June 14, 2022 By Alexandra Adelina Nita
A mural intended to celebrate the communities of Queensbridge and Hunters Point and open dialogue between them will be unveiled by the nonprofit The Blue Bus Project Wednesday.
Titled “Bridging Communities,” its unveiling will take place on Fifth Street between 46th Avenue and 46th Road in Long Island City at 5:30 p.m. Queens Deputy Borough President Ebony Young will be present.
The mural’s creation has been a collaborative effort. It was painted by local Ecuadorian American multimedia artist Carla Torres whose work has been exhibited at the Queens and Noguchi Museum and who has previously been commissioned for public art by multiple city organizations.
Torres received creative direction from both the Blue Bus Project’s founder Annalisa Iadicicco and from community engagement in late May that influenced the icons, colors and symbols featured.
The Blue Bus Project was formed in 2016 and aims to build community through public art.
Iadicicco’s desire to amplify community voices and beautify public spaces through the Blue Bus Project stems from her own experience within the arts. She moved from Italy to New York to study photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked in movie and television production before returning to creating found art that focused on social injustices and environmental problems.
She emphasized that the participation of both Queensbridge and Hunters Point residents in the mural’s development in the form of informal conversations and focus groups was critical to the goal of the project.
“The purpose of recruiting participants from two distinctly different Long Island City communities is to facilitate crossing geographic boundaries to exchange ideas, foster a cultural bridge, and promote unity” she said.
Queensbridge and Hunters Point are two Long Island City communities situated only blocks apart. Queensbridge Housing is North America’s largest housing project consisting of 96 buildings and 3,147 apartments–while Hunters Point is an affluent area filled with luxury residential buildings.
The median sales price in Hunters Point in 2021 was $1,025,000, making it one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City as reported by Time Out based on a PropertyClub analysis.
The “Bridging Communities” mural was funded by the Citizens Committee for New York City, the Queens Council on the Arts and Plaxall Properties. The Blue Bus Project’s next event will be a community clean-up festival in four parks along Long Island City’s waterfront on June 25.
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