Groundswell Community Mural Project ©

Acrylic on Wall
4 x 400 Ft

Lead Artist: Conor McGrady
Assistant Artists: Menshahat Ebron and Michelle Strasberg
Youth Artists: Sophia Dawson, Ebony Thurman, Annie Wu , Jan MinWu, Steven Medina, Jorge Beltran, Nequevah Williams, Nylejah Lawson, Glenna Washington, Jesus Ticas, Arthur Spruill, Krystal Yardon
Volunteers & Interns: Clare Herron, Katherine Gressel, Ed Bopp, Dana Wilson, Sehu Amennun

Location: Pacific Street between 3 rd Avenue and Nevins in Brooklyn

Community Partner: PS 38, Brooklyn



During the spring Groundswell got in touch with PS 38 in Brooklyn, with whom we had worked in the past. The school has a large yard, also used by the community at large, and surrounded by a four foot wall. In the winter of 2006 youth in our TEMA (Teen Empowerment Mural Apprenticeship) completed a mural for Atlantic Terminal Community Center. That spring the same group of youth worked to create this mural for PS 38.

As there were a number of walls, one over 100 feet in length, the group broke up into three separate groups. Each group took a section of the wall to design and paint. The groups decided to focus on the theme of recreation and community interaction for the mural. The first section focused on a series of separate vignettes showing young people interacting in the community. A girl eats ice-cream, teens braid hair and play cards and children share secrets and jump rope. Linking the vignettes is an image of a running track that curves and weaves its way through this part of the mural. The track reappears across the school yard in the second section which shows girls playing basketball, testifying to women's success in traditionally male dominated roles. The track itself symbolizes the journey from childhood to teenage years and the aim of striving to reach a particular goal.

From the image of the basketball players the mural depicts an image of a community garden. This in turn leads into an image of a girl running on the racetrack and surrounded by dominos that fall towards two elderly men playing dominos. In front of them is laid out a giant chess board. The mural ends with a long ultramarine blue wall displaying cropped images of basketball jerseys and sneakers. This part of the wall borders the basketball court in the yard. Painting finished in late June as school ended and TEMA closed with a celebratory party.