Rhoni Blankenhorn for COMPANY

(November 8, 2011) The Groundswell Community Mural Project was started 15 years ago with one mural, by a small group of young people in Brooklyn.  Since its inception, the Groundswell has transformed communities with public art that delights and inspires thousands of New Yorkers each day.  The murals are the result of collaborations amongst underserved youth, professional artists, and community organizations, and create a visible and enduring platform for the concerns and perspectives of communities.  Public art making’s connection to graffiti and street culture is one of many points of interest that draw youths to the organization. 

It’s incredible to see how far Groundswell has come.  The organization has created over 300 pieces of public art, and serves over 800 young people annually.  Mural locations are selected in partnership with community-based organizations such as The Trust for Public Land, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, the Brooklyn Public Library, American Friends Service Committee, and numerous NYC public schools.  Groundswell’s reach extends to court-involved youth fulfilling community service requirements and even involves some incarcerated youths at Riker’s Island.

“Public art developed collaboratively by organizations like Groundswell's contributes most distinctively to contemporary art by making art in the public sphere accessible to broad communities. Through these efforts, artists working in the public sphere preserve and extend the powerful role of visual art to express community values and advance social change.” – Sharon Polli, Director of Development and Communications

Groundswell is holding its 15th Annual Art Auction Benefit, Groundswellebration!, on Thursday, November 10, 2011.  Taking place at CUE Art Foundation, this year’s event will feature a silent auction of over 60 works donated by emerging and internationally renowned artists.  Wheat-paste master Swoon and crochet-queen Olek are very appropriately included in the mix, as well as established artists such as Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, and Lady Pink. 

The auction will also include younger artists actively moving forward in their careers, such as Zoe Crosher who was recently awarded the prestigious Art Here and Now Award by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  With such variety, Groundswellebration! is an opportunity for collectors to peruse the works emerging and established artists in solidarity with community focused arts organization.

For the complete list of 2011 Groundswellebration! contributing artists, please visit the Groundswell website.

The 15th Annual Art Auction Benefit
Date Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 7:00pm
CUE Art Foundation
511 West 25th Street, Chelsea
Cost Tickets start at $50, sponsorships from $1,000

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