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Graffiti Map Showcases Staten Island Street Art

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 27, 2015 11:57am
 Kwue Molly and the Projectivity Movement created the "Staten Island Art District" Map, which points to the location of 27 pieces of public art in the borough's North Shore.
Staten Island Art District Map
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STATEN ISLAND — A graffiti map locating must-see street art around Staten Island is highlighting murals in the borough.

Artist Kwue Molly teamed up with The Projectivity Movement to create the "Staten Art District Map" that show locations of 27 pieces of art around the North Shore.

"It’s for people who are unfamiliar with how much amazing, beautiful art is in the area," said Christian Penn, a member of the Projectivity Movement. "They're going to see all of what Staten Island has to offer."

The map — which will be printed and posted in businesses around the city — has more than 50 artists represented. Some of the murals, most of which were commissioned, were created by groups of artists.

About half of them were painted by Staten Island residents, Molly said. He hopes the map will help shine a light on the public art around Staten Island for people in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

"They have no clue," said Molly. "When you come here there's such a multitude of artists.

"I want people to feel and be part of it. ...I want them to recognize what we do here as a whole."

Molly and the group printed brochures of the map to be given out for free in local businesses and printed 100 poster size versions of the map that they will install in various locations, including the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

The maps will have a scanable code that links to an online version, with photos of each of the pieces listed on it. Penn said the plan is to try and keep the online version of the map updated as soon as new pieces go up.

"My goal is that every time a new mural goes up, as soon as that's completed, my goal is to add that," he said. "One of us will go take a nice photo of it and keep everything up to date."

The project started when Molly, who has been painting since 1989, wanted to map the murals he'd painted around the borough.

When he brought the plan to the Projectivity Movement, they came up with the idea to expand it and showcase all the art in the North Shore.

"I just happened to say let me build a platform to let all these people on the street know," Molly said. "Let everyone see all the artists work."

After the artists collective received a grant from Staten Island Arts to work on the map, they spent eight to nine months searching the North Shore for street art.

"Most of it was just me traveling around adventuring and looking for new walls to do and I stumble upon things," Molly said.

The group will hold a free opening reception for the map on Thursday night at Hub 17 in Stapleton, where several artists will show their work and Molly will sell 15 of the maps with custom art on it for $20 each.

The group plans to add Port Richmond and Mariners Harbor to the map by the end of the year, which they estimate have another 50 to 60 murals.

Penn said with all the construction going on in the North Shore, it's important to have public art on the walls.

"Personally when I look around, especially in a lot of the construction and development there, there's a lot of gray walls," he said.

"If you paint 20 square feet of space some colorful image, that can do wonders for the people walking by. People in that area start to get a sense there's community here, they want to make it better."

The openeing reception for the map will be on Thursday at Hub 17, 73 Wave St., from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information visit the event's Facebook page.