On Saturday and Sunday, a team of students of the nonprofit The Future Project Dream Team at August Martin High School called “Operation Skittles” will team up with 5Pointz curators Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen and Marie Cecile Flageul to cover the hallways, elevator doors and staircases with one-of-a-kind artwork exploding with color.
“To us it’s kind of like making the pass to knowledge attractive and exciting,” Cecile Flageul said.
For the two days, more than 150 aerosol artists, all invited by Cohen, will volunteer their time and paint to transform the interior of the school, located at 156-10 Baisley Blvd.
According to the curators, this project symbolizes a “rebirth” of 5Pointz with a large number of people gathering together to create art pieces that will tell stories.
The Long Island City home of the graffiti mecca was ordered to be whitewashed by the property’s owner in 2013, just days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the site and requested the site be landmarked. Since then, the entire building has been demolished.
“It’s really awesome and symbolically it’s in Queens, it’s our initial borough. It’s kind of like a tribute to the spirit of 5Pointz and I don’t think we could have picked a better place than this school,” Cecile Flageul said.
She added that the response from participating artists has been intense and positive, with many wanting to continue having a relationship with the school and students even after the project is complete.
“To me it is incredible to be part of this project,” she said. “To be able to connect with those kids, help this school and start this relationship.”
The artists all want to inspire the students, help them achieve their dreams, and bring beauty to a school that some have called “the worst in Queens,” according to Cecile Flageul. Some artists have offered to participate in workshops for the students, and the 5Pointz curators also hope to continue being a “part of the family” with the school.
“Isn’t it ironic that what they call the worst high school in Queens and the so-called vandals of Queens are collaborating for something to better the future of the youth,” Cecile Flageul said.
In addition to the 20 kids from “Operation Skittles,” other students and teachers will also be volunteering their time during the weekend.
Although the painting on both Saturday and Sunday is closed to the public, the completed project will be revealed in June with a large art show.