We recently had the opportunity to work with the Bronx community through a Groundswell public art initiative. Groundswell is a foundation rooted in promoting community collaborations and the art-making process, and its programs aim to create social change through the implementation of murals.
Because Groundswell works primarily in youth programs, there are enforced height and installation restrictions that inhibit younger artists from participating in the public installation of their work. A further hindrance was the necessity that they work off of static scaffolding. The particular wall chosen to display their summer project prevented their installation team from working on the location. Colossal Media worked with Groundswell on a pro-bono partnership to help them install the finished piece.
The mural was designed by one of their youth artists who then led the team in replicating the mural onto “parachute cloth” in their studio. Once finished, we coordinated an installation date and rigged the wall with our equipment five days before the dedication to the community. We then had one of our painters work alongside a Groundswell senior production coordinator to adhere sections of the parachute cloth onto the wall and apply touch-ups on the seams.
Our team had never worked with that type of material in the past, and working alongside an unfamiliar team presented a unique set of challenges. We pushed back everything in our slammed production cycle in order to accommodate the job because of how important it is to our company to contribute to public art and youth programs. The project was a memorable and positive experience. Groundswell’s team couldn’t have had nicer words for us and at the end of the day, the Hunts Point community has another piece of artwork adorning its walls designed and executed by its kids and artists.