By Abiha Naqvi ‘18
“The Peoples History of Flatbush Junction” is a mural that shows the changes over the periods of time in the Flatbush community, completed earlier this year in June by youth artists.
“We were aiming to appreciate all cultures and celebrate the diversity we have in Midwood and on Flatbush.”, said Ada Jiang ’18. The group of students were trying to have the mural accentuate positive vibes and portray the advancement throughout history.
“We had to paint 6 different faces on the mural, each representing a different time period,” said Sumiya Akter ’18. However, the artists didn’t base their drawings solely on their surroundings, they had help from an expert in order to gain information.
“A historian came to inform us about the history of Flatbush and that really helped enhance our knowledge and inspiration for our mural”, said Vicky Yang ’18.
The project took intense collaboration and dedication. The art students would work on Tuesdays and Thursdays afterschool every week during the spring.
“The mural has a variety of bold colors and paintings ranging from factory workers, Native Americans and even alien spaceships. Whenever I pass by it I can’t help but stare at the small details in the painting. It really shows the talent that Midwood students have, it’s amazing.”, said Mahin Alam ’18.
The mural has a blue background and abstract faces containing objects that relate to the time period. The first painting was of a Native American with objects like a boat and a cannon that made up different facial features. The last painting was of a girl with a futuristic city making up her face and spaceships surrounding her helmet, in order to portray the future.
“We were chosen by application style, I suppose. But it was mostly eager art students or those who were interested in art.”, said Yang. The students would sometimes project the sketch of the painting on the wall and trace over it, this method worked the best when it became dark outside. The final result of the mural was a mix of the student’s ideas.
The work took two to three months to make. The artists worked as fast as they could before the school year ended. There were only fifteen to seventeen people working on the mural and the weather was unpredictable. However, the end result definitely made most of them feel accomplished. The mural can be seen on Nostrand Avenue.
“It felt surreal when the mural was finished. It was a lot of hard work, it just felt so good to see our names written right by the art. I wouldn’t change it at all,” said Ada Jiang.