2013-09-06 / Community

Hartman Lane Mural: We Rose Above

By Dan Guarino

This summer, artists young and old, joined forces to create a work of art out of their Hurricane Sandy aftermath experiences.

Their collaborative mural, “We Rose Above The Challenge” reaches five feet high and stretches 35 feet along Hartman Lane in Far Rockaway.

Adorning an outside wall of Challenge Preparatory School at 710 Hartman Lane, the project developed from a partnership between Groundswell, LISC New York City and Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation.

Fifteen young men participating in Groundswell’s Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) worked with well-known street artist Swoon and artists Misha Tyutyunik and Angel Garcia to research, design, and fabricate the mural.

It was created as part of Recovery Diaspora, a collaborative citywide public art installation.

The work of these teens is particular- ly meaningful now, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

As a response to the devastation caused by Sandy, teen artists drew from stories of healing and recovery to create a visual narrative that captures the concerns, hopes, and overall spirit of the Rockaways.

The artwork was unveiled at a ceremony on Thursday, August 15th.

“We Rose Above the Challenge” depicts the chaos of the storm, the challenge of its aftermath and the strength of Rockaway’s recovery in bold colors and patterns.

Through their work, the artists show the hurricane as an almost living, breathing entity. Following along from left to right, the dark, storm-tossed scenes of people and houses give way to growth and rebirth. Making it uniquely Rockaway is the image of the A train, driving like a lightning bolt splitting the darkness between the storm and eventual calm. Groundswell’s Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), program employs more than 100 youth each summer as paid apprentices on mural projects that beautify neighborhoods and give voice to ideas and perspectives.

LISC New York City is dedicated to helping low-income New York City neighborhoods become healthy communities of choice – good places to live, do business, work and raise families.

The Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, created with the assistance of NYCHA as part of the Ocean Bay Hope VI plan for neighborhood revitalization, is focused on serving its community through advancing economic development goals and promoting revitalization strategies.

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