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Mural Inspired by Floating Gardens Unveiled on Toxic Gowanus Canal

By Leslie Albrecht | August 21, 2015 3:35pm | Updated on August 23, 2015 9:37pm

A new mural inspired by Mexico City's floating gardens was unveiled Thursday on the Gowanus Canal.


“Gowanus: Industry & Ecology,” by artists Julia Whitney Barnes and Ruth Hofheimer is on the side of the Dykes Lumber building on Sixth Street and Third Avenue. You can catch a good view of it from the rooftop bar at the Whole Foods on Third Avenue and Third Street.

Whitney Barnes visited Mexico City's floating gardens in 2013 and had them in mind when she and Hofheimer designed the mural. The piece includes an image of a tire filled with salt marsh grasses, a reference to the "floating gardens" that the Gowanus Canal Conservancy has installed on the canal in recent years.

“The many plant forms depicted in the mural act as their own kind of floating garden since they all get reflected in the canal,” Whitney Barnes said.

Both artists have previous experience creating murals in Gowanus.

Whitney Barnes made a wall painting in 2008 on a construction fence on Second Street between Bond Street and the canal.

Hofheimer, who also made a sculpture that decorates a Fourth Avenue median strip, painted a mural in 2013 on Huntington Street near the Quadrozzi concrete plant.

The new mural is part of a public art initiative funded by a $35,000 grant from City Councilman Brad Lander. The nonprofits Arts Gowanus and the Old Stone House co-sponsored the project.