I Have A Dream


Groundswell Community Mural Project ©

Acrylic on Wall
Seven Panels, Total Dimensions 8 x 80 Ft

Instructor/Lead Artist: Conor McGrady
Artists: Nora Gecan, Kate Griffin, Saiya Miller, Jenelle E Bringer, Margaret Campbell, Jacqueline Gallerson, Ali Adkinson

Location: Chelsea Elliot Houses, 420 West 26th Street, New York
Community Partners: New School/Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts; I Have a Dream (IHAD) Chelsea




The Lang Mural Project began in fall 2008 as a class at the New School, whose primary aim was to research the history of public art and to design and create a work of public art. The class met with I Have a Dream (IHAD) Chelsea to plan on creating a mural for their computer room in NYCHA Chelsea Elliot Houses. The mural was completed in May, with over 60 children from IHAD Chelsea present at its dedication.

The mural cycle focuses on the theme of education, with each panel interlocking. The back wall depicts a group of youth and community members protesting for greater funding for education as opposed to military spending. Next to it is a section that shows young people collaborating to plan and build a better future. In the center of the room on a column is an image of Dr. Martin Luther King, from whose speech IHAD Chelsea takes its name. Painted in vibrant colors, his quote on education is echoed in imagery that symbolizes education as a process of enlightenment and illumination. Opposite is an image of Eugene Lang, founder of Eugene Lang College and a key figure in the establishment of the IHAD program. The next section depicts children planting a garden in the dense urban environment that is New York City. Next to this another group of children create, study and read. The final section of the mural, which greets anyone entering the room, shows three young people at a graduation ceremony. All of the sections are linked with imagery of subway lines, signifying mobility and the idea that learning is a shared journey that leads to a better future.

Special thanks to Ella Turrene and Rob Buchannan at the New School and to Treston Lambert and Elizabeth Cooke at IHAD Chelsea.