June 12, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
Over 100 graffiti works and murals have been painted on the walls of buildings in and around Welling Court in Astoria.
The works are part of the 10th annual Welling Court Mural Project, which showcases contemporary graffiti and mural artworks on Welling Court at 30th Avenue & 12th Street.
The project is coordinated by arts organization Ad Hoc Art, which invites artists each year to create new works in the area and share their talents with the community.
This year’s art project had its official unveiling on Saturday, but the art will be on display for the next year.
The display includes works by up-and-coming artists and well-established painters, according to Ad Hoc Art’s Owner and the Director of Welling Court Mural Project, Garrison Buxton.
Buxton said the artists are given creative freedom to paint whatever they want, but that many choose socially relevant themes.
Many pieces pay tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall, including a piece by artist Lady Pink, who Buxton said is a Queens resident and well respected graffiti artist. She has participated in nine out of the 10 Welling Court Mural Projects.
The project was launched a decade ago after Jonathan Ellis, a former resident, approached Buxton with the idea.
The entire project was hatched by the community and has grown since.
Local businesses have supported the project by allowing the artists to use their walls as canvases and, in the case of R&R General Supply, donating paint and art supplies year after year.
Buxton said the project is uplifting.
“People prefer to have art in their lives,” Buxton said. “Studies have been done that show an increase in the quality of life of people exposed to more color and the feedback has been overwhelmingly supportive from all demographics.”