Artists Decorate Local Neighborhood

By Alasia Miller ‘17

In the interest of full disclosure, Alasia Miller is participating in the creation of the mural

The wait for art that revitalizes and captures the diversity of Flatbush is over. The Groundswell Community Project will be collaborating with Midwood High School in order to bring a mural to fruition.

Through seven faces, the mural will express the multicultural history of the neighborhood and will be located on Avenue H and Nostrand. Each face will be made up of things present in the decade it represents. For example, the first face on the wall is of a Native American man at a glance. But when one truly observes the art, the gradients of brown and the zing of teal come together to make clouds, a wolf, and boats, amongst many other items.

Initially, because of the poor weather conditions, students couldn’t paint the mural because the moisture from the wall caused the paint to peel. Weeks went by where students picked at the walls, mixed paint or repainted the walls white.

“I’ve never worked with a wall that was so tedious.

I could tell the students were frustrated and wanted to begin painting,” Lead Artist Misha Tyutyunik said.

Before sunrise on May 24, Tyutyunik decided that it was time to start painting, and he traced the lines with marker. Unfortunately, it slightly bled on the white walls, but not enough to distract the public from its charm. Passers-by on the sidewalk were mesmerized by the development and beauty that is now blanketing the previously plain wall and often said words of encouragement. Even from car windows, people applauded students painting the mural by yelling things like, “Keep up the good work!” and, “Nice Job!”

Michelle Yatvitskiy ’18 appreciated the motivating words from the public.

“I liked when people said encouraging things to us because, at times, painting the mural was quite tiring, but their words inspired me to keep painting,” said Yatvitskiy ’18.

At sunset, Tyutyunik and assistant artist, Iris Loughran, projected the drawings students developed in the early weeks of the community project. Then they traced the lines of the drawings with black paint. Two students, Alasia Miller ’17 and Paule Ouedraogo ’17, stayed to help quicken the process by refining the lines on the finished work and helped the artists trace the projected faces. Finally, at 9:30 p.m., May 25, two more traces of faces were finished and were ready for painting.

Students were hopeful about the mural and are satisfied with the results so far.

“I see it on my way to school and I think Flatbush needed a positive addition like this in the community,” Nasayah Murphy ’17 said.

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