CAB unveils outstanding mural

(Front, l-r) Mural artists Tiffany Szkred, Celina Rodriguez, Binta Ceesay, Shirley Goodman, (back, l-r) Kevin Valentine, and Citizens Advice Bureau representatives Ken Small, Elisa Istueta, and Roberto Gonzales pose with their new masterpiece at CAB’s 1130 Grand Concourse facility. - Photo by Adam Bermudez

After preparing for more than a year, a group of Bronx youth proudly displayed a mural at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau to parents, friends and the center’s staff on April 15.

More than 20 CAB art program students unveiled the long anticipated painting of a winged basketball player in outer space at the CAB Community Center, at 1130 Grand Concourse. 

“I’m proud that you’ve all come forward to pursue creative activities to grow and find yourselves,” said Americo Casiano, Jr., an administrator with the Bronx Council for the Arts, who helped fund the project. 

He spoke of his pride in the students’ accomplishment and his organization’s ability to support their endeavors.

Casiano told the youth.  “It’s an honor to know that we had a little part in this.”

Speaking on behalf of the artists, middle school student Jessy Szkred said, “Everyone believed in us.  I would like to thank you for coming and supporting us.”

The students received much of their inspiration and ideas from beloved teacher Dan Gallas, who recently moved to California. Unable to visit the presentation, he sent a letter of praise to the young artist for their talent and dedication.

Jonathon Thyme, 13, thanked his mentor.  “He was a great teacher; he inspired me to do art because it makes me happy. 

The complex imagery of the mural reflects the thoughtfulness in the students’ content decisions, the most prolific of which was stated when CAB student Celina Rodriguez’s wrote on the man’s crown, “A true man sometimes does ‘an unmanly thing.’”

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