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Pratt Students Decorate Empty Lot With A Hidden Message of Transience

By Janet Upadhye | May 8, 2013 8:33am
 A fenced-off empty lot on Emerson Place was recently decorated by Pratt students with original art.
Pratt Arts Students Decorate Clinton Hill Lot
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CLINTON HILL — "This will be gone soon" is written in large letters on the wall of an empty lot on Emerson Place. But no one can see it because the letters are invisible. For now.

"You will be able to see the UV-printed words when the photographic images behind the text begin to bleach with the sun," said Pratt Printmaking student Thomas Shapiro.

Shapiro is part of a group of students commissioned by Pratt to decorate a construction wall the hides an empty lot owned by the art school.

Located at 131 Emerson Place between Myrtle and Willoughby Avenues, the lot was once hidden by a plain blue wall embellished with graffitied obscenities. But the blue is now gone, plastered over by a large print mural made of photographs taken of the empty land behind the wall.

The composite images taken of the overgrown lot allow people to see what is going on behind the wall, Shapiro said.

"We are also looking at the fact that everything is temporary," he added. "There are all these big beautiful spaces that will eventually be turned into high-rises."

And in the case of the Emerson Place lot, that's likely to be the case. The property, a 34,700-square-foot development site, was purchased by Pratt for $13 million in May of 2012 to build a 17-story residential tower, according to The Real Deal.