Inspired by the sounds and line of the elevated highway, artist Ellie Balk has designed a musical landscape called "Soundwaves" that will be painted on the large wall on Park Avenue under the BQE, near Steuben Street in Clinton Hill. The artist has collaborated with over 10 pianists who live close to the BQE, by drawing the distance between their hands as they play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. These sound waves will be layered to create an orchestra of lines, reflecting a landscape. It is even possible for the mural to be interpreted by musicians and ‘played back’ for the community! The photo above includes a rendering of the proposed mural.
Get Involved! Pick up a brush and join us!
This project is meant to be a community public art project and will be created almost entirely by volunteers, so grab your neighbors and help us paint! Painting will take place from 11am-5pm on Saturday, September 17 - Friday, September 30 (except for Thursday, September 22 and Thursday, September 29). Sign up for shifts at at VolunteerSpot.com, or by reaching out to Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-230-1689. Here are some other ways you can help:
- Organize a group from your organization or civic group to do a volunteer shift as a team
- Bring a group of students (ages 8+) on a field trip to participate for a shift
- Spread the word to your neighbors and friends, and get them to sign up too!
- Contact Ellie Balk at email@example.com or at 718-930-7177, or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about volunteering
When Robert Moses drew his proposed route for the BQE, he drew a line on a map. This line was developed by his engineers into highway infrastructure that cleared block after block, displacing residents and dividing once unified communities. Residents living near this stretch of highway are confronted by the continuous cycle of the sound of bustling traffic. One resident told me, “With the windows open you can hear the traffic, but at night it is kind of calming. Sounds a little bit like the ocean.” Visual interpretations of sound are at the center of the meaning of this mural. My goal for “Soundwaves” is to bring some life to this space and to honor and celebrate the community directly affected by the existence of the BQE. This mural will allow residents to see something beautiful and bright and to be inspired to hear the sounds of the highway in a new way.
This project is supported by the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project, with support from an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.