Guided Gateways

  • The central figures in “Guided Gateways” are two women in in “warrior pose” representing strength and mutual respect.
  • The young women get creative as they paint "Mural Coming Soon" on the side of the Food Bazaar wall.
  • The team shares its design with community members for feedback.
  • Lead Artist Crystal Bruno onsite with a youth participant.
  • Participants in the Voices Her’d program proudly stand before “Guided Gateways” at the mural dedication.
  • A detail from the completed mural.

Project Description

Young female artists, working in partnership with Groundswell and Food Bazaar Supermarket, created “Guided Gateways,” a monumental mural designed to spark dialogue about reproductive health in Bushwick. The public artwork presents a new perspective on supporting young women’s growth and development through self-love and affirmative decisions. Teen artists, participants in Groundswell’s Voices Her’d Visionaries leadership development program, hope to extend the conversation about positive reproductive health to the care networks of local young women.
The mural was created through an intensive research, design, and fabrication process, which began in spring 2014 during an afterschool research session and continued through Groundswell’s flagship Summer Leadership Institute. The mural is rich in allegorical symbolism related to fertility and reproduction. The dominant central image is a pair of goddess-like figures. Connected to one another in Warrior Pose, the elder figure guides the younger safely through the gateway of womanhood. Inspired by the collaborative dynamism of the project team, the figures remind viewers of our shared responsibility to mentor and support young women within our own communities. 

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Project Info

Fun Facts

Fun Fact
Many of the Voices Her’d participants had a fear of heights but overcame their fear in the effort to complete the mural.
“We want to portray a positive image that encourages young women to make affirmative decisions about their bodies and futures via choices around reproduction.” - Youth Participant Sammi Chan
Fun Fact
Voices Her'd Visionaries is a special program for young women who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to Groundswell and a potential for leadership.