Category: Street Art

I created a world of diversity and tolerance in New York City

Diversity garden subway art

I was recently selected as one of 14 artists to submit work for one of four New York City subway stations.  I submitted my proposal two weeks ago and I am waiting to hear back soon (fingers crossed everyone, and send good karma this way).  The project is quite large requiring 140 horizontal feet of artwork!  I can’t fit the whole work on this page, but here are a few “snippets”. My design illustrates a world where diverse individuals (the flowers) live together without prejudice or intolerance. In this world, every flower is unique and varied, and thrives in harmony with its neighboring blossoms.

Diversity garden subway art
Snippet of “Diversity garden” art for NYC subway art

Neighborhood Influence:
To get my own feel for Astoria, I walked around the 30th Avenue neighborhood.  This community is a true melting pot of humanity.  Stand on a street corner for five minutes, and you’ll hear a half a dozen languages.  Watch the pedestrians, and see headscarves, yarmulkes, turbans, and Mets caps that only hinted at the mélange of different cultures that live in the area. It seems that everyone here has found their place, and that place supports the tolerance of others.

 

Section of "Diversity Garden" for subway art
Snippet of “Diversity Garden” for subway art


Designs and Metaphor
:
The fanciful design of my diversity garden represents the Astoria neighborhood. The wild assortment of flowers pose as the diversity of nationalities, religions, and cultural traditions existing in this community. These differences complement each other and it is the vast variety of the botanical species that make the garden so appealing.  Metaphorically, my garden microcosm celebrates a post racial/bias world where differences and similarities are celebrated and supported by all members of a community.  I believe Astoria is growing into such a community.  The ribbons weaving through the flowers suggest the connectivity of the residents in this urban neighborhood and the many ways they touch each other’s lives.

I created the flowers similar in size to the subway commuters.  As people walk by the blossoms, I hope they feel that they too are part of this colorful garden, just one more welcomed flower in the tolerant landscape of Astoria.

This makes me happy from “Top to Bottom”

If you follow my Instagram account (@kathyfergusonart), you’ll know that I love street art. I don’t mean that horrible tagging of initials that defaces everything it touches. I am referring to the beautiful, creative art murals by street artists that grace many city buildings.

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Brazilian artist Binho Ribeiro

Long Island City has a history of great street art beginning with the famous 5Pointz building.  It was once considered a mecca for graffiti artists before its demolition in 2014. Fortunately, Art Org NYC is bringing back great street art with “Top to Bottom”, a curated public mural project in Queens. One of these projects is across the street from my studio and I get to see new artwork created almost every week.

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Artist dMote – I love the tongue in cheek story of the street artist being chased from the scene

Top to Bottom is a series of murals by more than 50 artists, painted on the three-story exterior of a city block long building at 43-01 21st Street in Long Island City. If you go, make sure that you walk all the way around the building, looking both high and low – there’s a lot to see!  You might even see an artist hard at work creating a new masterpiece. I have included some photos of my favorites.

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Alexandre Keto, see a video about him at here.

Afterwards mosey across the street to 43-01 22nd Street and visit me in my studio.  I love having guests, just check in advance to make sure I’m in…(970) 376-7507.