Tag Archives: 5Pointz

5Pointz artists transform August Martin HS in Jamaica


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

Over a hundred 5Pointz artists volunteered their time this weekend to make the hallways of a high school in Jamaica shine once again.

August Martin High School was filled with laughter and music on Saturday as 5Pointz curators Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen and Marie Cecile Flageul invited aerosol artists from near and far to cover the interior of the school in one-of-a-kind artwork.

The 5Pointz crew worked together with a team of students of the nonprofit The Future Project Dream Team at the school, who came up with the idea for the project called “Operation Skittles.”

The project — in which artists paint the school’s hallways, staircases and elevator doors — came after the team surveyed 500 students and found out that their fellow classmates unanimously felt the white walls of the school needed to be changed to enhance the atmosphere.

“I still believe that the classrooms should be kind of free of art so you can focus but why not have the hallways awesome. Why not have a school that you can brag about?” Cohen said. “Its cool because [5Pointz is] kind of inside out, it’s almost inverted. The students have a little treasure that not everyone will have.”

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On both Saturday and Sunday, over 100 artists are volunteering their time and paint to transform the school, located at 156-01 Baisley Blvd. They have been given the freedom to choose the art that will go on the walls, and each will have an inspirational word.

“Being able to use the power of art to inspire the youth is amazing and I know these kids that go here are looked at as disappointment because of their graduation rate but as time changes so does our methods of getting these kids into school,” Cohen said. “You just have to give them a little bit of inspiration.”

Along with being seen as the “rebirth” of 5Pointz, which saw its Long Island City home be whitewashed in 2013, organizers and school staff also hope this project will give the school which some call “the worst in New York City” a second chance.

“This alone might get [students] to school and create a sense of pride for their school that a lot of them didn’t have before,” said Syreeta Gates, The Future Project Dream Director at August Martin.

According to the school’s principal, Gillian Smith, August Martin is still considered an “out of time school” meaning it hasn’t made any academic progress in recent years and has a 39 percent graduation rate.

However, Smith, who welcomed the idea of the project with open arms, hopes a project such as coming together with 5Pointz artists will help build a sense of pride and push students to do better.

Some artists have offered to participate in future workshops for the students, and the 5Pointz curators also hope to continue being a “part of the family” with the school.

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“We want students to be so inspired that they want to stay in school because now they can see that dreams can happen and dreams can come true,” Smith said. “It’s a difficult journey; it’s a lot of work. But I think all of these little steps matter. To see this happen in a weekend all of a sudden makes you feel like, ‘I got it, the world is mine. I can do this.’”

Students involved in the project said they are excited to see their classmates’ reactions on Monday when seeing the hallways.

They also added that they think this project will help change the way people view the high school.

“It’s a sense of hope and pride because people talk so much crap about August Martin, it’s going to change how they look at the school, and students here are going to have so much pride coming here and saying ‘5Pointz did my school.’ Who else can say that?,” said 11th-grader Trivella Osborne.

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When asked what they would say to the artists volunteering their time to transform their school the students on the Dream Team burst out in thank yous and cheers.

“They’re making history right now,” said ninth-grader Latoya Mann. “It’s a resurrection of August Martin and 5Pointz.”

The completed project will be revealed to the public on June 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. during an art show at the school. Some artists will also be selling their work on canvas in order to raise money for the high school.

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5Pointz artists to transform hallways of August Martin HS in Jamaica


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@queensdreamers

The spirit of 5Pointz will be reborn this weekend, as over 150 artists from near and far are expected to come together to bring life to the hallways of one Jamaica high school.

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.

5Pointz curators Marie Cecile Flageul and Jonathan Cohen with August Martin High School Principal Gillian Smith (center). (Photo courtesy of Marie Cecile Flageul)

5Pointz curators Marie Cecile Flageul and Jonathan Cohen with August Martin High School Principal Gillian Smith (center). (Photo courtesy of Marie Cecile Flageul)

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.

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Petition started to prevent developers from trademarking ‘5Pointz’ name


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Supporters are coming together in an online petition to stop developer G&M Realty from trademarking the name “5Pointz” and using it on its upcoming luxury apartment towers.

Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street in Long Island City, and his company G&M Realty submitted an application early last year to have the name of the graffiti mecca, which has since been demolished, trademarked. He planned to use it as a name for the two apartment towers — one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall.

Last week, The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Wolkoff his application because a California-based real estate company had already trademarked the name. He can appeal the decision and reapply for the trademark.

5Pointz spokeswoman Marie Cecile-Flageul said Wolkoff’s decision to attempt to trademark what 5Pointz curator and CEO Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen and artists worked years to create just adds to the “constant disrespect” shown since the graffiti mecca was whitewashed in November of 2013.

Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight, only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the site and requested the site be landmarked.

Cecile-Flageul said that they decided to start the petition on MoveOn.org to shed light on what is happening and also to remind people that the fight still continues.

“We thought it was a good way for people to voice how much they care about 5Pointz almost a year after the whitewash,” she said. “People have not forgotten and are still willing to fight for the name.”

Cecile-Flageul also said that although the building is no longer there, 5Pointz still exists — but is just homeless. 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center was incorporated in 2003.

She added that although Wolkoff says he was part of the creation of the name, he had nothing to do with it and wants to trademark the name “as a marketing tool.”

Last August, Wolkoff released a rendering of a reserved space for graffiti which will be on the new building’s exterior near a rear courtyard, and will be open to the public.

Rendering courtesy of HTO Architect

“He is also insisting that the artists are going to be back and it’s going to be better and bigger. For me it’s very concerning because it shows no understanding [of] what 5Pointz really was,” Cecile Flageul said. “You can never really recreate what 5Pointz was.”

The petition, which since Tuesday garnered 2,094 signatures, will be used in case Wolkoff decides to appeal the trademark decision and will also be sent to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

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Construction progressing on boxy mixed-use building on Jackson Avenue


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre, renderings courtesy of ODA

Not long ago, foundation work was completed for a 11-story mixed-use residential and retail building in Long Island City.

Now construction work is moving on the ODA-designed project, and the lower levels of the 22-22 Jackson Ave. building are starting to take shape.

A construction poster at the site says the building is due to be completed by the summer of 2015.

The building, which is directly across from the crumbling 5Pointz site and MoMA PS1, will have more than 5,500 square feet of retail space and 175 rental units, according to filings with the Buildings Department.

It will feature an exposed concrete façade, a two-story lobby with lounge and library spaces, a gym, an indoor pool and a roof deck, according to ODA’s website.


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Real estate roundup: Nothing imminent planned for Sunnyside Yards, City halts Rockaway homeless shelter plan


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Jim Henderson/ Wikipedia Commons

Van Bramer takes de Blasio at his word that nothing is imminent with Sunnyside Yards

“The revelation last week that Amtrak is considering developing the Sunnyside Yards caught most people by surprise—including Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.” Read more [Sunnyside Post]  

5 Pointz building just weeks away from becoming rubble

“Demolition of the five-story building that was once at the heart of the 5 Pointz graffiti Mecca began earlier this week and is expected to be gone in about three weeks, according to building owner Jerry Wolkoff.”  Read more [LIC Post]

City scraps plan for homeless shelter in Rockaway

“One day after Councilman Donovan Richards asked the de Blasio administration to reconsider opening a men’s homeless shelter in his Rockaway district, the Department of Homeless Services said it has scrapped the plan.” Read more [Capital]

New Digs in Long Island City

“When Renee McAdams was attending Columbia Business School more than two decades ago, she swore she would never leave New York. But leave she did, right after her 1992 graduation.” Read more [The New York Times]

 

Real estate roundup: 5Pointz moves to new demolition phase, 22-unit mixed-use building proposed for Astoria


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Scaffolding up on Jackson Avenue side of former 5Pointz building

“Demolition has moved into a new phase at 45-46 Davis Street, the former home of 5Pointz. The last time we checked in, construction crews had erected fences on Davis and Crane Street. More recently, they put up the scaffolding on the Jackson Avenue side, shown in the first photo.” Read more [The Court Square Blog]

6-Story Mixed Use Building Proposed for 24th Avenue and 32nd Street

“In this new building, 19,837 square feet will be residential, 4,610 will be commercial, and the same amount will be a “community facility” at the address of 24-08 32nd Street.” Read more [We Heart Astoria]

Communitea Is Closing

“We learned yesterday that Communitea, the sweet little cafe on Vernon and 47th Avenue, is closing. October 26 will be their last day.” Read more [We Heart LIC]

Real estate roundup: 5Pointz demolition progress


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jeremiah's Vanishing New York

5Pointz Falling

“You can see the destruction as you roll past on the 7 Train, looking down into rubble. And get a closer look on the ground, through a grimy plastic window in the plywood demolition fence.” Read more [Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York]

5Pointz Demo

Queens’ ‘Forgotten River’ Looks Ahead to Cleanup and Change

“The 12th hole of the Pitch ‘N Putt Golf Course in Flushing Meadows Park might seem like an odd place to contemplate the future of New York City’s coastline. But if you stand there long enough, you might begin to see things.” Read more [Curbed]

New Ozone Park Public School Set to Open in Sept. 2017

“The city School Construction Authority indicated last week that the new public school designated to be built on an empty lot in Ozone Park is approximately 60 percent of the way through the design phase.” Read more [The Forum] 

11-story condominium building planned for LIC


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of Fogarty Finger Architects

New condos are coming to the Hunter’s Point section of Long Island City.

Local companies Charney Construction & Development and Ascent Development are working on an 11-story mixed-use residential and commercial building, which will have 56 apartments, according to New York YIMBY.

The building will be located on 11-51 47th Avenue, blocks from 5Pointzwhich is being torn down for massive apartment towers— and near MoMA PS1.

Designed by Fogarty Finger Architects, the proposed 125-foot structure will be comprised of 52,728 square feet of residential space and an additional 1,280 square feet of commercial space, according to filings with the Department of Buildings.

The building will also have 23 enclosed parking spots, and will also come complete with various amenities, including a kids room, a gym and a lounge. There is also a terrace that allows views of Manhattan.

An architect on the project said the condos, which will have lots of two and three-bedroom apartments, indicate a change in Long Island City of families moving into the neighborhood .

“Because you can’t buy anything in Manhattan, people are looking at these neighborhoods and realizing how great they are,” Chris Fogarty of Fogarty Finger said. “These are people looking to stay a while.”

 

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Demolition begins at 5Pointz


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

The walls have started to come down at the Long Island City site which was once home to the graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz.

Demolition began Friday at the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street as crews teared down the back wall with bulldozers.

Last month, Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property, said he hoped to begin demolishing the buidlings in August after initially looking to tear down the site months ago. The demolition is expected to take up to three months to finish.

Wolkoff and his company, G&M Realty, plan to build two apartment towers—one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall – with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

Jackson Ave 5

In October, the City Council approved the developer’s proposal to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight last November, only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the graffiti mecca and requested the site be landmarked.

Then earlier this month, Wolkoff released a rendering of a reserved space for graffiti which will be on the new building’s exterior near a rear courtyard, and will be open to the public. However, some artists and 5Pointz supporters are skeptical of the reserved space.

“Who knows what kind of artists it’s going to attract, what’s it’s going to be like and how are they going to manage that,” said Carolina Penafiel of Local Project, a non-profit arts organization which used to be housed in 5Pointz.

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Penafiel stopped by the former graffiti mecca to watch the early demolition and reflect on it.

“It’s sad to see that nobody was able to do anything,” she said. “It wasn’t just a building. It was 5Pointz, you know? I don’t think you could build something like this again.”

 

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Councilman Ulrich allocates $25K to clean up graffiti in district


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Cross Bay Boulevard can draw comparisons to 5Pointz with the amount of graffiti that has stricken its surrounding neighborhoods, but clean-up is on the way.

In his discretionary budget, Councilman Eric Ulrich has allocated $25,000 to graffiti clean-up in the district. Ulrich is teaming up with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which will choose a company for the clean-up, for the first time and is hoping to start the job next month.

Cleaning up graffiti in these neighborhoods and all of Council District 32 is something that Ulrich has funded throughout his time as councilman, but this year he has allocated more money than ever to hit even more problem areas, according to Rudy Giuliani, a representative for the councilman.

The focus areas that Ulrich outlined are the neighborhoods of Woodhaven and Ozone Park. This is where graffiti is the biggest problem in Ulrich’s district, Giuliani said. The company that is hired by the Queens EDC will then move on to other areas in the district, which include Howard Beach, Lindenwood and the Rockaways.

 

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5Pointz demolition expected to begin in August: reports


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Long Island City site which once was home to the graffiti mecca known as 5Pointz could soon be gone.

Jerry Wolkoff, owner of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, said he hopes to begin demolishing the buildings in August after initially wanting to have started tearing down the site months ago, according to published reports. The demolition is expected to take up to three months to finish.

Wolkoff and his company, G&M Realty, hope to build two apartment towers—one 47 stories and the other 41 stories tall – with close to 1,000 rental apartments, 32,000 square feet of outdoor public space and 50,000 square feet of retail space between them.

In October, the City Council approved the developer’s proposal to build apartment towers to larger dimensions than allowed by current zoning rules.

Last November, Wolkoff ordered to have the building and all the aerosol work that covered it painted white overnight only a few days after artists and supporters held rallies looking to save the graffiti mecca and requesting the site be landmarked.

Wolkoff previously said the towers would include about 20 artist studios and outdoor walls designated for artists.

Wolkoff did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

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LIC nonprofit reaches Kickstarter goal


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy Local Project

One Long Island City nonprofit will be able to keep its home after a successful online campaign.

Local Project, a nonprofit arts organization, started the fundraising on Kickstarter last month with a goal of raising $6,100 in order to help pay two months of rent. As of Tuesday, June 8, with three days still left in the campaign, the group surpassed the goal.

“I feel extremely accomplished. I’m extremely happy and super hopeful that everything is going to continue to go great,” said Carolina Peñafiel, founder and director of Local Project. “This is just a great thing for people to feel empowered and driven to continue working on our plan. It feels safe for a little bit.”

After having to move from its headquarters located at 45-10 Davis St. in Long Island City inside the warehouse of 5Pointz building, the group faced a 50 percent rent increase when making the move to a new site at 11-27 44th Rd.

Now with having met the goal, the organization will have time to move to its next step in creating a strategic plan and put it into place to ensure it thrives for more years to come, Peñafiel said.

Even with the Kickstarter campaign coming to an end on July 12, the group will still continue to collect money through fundraising and also an “El Hot Dog Boogie Rent Party” on Friday, July 11, starting at 7 p.m.

“Anything that comes in is extra and it helps us even more. It’s not over, that money will go to a safe place and keep us safe for a little longer,” Peñafiel said.

The party will feature music by local DJs, hot dogs and sauces by Pao & Cha Cha restaurant located at 23-03 Astoria Blvd., bread from Tom Cat Bakery located at 43-05 10th St., and beer from Lagunitas Brewing Company. There will be a $20 deal for two hot dogs and unlimited beer.

“It’s a way of celebrating to say thank you to people and celebrate. It’s part of the summer season at Local Project,” Peñafiel said.

Local Project also has a brand-new shared office/studio/co-working space for rent. The space was built using recycled materials and created by Long Island City artist Cristian Torres. For more information on the space click here.

Since starting in 2003, Local Project has offered exhibitions, mentoring programs, classes, co-working space, residencies for artists and much more.

Future plans for Local Project includes year-long exhibitions, events, a co-working space, mentorship for new curators and artists, a continuing partnership and student internships with the Information Technology High School in Long Island City and MoMA, and affordable creative workshops.

To donate to the Kickstarter until July 12, click here.

 

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Astoria’s The POP BAR to debut with July 4 bash, hot dog eating contest


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photos by Angy Altamirano


Something new is popping in Astoria.

This Fourth of July, The POP BAR, located at 12-21 Astoria Blvd., is making its debut in the western Queens neighborhood during a grand opening “Backyard Bash,” including live music, cold drinks and a hot dog eating contest.

Visitors to the establishment, owned by Astoria resident Jeremy B. Osslund, will be welcomed by a one-of-a-kind colorful façade designed by 5Pointz aerosol artist Shiro.

Inside, more large work from the Japanese artist covers the wall above the door and spreads onto surrounding walls over seating booths. The bar top was done by graffiti artist YESONE, and in front of the bar, another wall is covered in over 700 pages ripped out of “Betty and Veronica” comic books.

“I’ve always sort of had a little bit of obsession with graffiti and 5Pointz and it has a special place in my heart,” Osslund said. “When I reached out to Meres, it was right after 5Pointz got whitewashed and I was like, ‘Let’s have a place where graffiti artists in general can actually come and put their work up.’ And celebrate the entire artistic history of Long Island City and Astoria.”

The POP BAR also features a gallery in the front, which until the end of August will include work by Shiro, YESONE, and Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, curator and CEO of 5Pointz. All pieces are available for sale, and every two months, the gallery will change to feature different art forms by various artists.

Osslund, originally from Arizona, previously had worked as a consultant helping people open their own hospitality or food establishments. However, he then decided to follow what he was passionate about since a young age and opened his own location in the community he has called home for the past five years.

“There’s a future here, a very bright future,” said Osslund, who hopes opening The POP BAR will only be the beginning to building the neighborhood. “I’m really excited to show people my idea of what a good menu and drinks and a good time is, and hopefully everyone agrees.”

The establishment’s food is what Osslund calls “Pacific surf inspired” and mostly uses ingredients purchased from local vendors. The drink menu includes selections like a “Pimms Cup” that uses mint leaves grown right in the backyard of the bar. Along with indoor seating, the site also features a backyard seating area.

Along with the artwork up front, The POP BAR will also have movies playing on the backyard every day, with no sound, and on weekends will turn the sound up to show movies and an array of ‘90s TV shows.

Keeping up with the emphasis on pop culture, Tuesdays, which will be known as Tequila Tuesday, will offer $5 shots of tequila called “Bill Murrays” and movies with the actor will be show all day.

“POP is a word, it’s a verb, it’s an adjective, it’s everything. What is pop?” Osslund said. “Pop is a feeling you get, it’s the excitement when you are waiting for a bottle of champagne to pop, it’s after it pops and the thrill. Pop can be anything.”

The July 4 Backyard Bash begins at 5 p.m. and will feature music from the local band Another Dead Clown and a hot-dog-eating contest starting at 8:30 p.m. Artists will be present as well.

The POP BAR will be opened from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, and 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends. For more information visit www.thepopbar.com.

 

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LIC nonprofit Local Project turns to Kickstarter to survive


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of Local Project

After having to move out of the building that housed 5Pointz, one nonprofit is turning to Kickstarter to help stay at the site it has called home for the past few months.

Local Project, a nonprofit arts organization, has offered exhibitions, mentoring programs, classes, co-working space, residencies for artists and much more since starting in 2003. It previously had its headquarters and gallery at 45-10 Davis St. in Long Island City inside the warehouse of the graffiti mecca.

After the property’s owners decided to sell the location to construct two high-rise apartment buildings, members of Local Project were left wondering where to go and were excited when they found a new location at 11-27 44th Rd.


Local Project’s new location at 11-27 44th Rd. (Photo by Carolina Peñafiel)

However, after having to deal with a 50 percent rent increase, the nonprofit needs help raising money to pay two months of rent in order to continue being part of the community.

“It’s a New York problem, paying rent,” said Carolina Peñafiel, founder and director of Local Project. “We’re hoping to be able to breathe. We didn’t expect it to be so hard to get back on track. ”

The organization started a Kickstarter “Buy a Brick” campaign Thursday with a goal to raise $6,100 by July 12. As of Friday afternoon, $1,045 has been raised.

Supporters will receive gifts after donating on Kickstarter including a personalized brick on Local Project’s supporters’ wall, with a $25 pledge or more.

“It’s a new location, it’s a different crowd, there’s no 5Pointz in here that can back us up,” Peñafiel said. “Now we’re building this up again. Everyone that comes in lives in the area and they appreciate what we are doing.”

Once Local Project meets their goal Peñafiel said the organization would then be able to have time to create a strategic plan and put it into place to ensure it thrives for more years to come.

Future plans for Local Project include year-long exhibitions, events, a co-working space, mentoring for new curators and artists, a continuing partnership and student internships with the Information Technology High School in Long Island City and MoMA, and creative affordable workshops.

“We’re looking at this very positive,” Peñafiel said. “The horizon looks awesome and there are all of these opportunity and all of these great things we want to get back to work on.”

To donate to the Kickstarter, click here.

 

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5Pointz artists share their ‘whitewash’ experience through work in LIC exhibit


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Orestes Gonzalez

A group of 5Pointz artists have put their emotions and experiences on canvas, reflecting the day they found their graffiti mecca hidden behind white paint.

The artists, including 5Pointz curator and CEO Jonathan “Meres One” Cohen, have come together for an exhibition called “Whitewash” at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery, located at 21-37 45th Rd., just one block away from where 5Pointz once existed.

The show, which begins Saturday, features eight 5Pointz artists, who had major pieces on the building before it was covered in white paint, and two photographers, for a total of 58 pieces.

Each artwork dives deep into the emotions and experiences each individual faced on November 19, when the owners of the property on Jackson Avenue and Davis Street, the Wolkoff family, ordered the building to be painted white overnight.

Gallery owner and 10 year Long Island City resident Jeffrey Leder said that although many people question why he decided to showcase an exhibit featuring aerosol art, he said he wanted the artists to be recognized and to show visitors that their works are considered art.

“It was a sad end to an era here in Long Island City and I think the story needed to be told and the best way to tell the story is to create artwork,” Leder said.

Along with Cohen, the other artists included are Auks, Cortes, Jerms, Just One, Shiro, See TF, Topaz, Zimad and photographers Orestes Gonzalez and Hans Van Rittern.

Marie-Cecile Flageul, curator of the exhibit and 5Pointz spokeswoman, said they had wanted to do a “whitewash” show and keeping it Long Island City was important.

“I think it is extremely impacting for people exiting or coming to the gallery to…see a building that is still standing after four months, so you’re putting it in context,” Flageul said.

The show served as a method of healing and letting go of pain and looking ahead to the future, she said.

Cohen, who dealt with the loss of 5Pointz and his mother all within one month from each other, said although some of his pieces express the anger and frustration he felt when he woke up November 19, the process of creating the pieces for the show was also therapeutic.

“The exhibit to me was a good closure and way to vent, so I found it helped me to relate my feelings to the people that knew of 5Pointz and are devastated by its whitewash,” Cohen said.

He took his signature light bulbs, which normally are yellow and known to be funny, and made them white for the show to depict the “ghoulish” tone of the whitewash.

One of the last pieces he finished for the exhibit was a colorful collaboration between him and artist Shiro, which shows one of the female artist’s iconic characters blowing light bulb bubbles expressing hope and a happy look into the future.

“This is how we communicate best. This is what brings us all together and it did again,” he said. “Over there the walls were what helped tie us together and here are the canvases that are tying us together.”

Each piece in the show is on sale, including wine bottles, donated by Gianna Cerbone-Teoli of Manducatis Rustica, featuring labels designed by Cohen. “Whitewash” will run through June 8.

 

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