Morrisania Air Rights Tenant Association unveils community mural for We Love New York City campaign

Morrisania residents teamed up with city agencies and We ❤ NYC to unveil a new mural in the neighborhood on Sunday, May 21, 2023.
Morrisania residents teamed up with city agencies and We ❤ NYC to unveil a new mural in the neighborhood on Sunday, May 21, 2023.
Photo courtesy We ❤ NYC campaign

Bronx elected officials joined New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and community leaders Sunday to unveil a two-story tall mural at Morrisania Air Rights Houses (MAR), which is home to nearly 2,000 New Yorkers. The mural is part of the We Love New York City civic action campaign — commonly shortened to WE ❤ NYC. GenEquality, a nonprofit organization on a mission to creatively activate social change, organized the project in partnership with NYCHA and the Public Housing Community Fund with support from the We Love New York City campaign and the Partnership for New York City.

“This new work of public art reflects the love that residents of Morrisania Air Rights Houses — and all New Yorkers — have for this city,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “Thank you to genEquality, the Public Housing Community Fund and the Partnership for New York City for helping to celebrate New York City’s continued recovery.”

Dozens of MAR residents helped design and paint the mural, which measures 76 feet wide by 16 feet high. It visualizes the values the MAR community wants to stand for. Bronx native artists Andre Trenier and Marthalicia Matarrita served as the teaching artists for the mural.

“I am thrilled to have heard the voices of the residents who expressed their interest and who provided their input through the process,” said Matarrita. “It’s wonderful to be part of a deeply meaningful mural like this.”

A painter puts the finishing touches on a new mural in Morrisania on Sunday, May 21, 2023. Photo courtesy We ❤ NYC campaign

Trenier said murals are a unique artistic medium, in that they represent many people.

“Over the past 10 years, I’ve realized that mural-making is my favorite form of creation, because it creates something that belongs to the whole community,” Trenier said. “Rarely do I have the chance to work with so many community members on one project, and I’m thankful for this opportunity.”

The new mural is part of genEquality’s Inclusive Safety Mural Series, an initiative that harnesses the power of art and community to activate New Yorkers in creating safe and inclusive communities. The program features both community programming and artistic creation.

“It’s always a privilege to work with community leaders and residents, like the ones we worked with at MAR Houses, and come together to create a work of art that is designed to inspire and strengthen the community,” said genEquality Executive Director Sherry Hakimi. “We look forward to seeing this co-created mural continue to be a source of inspiration at MAR Houses and the City as a whole.”

MAR Houses Tenant Association President Tanya Pedler said the group appreciates the city’s commitment to enhancing the neighborhood.

“The mural, a true work of art, reflects the vibrant spirit and diversity of Morrisania Air Rights Houses,” Pedler said. “Through vibrant colors and intricate designs, it captures the essence of our community’s identity, serving as a visual representation of our shared values, dreams and aspirations. Each brushstroke on the mural speaks to the power of collaboration and reminds us of the strength we possess when we come together.”

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