THE COMMUNITY IS OUR CANVAS

About

Who We Are

Artmakers Inc. is an artist-run, politically-oriented community mural organization that creates high quality public art relevant to the lives, work and concerns of people in their neighborhoods.

Established in 1983, Artmakers has created over 50 murals primarily in New York City, but also nationally and internationally.

Artmakers works in collaboration with community based organizations, block associations, LDCs, public schools, community gardens, health care and mental health facilities, homeless shelters, day care centers and other arts organizations. Artmakers helps groups determine mural themes and content, and involves them in all aspects of the murals’ creation.

Young people work as paid apprentices through Artmakers’ Pre-Professional Training Program. Exposed and held to the highest possible aesthetic standards, they learn valuable skills – both artistic and job-related. Artmakers also consults with community groups interested in organizing community murals on their own and, for a moderate fee, will provide on-site visits, design workshops, and production advice.

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New Projects

Artmakers is currently developing three mural projects for 2014:

  • in Harlem (Manhattan) with Yelimane Fall, a Dakar-based Senegalese artist
  • in Sunset Park, Brooklyn in collaboration with an after-school program
  • in Matera (Basilicata), Italy with a local preservation organization

Artmakers is working in collaboration with Francesc Sitges-Sardà
 on a video documenting the making of The Federico García Lorca Murals (2011-13) in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

More information about these projects will be posted as details are confirmed.

 

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Volunteers

Artmakers welcomes artists wanting to work with us on upcoming projects and
individuals and companies offering material support (paint, brushes, supplies, etc.).

Click here to contact us:

CONTACT

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Awards

2006    National Mural Award
Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center (San Francisco, CA) to
Artmakers’ collective mural When Women Pursue Justice

1993    Women Waging Peace Award
New York City Commission on the Status of Women to
Artmakers’ artists Rochelle Shicoff and Janet Braun-Reinitz for
East New York Women’s Wall and other Artmakers projects

1991    New York City Human Resources Administration Award
for the Auburn Shelter (Brooklyn, NY) mural project

1988    Elizabeth Chapin Award for Volunteers in the Arts
Citizens Committee for New York City to Artmakers and Eva Cockcroft……

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Press

SELECTED ARTICLES

The Federico García Lorca Murals (2011-2013)

“A Mural of a Spanish Poet in Bushwick, Confounding and Enchanting,”
David Gonzalez, The New York Times, July 7, 2013

“Bushwick Mural Uses Spanish Poetry to Capture Diversity,”
Bryan Koenig, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 22, 2012

“A Walking Tour of the Federico García Lorca Murals,”
Francesc Sitges-Sardà, July 17, 2013, (video)

“Cuatro grandes murales llevan la poesía de Lorca a las calles de Nueva York,”
EFE Agencia, July 13, 2013 (text)

“Cuatro grandes murales llevan la poesía de Lorca a las calles de Nueva York,”
EFE Agencia, July 15, 2013 (video)

Images of the African Diaspora in New York City Community Murals (exhibition)

“Powerful Messages in Art on City Walls,”
Mary Cummings, The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press, June 16, 2009

“African Diaspora at Amagansett Library,”
Elise D’Haene, East Hampton Star, May 26, 2009

“City Murals’ Past Beauty Chronicled,”
Jeff Wilkins, Daily News, May 12, 2009

“Behind the Mural: How Public Art Impacts Us All,”
Aaron Short, Courier Life, April 2, 2009

On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City (published February 2009)

“On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City,”
Gotham History Blotter (essay, excerpted from Chapter 1 of the book)

“Art on the Wall Inspires Duo,”
Eleanor J. Bader, The Brooklyn Rail, March 6, 2009

“Female Muralists Dip Brushes in Women’s History,”
Eleanor J. Bader,  Women’s eNews, February 19, 2009

“On The Art That’s
All Around Us,”
Rosten Woo, City Limits, May 4, 2009

“On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City,”
James Peacock, American Studies Today Online (Keele University)

“On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City,”
Eleanor J. Bader, The L Magazine, March 4, 2009

When Women Pursue Justice (2005)

“The Women of Nostrand and Greene,”
David Reinitz, 2006 (excerpt from hour-long documentary)

“Mural a Tribute to Women,”
Joyce Shelby, New York Daily News, October 5, 2005

“A Benediction,”
Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn Rail, December 2005-January 2006

“Art News: When Women Pursue Justice,”
Women in the Arts (National Museum of Women in the Arts). Holiday 2005

“Bold Tribute: Brooklyn Mural Celebrates 90 Women Activists,”
Eleanor J. Bader, Women’s Times, March 2006

“When Women Pursue Justice,”
Eleanor J. Bader, Z Magazine, April 2006

“Bed-Stuy Murals Honors Female Leaders,”
Brooklyn Downtown Star, Emily Keller, October 20, 2005

“Bed-Stuy Murals, ‘When Women Pursue Justice,’ to Celebrate Herstory,”
Stacy McKenzie, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 14, 2005

“When Women Pursue Justice: Female Pioneers Loom Large In Mural,”
Karen Zraick, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Courier, October 10, 2005

“The Murals on the Wall in Bed-Stuy: New Exhibition Examines Nabe’s History through Public Art,”
Beth Stebner, New York Daily News, February 4, 2014

La Lucha Continua, The Struggle Continues (1985)

“La Lucha Continua,”
East Village Review November-December 1987

“Hot Art in the Summertime,”
Lucy Lippard, In These Times, October 2-8, 1985

“La Lucha Murals: Making a Political Art Park,”
Eva Cockcroft, Community Murals Magazine, Winter 1985

Miscellaneous Articles

“Ask About New York City’s Community Murals,”
an interview with Jane Weissman and Janet Braun-Reinitz, The New York Times, City Room Blog, April 20, 2009

“Answers About New York City’s Community Murals,”
The New York Times, City Room Blog, April 22, 2009

“Answers About New York City’s Community Murals, Part 2”
The New York Times, City Room Blog, April 23, 2009

“Answers About New York City’s Community Murals, Part 3”
The New York Times, City Room Blog, April 24, 2009

“Consensus, Community and Political Murals,”
Jane Weissman and Janet Braun-Reinitz, Public Art Review, Fall-Winter 2005

“Locating the Politics of Contemporary Public Art: Towards a New Historiography,”
Afroditi Climis Davos, 2009 (This thesis abstract discusses the above article.)

“An Immovable Feast: Murals in the City,”
Grace Glueck, The New York Times, July 22, 1988

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Funders

Support for Artmakers Inc. has been provided by foundations, corporations, government
agencies, local businesses, and many individuals. Artmakers thanks all our funders for their
generous support.

SELECTED FUNDERS

The Baker Foundation
Brooklyn Arts Council
Furthermore, a program of The J.M. Kaplan Fund
Independence Community Foundation
The Milton and Sally Avery Foundation
North Star Fund
Open Meadows Foundation
The Puffin Foundation
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation
The Sister Fund

New York Council for the Humanities
NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery
former NYS Senator Carl Andrews
former NYC Councilmember Letitia James

All private contributions to Artmakers Inc. are fully tax-deductible under the law, and are greatly appreciated. Artmakers is a fiscal client of New York Foundation for the Arts.

Click here to donate:

Donate

Special thanks to Kyrie Tinch for making this website possible

Events

Join Us

Artmakers muralists speak on a variety of mural topics. A traveling exhibition documenting the influence of African culture on New York City’s community murals is available to appropriate venues.

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New

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 1 PM
Protest & Celebration: Community Murals in New York City
Emanuel United Church of Christ
9312 91st Avenue, Woodhaven, NY 11421
sponsored by the Woodhaven Richmond Historical Society
Info: 718 805 2002

Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Mexico from Independence through Revolution:
The Murals of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros & José Clemente Orozco
Amagansett Free Library
215 Main Street, Amagansett, NY 11930
Info: 631 267 3810

Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM
José Clemente Orozco: Man of Fire
Amagansett Free Library
215 Main Street, Amagansett, NY 11930
Info: 631 267 3810

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Host an Event

Artmakers presents, free of charge, illustrated lectures to eligible community organizations and schools through the New York Council for the Humanities Speakers and Speakers in the
Schools programs:

Protest & Celebration: Community Murals in New York City

Images of the African Diaspora in New York City Murals

Three additional lectures are available directly through Artmakers. Contact Artmakers for more information about:

  • Risking Life & Liberty: “When Women Pursue Justice”
  • Mexico from Independence through Revolution:
    The Murals of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros & José Clemente Orozco
  • José Clemente Orozco: Man of Fire
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Talks

SELECTED TALKS

The Federico García Lorca Murals (2011-13)
2013 A walking tour of the four Bushwick, Brooklyn murals led by poet and Lorca scholar Edward Hirsch and professor of Hispanic literatures Electa Arenal

Risking Life & Liberty:”When Women Pursue Justice”
2014 Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
2013 The Greens, Melville, NY
2011 The American Library in Paris, Paris France

Images of the African Diaspora in New York City Community Murals
2013 Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
2010 Arts in One World Conference, Brown University, Providence, RI
2010 The American Library in Paris, France
2010 Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester University, Rochester, NY
2010 Notre Dame High School, Elmira, NY (3-day residency)
2009 African American Heritage Center, Brooklyn Public Library, Macon branch

Protest & Celebration: Community Murals in New York City
2011 New York University in France, Paris, France
2011 New York Public Library, Mid-Manhattan branch
2010 New York Public Library, Tompkins Square branch
2010 The American Library in Paris
2010 Notre Dame High School, Elmira, NY (3-day residency)
2010 Derfner Judaica Museum at the Hebrew Home, Riverdale, NY
2009 Humanities Institute, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

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Exhibitions

Images of the African Diaspora in New York City Community Murals
2012 West African Research Center, Dakar, Senegal
2011 American Library in Paris, France
2009 Humanities Institute, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
2009 Amagansett Free Library, Amagansett, NY
2009 James E. Davis 80 Arts Building, Brooklyn, NY
2009 African American Heritage Center, Brooklyn Public Library, Macon branch
2009 Harlem Stage @ Aaron Davis Hall, NY, NY

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: NYC Murals/Mural Photographs by Camille Perrottet
2009 Ashawagh Hall, East Hampton, NY
When Women Pursue Justice
2006 Bread and Roses Gallery, 1199, NY, NY
2006 Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch
2006 Saint Joseph’s College, Brooklyn, NY

Public in Private: Studio Works by 3 Public Artists
1991 Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY

Progressive Propaganda: Artmakers Addresses the Issues
1989 Bread and Roses Gallery, 1199, NY, NY

Artists Speak to the Issues: Election ’88
1988 Bronx River Arts Center, Bronx, NY

Books

Our Books

Artmakers muralists have written books on a variety of mural topics: a cultural history of New York City’s community murals, an educator’s guide to painting school murals, a history of the early years of the National Community Murals Movement, and California Chicano murals.

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On the Wall

ON THE WALL Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City

by Janet Braun-Reinitz and Jane Weissman
University Press of Mississippi, February 2009 foreword by Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan introduction by Timothy W. Drescher from the University Press of Mississippi Fall-Winter 2008-2009 catalog.

Energizing the visual landscape since 1968, New York City’s community murals beautify, educate, protest, celebrate, and often motivate residents to action.  Collaborations between artists and neighborhood groups, these painted walls reflect the social, cultural, and political climate of their times.

The result of six years of research and hundreds of interviews, On the Wall: Four Decades of Community Murals in New York City brings to light murals that were hitherto “lost” to history or unknown outside their immediate surroundings.  Documenting six chronological periods, the book highlights significant murals and introduces the artists and sponsors that created them.  In relating the many fascinating stories behind the murals, the authors describe the interactions between artists and residents – including the controversies that have led to the destruction of several notable murals.

Gathering together 150 color images and providing a muralography or listing of the 500 outdoor community murals created in New York City since 1968, On the Wall offers an aesthetic perspective on the city’s community murals in a lively and perceptive history.

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The Mural Book

The Mural Book: A Practical Guide for Educators

An indispensable resource for creating a mural from the initial proposal to the final installation and dedication. Topics include selecting an interior or exterior site, collaboration on a subject or theme, calculating size, time, and budget as well as funding sources. Also included are tools and materials, selecting a medium, enlarging drawings, and creating the mural with either paint, paper collage, or fabric. Over 80 color photographs reinforce the text and provide creative ideas for all levels.

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PeoplesArt

Toward a People’s Art

First published in 1977, Toward a People’s Art remains a classic study of the community-based mural movement that produced hundreds of large-scale wall paintings in the United States and Canada. The authors provide a comprehensive discussion of the muralists, the murals’ effects on the community, and the funding these works received.

Those interested in art and social change will welcome this new edition, which represents an ongoing faith in the ideal of participatory democracy as the best way to confront the nation’s social problems and in the potential of activist art to have long-term social impact. The introduction describes the era-the late 1960s-and a new afterword looks at the 1980s and 1990s and the continuing commitment to the community-engaged process of making public art.

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Signs

Signs From the Heart

Signs from the Heart: California Chicano Murals

Over the past twenty-five years, Chicano artists have made a unique contribution to public art in California, transforming thousands of walls into colorful artworks that express the dreams, achievements, aspirations, and cultural identity of the Mexican-American community. Signs From the Heart tells the inside story of this new and important American art form in four interpretive essays by noted Chicano scholars about its historical, artistic, and educational significance.

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Other Books

When Women Pursue Justice, booklet

Jane Weissman and Janet Braun-Reinitz, 2006 (Artmakers Inc.)
A 48-page illustrated booklet detailing the creation of this award-winning mural, with an introductory essay by writer and university professor Julia Watson, a schematic of the mural accompanied by a key to its 90 portraits, biographies of the activist women, and focus questions for use in the classroom.  The booklet, which can only be obtained through Artmakers, costs $5 plus $2.50 for postage/handling.

Contact Artmakers for information on how to order.

CONTACT

More Books

Community Murals: The People’s Art,
Alan W. Barnett, 1984 (Associated University Presses, Inc.)

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San Francisco Murals: Community Creates Its Muse,
1914-1994, Timorthy W. Drescher, 1994 (Pogo Press, Inc.)

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Urban Art: Chicago,
Olivia Gude and Jeff Huebner, 2000 (Ivan R. Dee)

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Street Gallery: Guide to 1000 Los Angeles Murals,
Robin J. Dunitz, 1998 (RJD Enterprises)

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Philadelphia Murals and the Stories They Tell, Jane Golden, et. al.,
2002, 2006 (Temple University Press)

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Insurgent Images: The Agitprop Murals of Mike Alewitz,
Paul Buhle and Mike Alewitz, 2002 (Monthly Reivew Press)

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Walls of Heritage / Walls of Pride: African American Murals,
James Prigoff and Robin J. Dunitz, 2000 (Pomegranate)

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This Home We Have Made / Esta Casa Que Hemos Hecho, Anna Hammond and Joe Matunis, 1993 (Crown)

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R.I.P. Memorial Wall Art,
Martha Cooper and Joseph Sciorra, 1994 (Henry Holt & Co.)

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