to pose for photos in front of them!

Steve Lew art Gillian Smith The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Part One graffiti august martin high school The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

And how have the teachers responded to this project? 

Their response has been positive. They know that if the students are happy and motivated, their jobs are easier.

meres graffiti art august martin high school The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Reme graffiti art August martin high school The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

And what about your principal, Ms. Smith?

She’s been 100% behind it. She’s worked hard to make sure that it happens and she has been here with us all weekend.

Remiks graffiti See tf Portrait August Martin High School The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Why do you suppose there are so many underachievers among the students here?

Many of the students here lack the support systems they need, and they feel easily discouraged.  So many are talented and really love discovering new things.

Cycle close up graffiti art August Martin High School The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

I don’t doubt it!  What are your thoughts about this project and its possible impact?

I love it! It makes me so happy! And I think it will have a great impact on the other students.

sembakkus graffiti art august martin high school The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Why is the project called Operation Skittles? I’ve been wondering about that!

Actually, there are two reasons!  Skittles are colorful and this project brings color to our school. And Skittles are the favorite snack of  Syreeta Gates, the Future Project Dream director here at August Martin.

BK Foxx art mural august martin high school edited 1 The 5Pointz Family Returns to Queens    Transforming the Interior of August Martin High School: Meres One, TK 170, Will Kasso, Cey Adams, Zeso, Kid Lew, Part One, Miss Zukie, Reme 821, See TF, Cycle and more

Now that makes sense! How lucky you students at August Martin are to have realized Operation Skittles!

Note: Keep posted to the Street Art NYC Facebook page for more images and for news about an event at August Martin open to the public in early June.

Photos and interview by Lois Stavsky

1. T-Kid 170

2. Will Kasso

3. Cey Adams

4. Zeso and Awez

5, Miss Zukie

6. Kid Lew with August Martin principal Gillian Smith standing to his left

7. Part One

8. Meres One

9. Reme 821

10. Remiks and See TF

11. Cycle

12. Sjembakkus – in from Amsterdam

13. BK Foxx

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After spending five months in London, Pyramid Oracle is back for a bit in NYC.  Opening today at 6pm at City Bird Gallery is Return, a five-day show featuring work he developed in the UK. We met up with the artist yesterday, as he was getting ready for this evening’s exhibit.

Pyramid Oracle face on wood close up  Pyramid Oracle in <em>Return</em>    a Surprise Show with New Works from London Opens Tonight at City Bird Gallery

Your works began surfacing here on NYC streets about two years ago. We were struck at once by their haunting, somewhat melancholy, beauty. What is the inspiration behind these works?

I’m inspired by the people, places and things I’ve experienced. I try to capture wisdom from the great mysteries, while depicting our existence in a sort of subliminal lull. I’ve been particularly inspired by the Native Americans I’ve met in Montana and New Mexico.

Pyramid Oracle wood 1  Pyramid Oracle in <em>Return</em>    a Surprise Show with New Works from London Opens Tonight at City Bird Gallery

When and where did you begin sharing your work in public spaces? 

I started around 2008 doing work throughout the Midwest.  My work first started getting recognized primarily in Chicago. 

What motivated you to get up on the streets?

I was hanging around train riders, graff artists and vagabonds. I was doing most of my work while traveling and spending so much time on the street that it seemed like the natural thing to do.

Pyramid Oracle face  Pyramid Oracle in <em>Return</em>    a Surprise Show with New Works from London Opens Tonight at City Bird Gallery

Where – besides NYC, Chicago and London – have you gotten up?

Minneapolis, Baltimore, Philly, Portland, and Miami. And in Iowa – Cedar Rapids, Iowa city, Ames, Fort Dodge and Des Moines.  

Just who is Pyramid Oracle?

Pyramid Oracle represents the body of work that I am developing. It is constantly evolving.

pyramid oracle in gallery nyc  Pyramid Oracle in <em>Return</em>    a Surprise Show with New Works from London Opens Tonight at City Bird Gallery

Who are some of your influences?

Among the artists whose works have resonated the most with me through the years are: Gaia, SwoonMata Ruda, LNY and OverUnder.

What would you like folks to come away with after seeing your work? Have you a message to convey?

It is open to interpretation, while its primary purpose is to facilitate a means of reflection and illumination.

Pyramid Oracle Return  Pyramid Oracle in <em>Return</em>    a Surprise Show with New Works from London Opens Tonight at City Bird Gallery

Return opens this evening at 6pm at City Bird Gallery and remains on exhibit through Sunday. The gallery is located at 191 Henry Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Interview by City-as-School intern Diana Davidova with Lois Stavsky; photos 1-3 Lois Stavsky; 4 Diana Davidova

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