In the Gowanus section of Brooklyn, a group of teenagers is transforming a drab, cinder block wall into a three-story mural to memorialize three children killed on dangerous Third Avenue and to remind motorists to drive safely. The mural is being organized by Transportation Alternatives and Groundswell Community Mural Project and painted under the guidance of acclaimed social activist artists Christopher Cardinale and Nicole Schulman.
The mural is located just a block away from where 4-year-old James Rice was run over and killed in February by Ken Williams, the driver of a General Motors Hummer. Rice was killed while crossing the street in the crosswalk, with the light, holding the hand of his 18-year-old aunt. Williams, like most killer drivers who don’t happen to be drunk, was let go by police with nothing more than a "failure to yield" summons. After the deaths of two young boys at Third Avenue and 9th Street in 2004, the Dept. of Transportation promised $4 million worth of pedestrian safety fixes for Third Avenue. Those improvements never materialized.
The unveiling of the mural will coincide with an on-street guerilla traffic-calming project being organized by Visual Resistance, the makers of New York City’s "ghost bikes."
This evening, T.A. is hosting a sneak preview and fundraiser for the mural project. Here are the details:
6-8pm, Monday, August 13th
6pm: Mural preview at the corner of 3rd Ave & Butler St
7pm: Refreshments at Sheep Station, 4th Ave & Douglass St
Brooklyn, New York
Suggested donation: $50.
Please RSVP to Brooke DuBose at ped [at] transalt [dot] org.
Artist and youth organizer Christopher Cardinale takes a look at the Third Ave. mural design.
"People have always lived on streets. They have been the places
where children first learned about the world, where neighbors met, the
social centers of towns and cities, the rallying points for revolts,
the scenes of repression… The street has always been the scene of
this conflict, between living and access, between resident and
traveler, between street life and the threat of death." –Donald