Colorful Murals to Replace Graffiti on LIRR Overpass in Kew Gardens

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on May 2, 2014 6:37am 

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 The murals will depict the Long Island shoreline and Manhattan skyline.
Murals to Replace Graffiti on LIRR Overpass in Kew Gardens
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QUEENS — Murals featuring the Long Island shoreline and Manhattan skyline will soon replace graffiti tags covering the walls of a Long Island Rail Road overpass in Kew Gardens.

The murals, which will be painted on the 82nd Avenue bridge, between Austin and Grenfell streets next month, were designed by local artist John Chadwell.

The image on the eastbound side, which faces Long Island, will depict the Montauk shoreline and the Orient Point Lighthouse at sunrise.

The mural one on the westbound side, facing Manhattan, will show the city's skyline at sunset.

The images will combine a variety of bright colors, including yellow, orange and blue.

“The Long Island Rail Road has been in operation for more than 150 years, and Kew Gardens is kind of a gateway space" between Manhattan and Long Island, Chadwell said.

The murals, which Chadwell said would be 96 feet long and 4 feet tall, will be painted with the help of local volunteers, the organizers said.

The idea occurred to two local activists, Carol Lacks and Rosemary Sherman, as they were passing by the bridge about a year ago.

“I was so tired of seeing the graffiti,” Sherman said. “The minute they cleaned the graffiti, it happened again. So I said: 'Why don’t we do a mural here.'”

Sherman, who is involved with the Kew Gardens Council for Recreation and the Arts, said they worked on the project with the Department of Transportation’s Community Commissions program.

The program, initiated in 2008, commissions artists working with community-based organizations to create site-specific art that remains on display for about a year, according to the DOT.

The agency also covers the cost of projects up to $5,000.

“It’s going to be fantastic,” Sherman said. “When people are traveling in Kew Gardens and they cross that bridge, they are going to be surrounded by these beautiful colors and they will see these two wonderful destinations."

The group is planning to paint the murals during two weekends: May 31-June 1 and June 7-June 8 (from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Kew Gardens residents (18 years and older), who are interested in participating in the project are encouraged to call 917-881-3358 or to e-mail kewgardensarts@gmail.com by Wednesday, May 7.

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