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“Welling Court” 2014, a Grassroots Mural Event Turns 5 in Queens

“Welling Court” 2014, a Grassroots Mural Event Turns 5 in Queens

When the revered graffiti holy place named 5Pointz in Queens, New York was buffed and slated officially for demolition last fall the collective response of the graffiti / Street Art fan base and community was horror and lament. Nonetheless, community persists, and art in the streets is stronger than ever in many cities, including right here in Queens which has played host to an ever growing grassroots exhibition on the walls for five years called Welling Court.

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Icy & Sot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Imagined and produced by two advocates of creativity in the public sphere and run on a shoe-string budget, Welling Court is a series of 100+ walls throughout this largely working class neighborhood that feels like it perhaps has been overlooked by the rest of the city. With a mix of some of New York’s newest immigrants and families, the modest residential/light manufacturing neighborhood has had a eye-jolting injection of spirit and free art every summer since 2009.

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Veng RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

We look forward to this annual event for a number of reasons, among them: the unpretentious spirit of community creativity at work as tens of artist straddle ladders and stepstools side by side painting walls, the friendly inquisitive neighbors who hang out and discuss the art and prepare a variety of foods to share on folding tables in the middle of the street, and the unbridled enthusiasm of the kids who race through the neighborhood on foot, bicycle, scooter, even grocery cart.

Unsponsored by brands and run by community elbow grease, Welling Court brings lots of Street Art / graffiti / public art enthusiasts and almost no police presence or crime for that matter. Breaking their own record this June at 127 painted walls, organizers Garrison and Alison Buxton help hook up the opportunity and artists are happy to take advantage of it. Here is just a relatively small selection of images taken by photographer Jaime Rojo at Welling Court 2014.

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Fresh from graduation and walking in front of a RHAK gate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato and Rubin collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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R.Robots (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Sub (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaffeine at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Kaffeine (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Toofly (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cern (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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LMNOPI at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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MRC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn temporary installation with a Dennis McNett wheat paste from last year as a background. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn working on the details of the live casting he did of Roger Smith. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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John Ahearn. More to be done with this Roger Smith piece. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pyramid Oracle at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Greeg Lamarche, Wane and Trap (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Not Art (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cekis (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cake and Ryan Seslow collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Bishop203 with an old Flying Fortress in the middle gate. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ellis G, Joseph Meloy and Abe Lincoln collaboration. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Esteban Del Valle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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PRVRT (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Gregg Lamarche (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damien Mitchell at work. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Damien Mitchell (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Christopher Cardinale (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fun! Fun! Fun! (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

 

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This article was also published on The Huffington Post

 

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Buxtons Bring “Welling Court 2” to Queens, Artists and Scooters in Tow

Street Art in the Community, Creating Community. Again.

brooklyn-street-art-john-ahearn-jaime-rojo-welling-court-2011-ad-hoc-art-06-11-web-32John Ahearn (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ad Hoc Art “brought it” for the second year to Queens and at Welling Court with a collection of Street Artists and local families hanging out and painting the neighborhood. The tireless Alison and Garrison Buxton invited 40 or 50 of their closest friends with aerosol to take part over a two day period to transform the atmosphere in this neighborhood which doesn’t get much attention.  The lineup includes artists who are pioneers in the graffiti and Street Art game who create alongside emerging talent. The styles vary, but the sentiments of connectedness and community are consistent throughout.

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John Ahearn with his assistant Kevin with his friend and model Karlee, daughter of his good friend Otto. Karlee and Otto posed for the sculpture to the right. John had planned a live casting with Karlee later in the day but we couldn’t stay to witness it.  (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Leon Reid installing his sculpture (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In this extensive collection of photos BSA gives you artists hard at work and hard at play with a little help from their friends. A traditional community mural format where everyone has their own slab to cover in their own style, Welling Court also engages the kids in the neighborhood, who frequently get to try their hand at painting or otherwise assisting the artists.

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Leon Reid (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The day’s proceedings are part plastic art and part performance art as the artists often stop painting to interact with fans, inquisitors, Street Art aficionados and their fellow artists. Its part summer camp and part family reunion with the neighbors getting out the BBQ grill and setting up tables in the street while artists from around the globe are reconnecting and telling long tales and kids on scooters and skateboards weave in and out of the clusters of cans everywhere. With the abundance of homemade food and a variety of  music playing at high volume the streets are alive and there’s nothing else you’d want to do on day like this.

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Debuting a new secret doorway, Mr. Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Dan Witz (photo © Jaime Rojo)

John Ahearn is a pioneer in the area of public art known for making sculptures with local people posing as models. His technique of live casting requires the model to sit while John creates a cast of them in plaster. As far back as the mid 1970s Mr. Ahearn’s tributes to his neighbors have been seen affixed to many walls throughout the Bronx. Sited as an important part of the development of the Street Art scene Ahearn’s work has also traveled to private collections of prominent and noted art collectors and art institutions.

Brooklyn Street Art spoke with Mr. Ahearn and asked him about participating in this open venue and how he felt doing his live casting in Queens. He responded with excitement about the word “live”.

“You used the word very properly. I feel alive today. I feel alive and I just turned 60 two weeks ago and I feel this is where my roots are. Right in the sidewalk, doing casting, particularly aimed at little children. We are going to do a piece that involves a child. She is a friend of mine from way back and we are expecting to have a crowd of kids here and it is going to be fun,” said Ahearn.

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Ezra Li Eismont and Bunnie Reiss bring a fanstastical and folksy humor to this very urban setting. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Hmmmm, wonder who lives here. Ezra Li Eismont and Bunnie Reiss. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ezra Li Eismont and Bunnie Reiss (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Deeks and El Celso sing a stunning duet. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Kamino and Alice Mizrachi murals in process (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Mizrachi at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Always good to get a new view; El Kamino listens to a live critique of his work by local observers. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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El Kamino at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cern at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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ROA in a tight spot. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fumero at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Fumero at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JMR on the left and The Wretched Rapture Crew: Dave Loewenstein, Ashley Jane Laird and Cecilia Ross-Gotta (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Too Fly almost completed mural with Chor Boogie to the right (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Too Fly’s original sketch. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ani, Too Fly’s friend helping out with a little pink. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zam at work on a very large roach. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zam (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Zam’s roach doesn’t make Too Fly too happy. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode mural in process (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chris Stain and Billy Mode detail shot (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jesse Jones to the left and Sinned to the right at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Joe Iurato at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Jordan Seiler at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Katie Yamasaki and Caleb Neelon (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lady Pink at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Overunder at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pablo Power at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pablo Power at work (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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R. Robots and Victor collaborating on a piece on Victor’s house. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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The original inspiration for R.Robots and Victor. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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R. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Ron English (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Royce Bannon and Matt Siren collab in process (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Royce Bannon and Russell King (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Veng RWK mural in process (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Veng RWK (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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