SLI/ Bridging the Gap


Groundswell Community Mural Project ©

Acrylic on Wall

15 X 75 ft

Lead Artist:Christopher Cardinale
Assistant Artist:Edwin Vazquez
Youth Artists: Rashawn Barino, Rochelle Wannamaker, Christopher Robeson, Cindy Andre, Brandon Dailey, Anthony Irizary, Brian Jean Louis, Cassandra Parbolus, Shavez Speller, Stephon Samuel, Cory Primo, Jonathan Figuero
Volunteers: Lily Rossebo, Ricardo Galvez, Eland Ward, Jackie Chang, Amy Sanaman

Location: The South West corner of Herkimer and Nostrand, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Community Partner: Baileys Café



This mural for Baileys Café highlights the importance of bridging the gap between community elders and youth as illustrated by different activities and services offered by Bailey’s Café.

The mural had five panels each showing different aspects of how the mission is achieved (from left to right): Panel one –“Celebration” is a literal depiction of the musical performances on the street corner in which the youth participated.  The panel depicts a woman from the local senior center, Ms. Peterkin, singing; a local musician, Michael Hill, playing guitar; the director of Bailey’s Café, Stefanie  Siegel, singing; and other members of BC and a man from the community who joined in spontaneously.

Panel two – “Healing” - The images in this panel show events at Hatti Carthan Community Garden from the day the mural participants volunteered there. Seedlings were planted around the base of two wooden African sculptures and a large pile of soil was moved using wheelbarrows and shovels which the figure in the foreground displays. A quote from the book ‘Bailey’s Café’ by Gloria Naylor is written in the earth issuing from the wheelbarrow.

Panel Three – “Bridging the Gap” –personifies this slogan as the towers on a bridge turn into an elderly woman reaching to embrace a younger woman. Crossing the bridge in opposite directions are two groups of people, one representing youth and the other elders.

Panel four – “Wisdom” – Two young people listen to a story being told by a Vietnam Veteran, Mr. Sweat (Black Veterans for Social Justice). His story forms a picture balloon which contains an image of one soldier carrying another wounded soldier to safety on his back.

Panel five – “Curtain Call” - The last panel depicts the youth participants taking a bow for their work in designing and executing the mural itself. This reflects Bailey’s Café’s work as an organization with a focus on theatre arts and building the self-esteem of youth in the community. The emphasis on theatre arts is underscored by a set of curtains that frames the entire five-panel cycle.