Public Street Art Thriving in Astoria, Queens

Along the outskirts of Astoria, Queens, amidst its booming arts scene, the area of Welling Court proudly displays the murals of legendary and emerging artists – from around the world and from its own backyard. The Welling Court Mural Project (WCMP), organized and maintained by Ad Hoc Art (AHA), has taken off since its 2009 inception and now features hundreds of site-specific works each year, when artists come together to transform the neighborhood into a creative celebration of public art.

 

Murals take over the streets and overflow from the walls, both literally and figuratively. The heart and efforts behind the works seemingly has seeped into the neighborhood – the project is 98% volunteer-based: artists donate their work, Ad Hoc Art donates its time and local businesses donate their resources. “Public art should be a no-brainer for any community that wants to create cohesion and positive outcomes,” says Ad Hoc Art Director Garrison Buxton. The result is a colorful, vivacious and booming display of extraordinary talent.

 

The community plays a part as well. Artist Alice Mizrachi, whose work is displayed in Welling Court, explains: “Creating art in public spaces engages community whether they participate in it or not. It creates a dialogue between the viewer, the piece, the artist and the collective consciousness.”

 

According to Buxton, “[Ad Hoc Art] plans to continue the project as long as it is wanted, needed, and supported by the community.” AHA is in the process of pursuing funding for WCMP through public and private partnerships that will allow it to be fiscally sustainable over the long term.

 

Its future looks bright. Unlike its counterpart, legendary street art site 5Pointz – which was tragically whitewashed in 2013 – the murals at WCMP are on many separate properties, each owned by supportive property owners. Should one owner back out, the others can continue on. So, we can expect to see the project thrive for years to come. After all, it is a perfect demonstration of how art and community can come together with common goals and amazing, positive results.

 

Welling Court is located in Astoria, Queens at 30th Ave & Welling Court.

The 7th Annual Welling Court Mural Project takes place on June 11, 2016.

 

Welling Court 2015: Art by Cernesto (front), C. Cardinale (back) (photo credit: Mary Alice Franklin)

Welling Court 2015: Art by Cernesto (front), C. Cardinale (back) photo//Mary Alice Franklin

 

Welling Court 2015: Art by LMNOPI (photo credit: Mary Alice Franklin)

Welling Court 2015: Art by LMNOPI photo//Mary Alice Franklin

 

Welling Court 2015: Art by Icy and Sot (left), PEACE (center), John Brainier (right) (photo credit: Mary Alice Franklin)

Welling Court 2015: Art by Icy and Sot (left), PEACE (center), John Brainier (right) photo//Mary Alice Franklin

 

Top Photo: Art by Lexi Bella, Danielle Mastrion & 2esae (left), Pyramid Oracle (right) photo//Mary Alice Franklin

See All Stories

RECENT STORIES

Don’t Miss Jackson Pollock’s Mosaic at Washburn Gallery

October 20, 2017 by

Jackson Pollock, the master of the art movement Abstract Expressionism, was a jack-of-all trades

Read More

Young Art Collectors Series Part III: Emily Counihan of New Art Dealers Alliance

October 18, 2017 by

A premiere gallerist, a specialist at Christie’s, and now an executive at New Art Dealers Alliance–all three interviews comprising our Young Collectors Series

Read More

Set Your Clocks to PST

October 10, 2017 by

Artists are focusing their work on social activism, legacy, migration, and the definition of identity for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA

Read More