Spread Art was wandering around Bushwick today with a canvas, Sharpies, crayons, and a desire to see how folks would respond to "Bushwick Is..." Directors, Thomas Bell and Christina deRoos left Spread Art
around 1pm with the canvas showing the boundaries of Bushwick way back
when (1800s) and the boundaries of Bushwick today.
After a few initial stops (a pharmacy, a laundromat, a bodega) we made our way to Maria Hernandez Park (named after a woman who was shot and killed in 1989 for fighting to rid her block of drug dealers).
In the park we were overwhelmed with kids
and also a lot of adults wanting to participate. Among them was a veteran (Iraq and Afghanistan), whose reflections on his experience returning to Bushwick, and the words he added to the canvas ("god forgive me can you") are unlikely to leave my mind anytime soon.
the park we made our way to Brooklyn Fireproof to share the community
dialogue that had happened so far and invite further participation. Brooklyn Fireproof was a location of today's BETA spaces event, described as "a one-day festival of independently curated, collaborative group exhibitions."
"Bushwick Is..." canvas is part of an ongoing project begun in 2006 by
Erin Partridge, Thomas Bell and Christina deRoos. The project aims to facilitate
community dialogue and self-reflection and to document moments in time
as Bushwick experiences rapid gentrification.
See photos from the day here.