Hunts Point Resiliency Celebrates Artists in Residence at August 26th Event

Today, THE POINT CDC, in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR), Interaction Institute for Social Change, and HDR, Inc., announced the selection of three artists, Isabelle Garbani, Mariposa Fernandez and Roy Secord, to bring to artistic life the community’s hope for a climate resilient future by connecting art to two local, ongoing resiliency campaigns, The Hunts Point Resiliency Project and The South Bronx Community Resiliency Agenda.

The Hunts Point Resiliency Artists-in-Residence Project was conceived to continue to engage local residents and workers about the effects of climate change in the area, local Hunts Point resiliency plans, and to educate new residents that may not be aware of or prepared for the effects of inclement weather patterns on our neighborhood. THE POINT has a longstanding history of engaging the community using arts and culture as primary tools in our grassroots organizing. Final artwork created by selected teaching artists will serve both to beautify the neighborhood and to introduce local residents to campaigns that are pertinent to their health, history and/or future resilience. They will be working with varied populations such as youth, newly arrived immigrants, faith-based groups, industrial and healthcare workers, seniors, and any other groups most vulnerable to climate change. The Artists contributed their work to the Collaboration Lab that took place on July 27 at THE POINT, that brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to build relationships and more deeply explore and advance commitments to resiliency in the community.

The project launched on June 5th, and will culminate in a final presentation on Saturday, August 26 from 4pm to 9pm at THE POINT’s Campus for the Arts and Environment, 1399 Lafayette Avenue, Bronx, 10474, next to The Hunts Point Riverside Park. The festivities will include the unveiling of Garbani’s Tile Mural, Secord’s Butterfly Effect Sculpture, and an open mic hosted by poetess, Mariposa.

“We are excited for this unique collaboration with The Point and the Hunts Point Resiliency Artists in Residence to engage residents in building resiliency to climate challenges in a new way,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “Adapting to climate change requires thinking beyond technical solutions, and community-driven art is a powerful way to engage and empower the next generation in thinking creatively about how to envision the future of their neighborhood.”

“We are thrilled to incorporate the arts into the community engagement process for this project under the leadership of our community partner, The Point,” said Louise Yeung, Senior Project Manager for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “The Artists in Residence projects have engaged residents in new and creative ways to build resilience to climate change within Hunts Point.”

Isabelle Garbani, originally from France, is a Brooklyn-based artist who makes temporary large-scale installations using recycled plastic bags as the main material, and drawing on community-engagement and performance as a major component of the work. She feels that many neighborhoods in New York City are physically and philosophically threatened: from potential flooding in storms such as hurricane Sandy, to political attacks against immigrants, minorities and the working poor. For her being resilient means to adapt to those changes without losing a sense of identity, and to feel that power can be in the hands of local residents.

Mariposa Fernandez is a Bronx-based artist, educator and activist. The Objective of “Untold: Stories of the Hunts Point Peninsula”(working title) is one of catharsis; to create a healing experience and hopefully one that propels the participants forward in facing future obstacles head-on, which is what art allows us to do. She will engage the community by setting up pop-up writing workshops on the theme of Resilience in the neighborhood at strategic locations, out of which a script and performance will emerge.

Roy Secord is a NYC painter and sculptor. His personal style of large-scale paintings and sculptures are ultra-modern and abstract. Much of his work is public art, as well as engaging community populations as a “master artist facilitator” in the production of art for community. Through initial, diverse, community outreach by way of interviews & photographic portraits of community residents, leaders, and business people, he is creating a social media blog platform for community to speak to a wide audience on topics of climate change, preparedness, and resiliency. He will create a public sculpture and exhibition from these photographs and texts that stand as a constructive, unified, community voice addressing these topics. Entitled “The Butterfly Effect Project”, Roy Secord aims to effectively demonstrate the importance of community inter-connectivity through this project.