Elected officials unveiled a new mural under the bridge overpass on 48th Street between 25th Avenue and 28th Avenue in Astoria. The art project was completed as a joint effort between Councilman Costa Constantinides, Congressman Joe Crowley and 501(See)(Streets), a non-profit organization.
“With the fast-paced life we’re so accustomed to in New York City, it’s very important to have murals and other artwork that brighten our neighborhood with their beauty,” said Constantinides in a release. “These types of artistic projects also provide a meaningful and lasting response to graffiti. This mural is a win-win for everyone in the community.”
The mural – titled “Astoria Motif” – consists of three different installations, depicting idyllic Astoria scenes: the Hells Gate Bridge with a large ship traveling on the East River underneath, the Jackson Hole Diner and scenes from Astoria’s past. The artist, Kenji Takabayashi, is from Queens.
“It was an honor to work on something so meaningful for the residents of the neighborhood who treated me as though I lived on their block for the days that I painted,” Takabayashi said. “As a Queens kid, doing something I love so much for my borough meant a lot to me.”
The project was part of Constantinides’ continued effort and investment into beautifying Astoria. The mural not only adds to the existing aesthetic, but will serve as a deterrent to prevent future illegal graffiti. Constantinides allocated $21,000 this year for graffiti removal in his community.
“Street murals not only help prevent graffiti but they beautify our neighborhoods while giving our communities a sense of pride,” said Rep. Crowley,who partnered to support the project. “I thank Council Member Constantinides for working with 501(See)(Streets) to bring this new and unique mural to Astoria which showcases some of the iconic landmarks that make the neighborhood so special.”
501(See)(Streets) is a non-profit organization that looks to engage at-risk youth to express themselves through legal street art. They recently sponsored a mural that was created at the police precinct in Corona.