Destination Bed-Stuy: Art, Hip-Hop & Murals, a new quarterly art symposium that celebrates the neighborhood’s contribution to hip-hop culture through the lens of art, launched on Saturday at BKLYN Commons in Bedford Stuyvesant.
The day-long event, curated and hosted by Brooklyn designer and entrepreneur Atim Annette Oton, featured panel discussions, an art exhibition, an on-site mural creation, music and live performances.
Renown graffiti artists Al Diaz, author and illustrator Ashshahid Muhammad and poet Patricia Spears joined Oton for The Streets: Hip-Hop, Graffiti and Murals, a talk on the history of graffiti art and its acceptance into the world of mural painting. A second panel, The Gallery: Curating Hip-Hop and Graffiti featured Bishop Gallery owner Stevenson Dunn and creative curator Christina Artwell.
DJ Corey Giles of WBLS-FM provided the sounds that kept the guests moving and grooving, while rappers Eye Pound and Os heated up the crowd with their lyricism.
The evening concluded with a special honor for Al Diaz, the graffiti legend who is probably best known for his collaboration with Jean Michel Basquiat on SAMO, a graffiti that appeared in lower Manhattan from 1977 to 1979. The Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn Borough Director Jamila Pringle-Fynes of the Mayor’s Office presented Diaz with citations to honor his outstanding contribution to NYC’s art culture.
The next symposium, Destination Bed-Stuy: Art, Health and Wellness, will return to BKLYN Commons on Saturday, May 4, from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.