Stronger Together

Project Description

Groundswell, New York’s leading organization dedicated to community public art, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and New York City Council Public Housing Chair Ritchie Torres collaborated on a major one-year initiative entitled “Public Art / Public Housing.” The pieces were designed and installed by a total of 200 young adult NYCHA residents ages 16-24, in the transformation of vacant walls throughout public housing developments in all five boroughs. The tenant's association at each development guided the creation of three mural projects, for a total of 15 new public artworks throughout New York City.
The first mural in the series at Castle Hill Houses, entitled Stronger Together, was painted within a public lounge in the Castle Hill Community Center to inspire engagement and a stronger sense of community. The young artists chose to represent the diversity in the neighborhood by including images inspired by members of the community. The individual depictions in the mural are linked by connective devices, vines and ropes, to symbolize the power that community members gain through unity. Various imagery throughout the mural contain elements of a whole in order to convey how parts consolidate, similar to the foundation of a community. For example, molecular bonds are incorporated to represent how the formation of water requires distinct components, analogous to how a cohesive community requires cooperative individuals. Additionally, the theme of growth and development is included throughout the mural, depicted in such as representations of the Castle Hill building transforming into a butterfly. The creation of Stronger Together initiated community engagement which will continue in the communal room it is displayed in to inspire unity at Castle Hill.
“I joined this project because I like art, a lot. I paint at home and I wanted to be a part of something in my community. Our mural theme is unity, which to me means everyone coming together so that we can all succeed. I feel some people do succeed but don’t help others out. It is important to pay it forward. Through this project we can send out this important message,” said youth artist and Castle Hill resident Brenda Rodriguez, age 20.
Read more about the process of creating this mural in the New York Times.

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Project Info

Fun Facts

Fun Fact
Youth incorporated various depictions of community engagement such as basketball, rallies, and agriculture.
Young artists chose to symbolize challenges they face through the incorporation of a tiger, an animal that regularly lives in isolation.
“Public art is a powerful way to reflect the vibrancy of our communities and people.” - Michael Kelly, NYCHA General Manager