Young artists and mentors from Creative Art Works (CAW), a nonprofit dedicated to empowering NYC youth through the visual and multimedia arts, unveiled yesterday a 150-foot-wide mural that celebrates the history and resurgence of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The mural was conceived and painted by 28 Brooklyn-based youth apprentices between the ages of 16 and 24 who participated in CAW's' Public Art Youth Employment program, an initiative that gives teens and young adults full-time summer jobs and part-time jobs after school to create large-scale public art and multimedia projects.
Throughout the program, the youth apprentices are guided by professional teaching artists, from the initial concept development through client presentation, to the final edit and public unveiling. Along the way, participants gain tangible employment and life skills such as leadership, teamwork, responsibility and the power of taking initiative.
An important goal of the young artists' mural for the Brooklyn Navy Yard was to inspire other local young people to explore the arts as a pathway to understanding the past and future of New York City.
"Our apprenticeship program gives young people a creative voice in their community and we are incredibly proud of their accomplishment today in completing this impressive piece," said Brian Ricklin, executive director of Creative Art Works.
The mural will be installed later this year at the Navy Yard's Dock 72 building which is scheduled to open in December. Located between two former dry docks, the new building is being developed by Rudin Development Company Inc., Boston Properties and WeWork, who will also occupy part of the building. Dock 72 is the Brooklyn Navy Yard's newest project that aims to provide collaborative workspace to the city's growing tech and creative industry, and will also include amenities such as a gym, a basketball court and dining options.
"The creative spirit that went into this mural will make a perfect addition to the open space and will help shape the waterfront for years to come," said William C. Rudin, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Rudin Development Company. "These talented youth apprentices vividly captured the resurgence of the Navy Yard as a hub for creative thinking and economic growth."