a series of four murals inspired by the poem
Ciudad sin sueño (Nocturno de Brooklyn Bridge) / Sleepless City (Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne),
a three year project sponsored by Artmakers Inc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brooklyn Eagle Article about Lorca Murals

Bushwick mural uses Spanish poetry to capture diversity
Bushwick resident Jose Amaro points out his hometown of Yabucoa on Mural No. 3's map of Puerto Rico.  Photo by Bryan Koenig/Metropolitan MonitorBushwick resident Jose Amaro points out his hometown of Yabucoa on Mural No. 3's map of Puerto Rico. Photo by Bryan Koenig/Metropolitan Monitor

By Bryan Koenig
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN -- When Camille Perrottet started visiting her son in Bushwick three years ago, she immediately fell in love with the neighborhood’s vibrant Hispanic population and burgeoning artist community. So Perrottet, an artist and muralist, decided to make Bushwick the site of her next project.
“I said, why not bring poetry to the streets?” said Perrottet, a lead mural designer for the non-profit group Artmakers, Inc., which paints murals around the city.
Because of his connections to Brooklyn, she chose the 20th century Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca’s work then became the driving inspiration behind a four-part mural series on its way to completion in the northeast Brooklyn neighborhood. The featured poem was inspired during Lorca’s time in New York City in 1929 while a student at Columbia University.   
Today, different stanzas from Lorca’s “Sleepless City (Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne)” flow across three finished murals on the walls of Bushwick businesses who agreed to participate. Each mural shows a different part of Lorca’s face: eyes, an ear, his mouth.  
On Saturday, two of those murals will be formally dedicated at noon on Himrod Street and Knickerbocker Avenue.
Enigmatic but vivid in its imagery, Lorca’s poem of isolation and the immigrant experience and the murals it inspired are being used to showcase the diversity of Bushwick. Artmakers, Inc. plans to complete the fourth and final mural next summer and is currently looking for just the right wall to do it.  
On display in English and Spanish, the poem and its murals are “a good representation of what Bushwick is right now,” said local resident Cristian Marino after inspecting a mural for the first time.
Just shy of two-thirds of the neighborhood is Hispanic, according to the 2010 city government profile of Bushwick. One-fifth is African-American, and about every one out of 10 is white.
Bushwick resident Cristian Marino inspects Mural No. 2's world map.  Photo by Bryan Koenig/Metropolitan Monitor
Bushwick residen Cristian Marino inspects Mural No. 2's world map
Photo by Bryan Koenig/Metropolitan Monitor
The neighborhood’s diversity is particularly evident in mural No. 2’s primary feature, a world map with dozens of dots representing more than 40 countries that community members identify as home.
While working on the mural, Artmakers put out a sign-up sheet so passersby could write down their native city and country. “When they stop and talk, we just ask them where they’re from. And then you get out the atlas and plop a dot,” said Jane Weissman, the project coordinator for the murals.  
For those who want a more vivid depiction of Bushwick’s diversity, the best place to view it is mural No.1 -- a giant American flag dotted with the flags of residents’ home countries.
Even the locations of the murals are attempting to draw Bushwick together. On Starr Street, the first and largest mural abuts the younger, more commercial side of Bushwick where its growing artist community is based. At 12 feet tall and 145 feet long, it was painted over two months in the fall of 2011 for about $2,500.
Nine blocks away, murals No. 2 and 3 sit across from each other in the more commercial and Hispanic section on Knickerbocker Avenue. About 8 ft. tall and varying between 65 feet. and 89 feet. wide, they were painted in July and August for a total of about $6,000.  
The Lorca Project represents one of more than 40 murals that Artmakers has installed since it was established in 1983. Perhaps the collective’s best-known work is “When Women Pursue Justice,” an enormous 2005 mural still on display in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
A member-run volunteer organization that raises money project to project, Artmakers typically works off of commission provided by sources within the communities they paint. As in the Lorca murals, it also tries to paint one mural pro bono each year, Weissman said, paid for through fundraising.
Coming to Bushwick on its own is unusual for Artmakers, since it is typically brought in by community boards and block associations with specific requests for art.
Planners for the Lorca murals included the storeowners who allowed their walls to be painted, covering up what was in some cases rampant graffiti. Artmakers frequently chatted up those walking past and used their reactions to help guide the process.

Fidel y amigos
According to Weissman, Artmakers got so many people identifying Puerto Rican origins while painting the second mural that they decided to make a map of the island the main feature of No. 3.
“Everyone on the block likes it,” said block association president Veronica Marte. She first learned about the mural and the map of Puerto Rico when she saw Artmakers working on it. “That’s a big thing for us because there are a lot of Puerto Ricans around the neighborhood.”
A few local residents also volunteered to help Perrottet, Weissman and a handful of contributing Artmakers artists paint the murals. Mural No. 1 also got some help from local graffiti artist Optimo Primo.
The fourth wall will feature a full display of Lorca’s face along with “Sleepless City’s” final stanza and a map of the neighborhood that will show the location of each mural. The exact details, including the budget, will be determined once a suitable wall and willing owner has been secured.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dedication and Celebration of the 2nd & 3rd murals


Dedication Mural # 3 Photo Julia Reagan

Dedication Mural # 2  Photo  Julia Reagan

Thursday, June 21, 2012



3rd mural begins

The mural is going amazing, thank you everybody who has been working on it in this incredible heat!  The text is nearly finished on the second mural, and we have started the third across Knickerbocker behind the fruit vendor on TMobile.  It will consist of Lorca's ear, the third stanza and a blown up map of PR where so many of the people in Bushwick are from.  The island was too small to fit all of the towns where people are from on the map in the second mural. Boricua! But its definitely amazing to see the diversity of the hood represented in the world map. Las Americas, to Africa, to Europe, to Asia, and Back again.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

¡ADELANTE Compañeros! Mural #2 starts

We started Mural #2 this week on Knickerbocker and Himrod, and it's coming along beautifully!  Week of June 11-15

FRIDAY   10 - 5PM
 The ioby.org mural fundraising campaign has been extended through June and we still need a lot more support so that we can finish this mural and get started on the third later this summer.  Any amount of donation helps, and please spread the word!

Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 Phase 1: GET FUND$ - donate today!

Watch this short film about the making of the 1st "Sleepless City" mural on Starr. St
(film by Julia Reagan; http://vimeo.com/41535724)

The Lorca Mural Project is now on NYC-based crowd-source fundraising website ioby.org, and we need your donations!

Doing a mural series of this scale requires a lot of love, creativity and dedication....but it also requires money for materials and project support!  Our page at ioby.org is how we are raising the funds to get parts 2 & 3 of the Sleepless City mural series off the ground.  The starting date for the next mural is June 4, 2012 so we need your donations ASAP! Remember anything you can give makes a difference and your donations help to celebrate cultural diversity, community arts, and urban beautification!

There will also be opportunities for you to help with the actual process of creating the mural, and we will be posting a schedule of our work hours so you know when you can come by.  If you would like a more involved role or for us to know of your intentions to volunteer, please send us an email through our page on ioby.org.  We are also applying for grants and in-kind donations from local businesses (and having a fiesta fundraiser in May - more on that later!), but independent donations are our most important source of financial support.

Donate to Federico Garcia Lorca "Sleepless City" Mural Project @ ioby.org NOW --->

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Welcome + Mural #2

Welcome back to the Artmakers, Inc. Federico Garcia Lorca Mural Project in Bushwick, Brooklyn!  The first mural in the series was completed in the fall of 2011 with great success - be on the lookout for a short video about the making of mural #1 with commentary by project artists and members of the Bushwick community.

2012 is off to a great start for the Lorca mural series and we were donated a wall for the second mural on Himrod St. and Knickerbocker Ave. in the heart of Bushwick.  (Check the sidebar for a map) Below you can read the text for the second mural from Federico Garcia Lorca's poem Ciudad Sin Sueño in both Spanish and English. 

A design element in one of the 2012 murals is a map of the world on which numbered dots indicates places of origin that will be listed on corresponding key. In this way, the Sleepless City murals bring people together. They help reduce the loneliness and alienation that is the human condition and, perhaps, they encourage them to dream. The “sleepless city” with its bright lights is where people search for connection and meaning.

Our plan is to create the second & third murals in the series during June/July 2012, and we are currently seeking both material and financial donations so that we can get started.  In mid-May we will be having a crack-funk party fundraiser for the project and we are in the process of setting up a campaign and donations page through NYC-based ioby.org.  Thank you for your support & check back for updates!

second mural text

Federico García Lorca (1898 - 1936)



No duerme nadie por el cielo. Nadie, nadie.
No duerme nadie.
Las criaturas de la luna huelen y rondan sus cabañas.
Vendrán las iguanas vivas a morder a los hombres que no sueñan
y el que huye con el corazón roto encontrará por las esquinas
al increíble cocodrilo quieto bajo la tierna protesta de los astros.
No duerme nadie por el mundo. Nadie, nadie.
No duerme nadie.
Hay un muerto en el cementerio más lejano
que se queja tres años
porque tiene un paisaje seco en la rodilla;
y el niño que enterraron esta mañana lloraba tanto
que hubo necesidad de llamar a los perros para que callase.
No es sueño la vida. ¡Alerta! ¡Alerta! ¡Alerta!
Nos caemos por las escaleras para comer la tierra húmeda
o subimos al filo de la nieve con el coro de las dalias muertas.
Pero no hay olvido, ni sueño:
carne viva. Los besos atan las bocas
en una maraña de venas recientes
y al que le duele su dolor le dolerá sin descanso
y al que teme la muerte la llevará sobre sus hombros.
Un día
los caballos vivirán en las tabernas
y las hormigas furiosas
atacarán los cielos amarillos que se refugian en los ojos de las vacas.
Otro día
veremos la resurrección de las mariposas disecadas
y aún andando por un paisaje de esponjas grises y barcos mudos
veremos brillar nuestro anillo y manar rosas de nuestra lengua.
¡Alerta! ¡Alerta! ¡Alerta!
A los que guardan todavía huellas de zarpa y aguacero,
a aquel muchacho que llora porque no sabe la invención del puente
o a aquel muerto que ya no tiene más que la cabeza y un zapato,
hay que llevarlos al muro donde iguanas y sierpes esperan,
donde espera la dentadura del oso,
donde espera la mano momificada del niño
y la piel del camello se eriza con un violento escalofrío azul.
No duerme nadie por el cielo. Nadie, nadie.
No duerme nadie.
Pero si alguien cierra los ojos,
¡azotadlo, hijos míos, azotadlo!
Haya un panorama de ojos abiertos
y amargas llagas encendidas.
No duerme nadie por el mundo. Nadie, nadie.
Ya lo he dicho.
No duerme nadie.
Pero si alguien tiene por la noche exceso de musgo en las sienes,
abrid los escotillones para que vea bajo la luna
las copas falsas, el veneno y la calavera de los teatros.

Translation of Second Mural:

Life is no dream. Watch out! Watch out! Watch out!
We fall down stairs and eat the moist earth.
Or we climb to the snow's edge with the choir of dead dahlias.
But there is no oblivion, nor dream:

Raw flesh. Kisses tie mouths
in a tangle of new veins.
And those who are hurt will hurt without rest
And those who are frightened of death will carry it on their shoulders.