ABOVE: Pictured from left to right are artist Jocelyn Goode, Councilman Rory Lancman, Derek Irby, Laurel Brown, J. Manuel Mansylla of Totem, and Vignike Anderson of GJDC. (Photo: Walter Karling)
The Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC) unveiled a new art installation at the 165th Street Mall. The first-of-its-kind illuminated art wall will feature a rotating line-up of artists, the first of which was Queens-based Jocelyn Goode of CultureCocoa ArtHouse.
“We wanted to develop a simple amenity that would tell the story of the neighborhood and enliven the district at all hours,” said GJDC CEO Hope Knight.
Goode created the inaugural piece around the theme “Jamaica on the Move,” which was inspired by a half-day street art session held in May with local students, residents, and passersby. The ideas of the more than 30 people who participated are woven throughout the piece on display.
“This art represents the residents whose humanity becomes more apparent when we take a moment to slow down and inhale all that makes Jamaica so special,” said Goode.
With funding from Councilman Rory Lancman and additional support from M&T Charitable Foundation, the project is an effort to promote Jamaica’s rich cultural history and legacy.
“Downtown Jamaica is transforming right before our eyes, and this innovative art wall will help showcase what makes this community so special,” said Lancman.
The design of the modular art wall was created by urban design firm Totem. Each wall is six-feet tall and eight-feet wide and is constructed with two-way art panels that feature a unique nighttime luminescence. The wall, which sits atop a repurposed Jersey barrier, is easily moveable, not only allowing the public to visit the featured art, but the featured art to move with the public.
“Art is a very important part of place making in downtown Jamaica, and the mall has a tradition of hosting interesting and creative works of art,” said Derek Irby, executive director of the 165th Mall Association.