CITYarts Celebrates Last Brush Stroke for Pillars of Justice Mural

LACJ Pillars of Justice 05.25.2016 (23)


NEW YORK, NY, June 2nd, 2016 – CITYarts will celebrate the final brush strokes of the Pillars of Justice mural project created in collaboration with students from the High School for Law, Advocacy, and Community Justice (LACJ) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, announced today by CITYarts’ Executive and Creative Director Tsipi Ben-Haim. The event is scheduled to take place on June 13, 2016 at 3pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Campus.

The mural stretches down a main hallway of the LACJ that every student walks through over the course of the day. Students designed the mural based on the theme of social justice, drawing inspiration from workshops led by LACJ art teacher Erica Yonks and professional artist Duda Penteado.

“We have taken the students of LACJ on a journey of discovery and we are excited to celebrate their accomplishments. They were able to be inspired by artists like Roy Lichtenstein and his Greene Street Mural at the Gagosian Gallery and by Mark Bradford and Matsutani at Hauser & Wirth. Students also had the opportunity to enjoy urban nature at the Highline and visit the criminal court in downtown New York for further inspiration,” said Ms. Ben-Haim, who has led CITYarts for the past 27 years. “I was told school attendance is very low in May, but not this year. The impact of Pillars of Justice has been felt immediately – LACJ is a full house.”

“This project has been a transforming experience not only for our school building, but for our students as well. It has been a pleasure to witness the students enjoying the exposure to museums, artists, and the creative process,” said LACJ art teacher, Ms. Yonks. “From conception, to development, and execution, my young student-artists have excelled in their collaboration, effort, and self-assurance. I am very proud of them.”

“Day after day, I watched ideas becoming drawings, drawings becoming paintings, and finally paintings becoming a mural composed by pillars filled with spirit, hope, and justice,” professional artist Duda Penteado explains after recognizing that working with the MLK High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice was a transformative experience.

CITYarts is 48-year-old non-profit organization that focuses on transforming youth and their communities through the creation of public art. Through this process CITYarts has collaborated with over 500 artists, partnered with 1,500 sponsors, and impacted over 100,000 children. CITYarts plans to continue its work with LACJ students in the coming school year through its Global HeARTwarming program developed to deepen students’ understanding of the rapid rate of climate change.