Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs NYCulture City of New York

Percent for Art

   Nitza Tufino

Feather Explosion, Ceramic mural, 1994


Feather Explosion

Completion Date:



Ceramic mural




Public School 12


430 Howard Avenue, Brooklyn


Perkins & Will

Sponsor Agency:

Board of Education

Design Agency:

School Construction Authority

Nitza Tufino's ceramic mural for P.S. 12 depicts scenes from Brooklyn's West Indian Day Parade, held annually on Labor Day. Featured prominently are images of the traditional and often fanciful costumes and masks worn by parade participants. The mural is divided into daytime scenes of the parade on the left and nighttime scenes on the right.

About the Artist...
An artist since her early teens, Nitza Tufino was trained first in Puerto Rico in the graphic arts, at the side of her father, and later in Mexico as a muralist. Over the past two decades, her dedication and talent have been acknowledged in several public commissions. As a woman in a field traditionally dominated by males, Tufino often found herself in a difficult, yet exciting pioneering role. Her profound connection to the urban Latino population whose themes and concerns have been her primary inspiration as an artist, as well as her love of teaching, particularly of young people, have strengthened her throughout. Tufino's first mural commission, for El Museo del Barrio in 1973, was a proud affirmation of the Afro-Caribbean roots of the Puerto Rican people. She has also completed a mural at the 103rd Street Subway Station for the MTA Arts for Transit Program.

Artist Quote...
As an artist, if I take my brushes and my skills and I invest in the lives of young people, then others can see what is possible. Maybe it will inspire other artists to share their time. I want the art work to continue and not to die ... this is highly political to have young people lead ... we need a chain that grows ... I believe human beings can do anything, if we find something that would positively influence them. -- Tufino, 1990