CITYarts, a not-for-profit that connects local youth with professional artists to collaborate on public art, recently began the restoration of their ‘Flowering Vine & Us’ in St. James Triangle Park, located in Chinatown. In keeping with social distancing measures, the painting is being done in small groups, masks required.
The restoration, which will include graffiti removal and color touch ups, is being led by artist Catharine Hart. The mural was originally completed in 2018 by CITYarts with the support of TD Bank and assistance of Urban Catalyst Lab as a pilot project on intelligent art to measure the transformative impact of public art to build sustainability. The participating youth are volunteers from all five boroughs.
“Flowering Vine & Us honors nature for the joy that it adds to people’s lives,” said Tsipi Ben-Haim, Founder, Executive and Creative Director of CITYarts. “Amid the heavy mood throughout Chinatown and the city, this special mural is a source of pride for the community and similarly bringsa smile to those that live, work, or just pass by.”
Artist Catherine Hart, who is working with the youth on the restoration, said, “I’ve had the pleasure of working on many collaborative murals, so I can really feel the energy of all the hands that went into creating this beautiful piece. It’s an honor to be able to work alongside young artists to restore this mural and bring back to life the story it once told. We hope to do it justice and honor all those that contributed to its creation.”
St. James Triangle Park is located at the intersection of St. James Place, Oliver, Madison and James Streets bordering the Civic Center, Chinatown, and Lower East Side neighborhoods. It is named for the nearby St. James Roman Catholic Church. The project is supported by Benjamin Moore, a manufacturer of premium paints and stains.
CITYarts engages youth in collaboration with professional artists in the creation of public art, including murals and mosaics. Through this creative process CITYarts empowers, educates, and connects youth and children locally and around the world to become active participants in realizing their potential to transform communities.
Founded by Tsipi Ben-Haim in 1989, CITYarts has created over 320 projects that have transformed communities and impacted over 200,000 kids, collaborated with more than 600 artists, partnered with over 2,000 sponsors, and engaged over 600,000 volunteers in the process. CITYarts’ projects frequently foster community revitalization by galvanizing businesses, schools, and community organizations into developing youth programs and constructing playgrounds and gardens.