Justice Mandala explores restorative justice: the act of seeking solutions that repair, reconcile, and rebuild relationships. Empowered to add their voices to the public dialogue, young people spent seven weeks connecting their personal experiences to the larger conversation about restorative justice. The youth explored the concept of the Buddhist mandala, contemplating what it means to live restoratively. The result is three vibrant and contemporary mandalas lining the back wall of the Brooklyn Detention Complex. Interspersed between the large circles are floating keys, which represent the ability to open doors and unlock new opportunities.
Hidden Treasures of Brownsville
Inspired by the theme of hidden treasures, nine young people on probabtion worked with Groundswell artists to complete an intensive mural research and design process, which included a field trip to the Brooklyn Museum. Through this process, the youth artists discovered one of the most important assets within the community - themselves. The resulting artwork invites other neighborhood young people and residents to discover new connections with one another as they celebrate the talents and treasures hidden in their own hearts and minds. This mural was created as part of "Transform/Restore Brownsville," a two-year participatory public art project, created by Groundswell with our partners the NYC Department of Probation and Pitkin Avenue BID.
Born and Raised
Born and Raised was created as part of the Gowanus Public Art Series. The central image in the mural is the Gowanus Canal. The Gowanus Canal has been designated a superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning it is a hyper polluted body of water. But due to local activism, there are massive cleaning efforts being implemented and planned for the canal. Despite the troubling issues surrounding the Gowanus Canal, many people have and continue to consider it home, and the canal has become an enigmatic symbol of the neighborhood. The mural's design centers on historically important locations around the Gowanus neighborhood. Included in the mural is the Gowanus Canal as well as the eight-story Kentile Floors sign, on one hand, an iconic landmark and on the other a company which manufactured asbestos-containing products. This mural recognizes also the solidarity between the Gowanus Houses (red buildings on the left) and the Wyckoff Houses (beige buildings on the right).
Collaborative Dreams reflects the aspirations of Tompkins Houses, depicted through collaborative portraits which represent collective identities. The portraits presented are incarnations of many thinkers, dreamers, and inhabitants of the neighborhood. The design utilizes overlapping patterns and shapes to suggest shared spaces and commonalities. Blossoming plant life and gleaming rays animate the contemplative faces and interact with the sources adjacent. Windows decorate the portraits and offer suggestions of personal and shared spaces and compound perspectives. Collaborative Dreams is reflective of the colorful characteristics, traits, and personalities of Tompkins Houses and the larger neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. It contains, motifs, patterns, and architectural elements which represent the community for which its created.