Wednesday, October 11, 2023
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NYC DOT Celebrates Transformation of Beverley Road Open Street Into Pedestrian Plaza With New Public Art, Marking 65 DOT Art Projects Completed Under Adams Administration
Transformation of Beverley Open Street adds 5,600 square feet of permanent pedestrian space to existing, adjacent Kensington Plaza—more than doubling plaza's footprint
New Asphalt Art adds vibrancy to plaza, one of 65 projects NYC DOT Art completed under the Adams Administration
New pedestrian plaza space at Beverley Road unveiled today
New York — New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez joined elected officials and community members today to celebrate the transformation of the Beverley Road Open Street into a permanent pedestrian plaza, the latest car-free public space growing out of the NYC DOT's Open Streets program. This permanent redesign of the popular Open Street improves traffic safety and adds about 5,600 square feet to the adjacent Kensington Plaza. The new pedestrian space has been covered in an asphalt mural from Brooklyn-based artist Misha Tyutyunik, making it the 65th NYC DOT Art project to be implemented during the Adams Administration, comprising 15 percent of all temporary public art projects since the program's inception in 2008. Photos and descriptions of these recent NYC DOT Art projects are available here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/nycstreets/U54380Nxcv.
"Every New Yorker deserves safe, accessible, and vibrant public spaces, and through our Open Streets program we are working with communities to bring these lasting benefits to neighborhoods across the city," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "As we continue to launch new Open Street locations, we are working to deliver permanent upgrades to existing locations like Beverley Road and coupling these projects with community art where possible. This is another great example of how we can effectively incorporate public art into our safety projects and we thank elected officials and the community for their support."
BEVERLEY ROAD PLAZA EXPANSION
NYC DOT worked with a community partner in 2022 to launch an open street during weekends on the underutilized, westernmost block of Beverley Road, between East Second Street and Church Avenue. The transformation of this block into new pedestrian space expands the adjacent Kensington Plaza to create one large, unified pedestrian space totaling 9,400 square feet. Through the new design, NYC DOT shortened pedestrian crossings on Church Avenue, Beverley Road, and East Second Street created and created new loading zones on East Second Street for local deliveries to businesses and residences. As part of the transformation, NYC DOT will add granite blocks, planters, umbrellas, flexible delineators, and movable furniture.
ABOUT MISHA TYUTYUNIK AND THE BEVERLEY MURAL
Misha Tyutyunik is a Ukrainian-born painter, muralist, street artist, illustrator, and most recently, virtual reality artist, living and working out of Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of Pratt Institute, he travels the world creating murals and is regularly commissioned to paint and illustrate for many reputable brands, publications and collectors. His multi-colored mural on the new plaza space, titled "A Conversation on Beverley," reflects multi-lingual outreach he conducted in Kensington with residents to discuss the symbolism, colors, and words that best represent the community.
ABOUT NYC DOT PLAZA PROGRAM
NYC DOT works with selected organizations to create neighborhood plazas throughout the City to transform underused streets into vibrant, social public spaces. The NYC Plaza Program is a key part of the City's effort to ensure that all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of quality open space. Eligible organizations can propose new plaza sites for their neighborhoods through a competitive application process. Visit nyc.gov/plazas for more information about the program and a full list of locations.
ABOUT NYC DOT ART
The New York City Department of Transportation's Art Program (NYC DOT Art) partners with community-based, nonprofit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to eleven months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections and eye-catching sculptures. Sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas and pedestrianized spaces serve as canvases and foundations for temporary art. Since 2008, NYC DOT Art has produced over 400 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dotart, @nyc_DOT, @nyc_DOTArt.
"The composition for 'A Conversation on Beverley' mural is distilled from the feedback sourced from community engagement workshops, where local residents were asked to imagine their community through symbols, words and colors. The result is a design that highlights connectivity, community, peace, love and diversity through the subtly interlaced imagery of faces, fresh fruit, homes, flowers, sun, moon and stars, utilizing vibrant colors and abstraction, to paint a vivid slice of local life," said muralist Misha Tyutyunik. "As an immigrant from Soviet Ukraine, I have always seen art as a global language. My artistic practice is informed by urbanism, cultural identity, iconography, and contemporary popular culture, and is influenced by 'Golden Age' graffiti, Japanese prints, Abstract Expressionism, Mexican and WPA Muralism, German Expressionism, and Social Realism. Utilizing expressive brushstrokes and bold colors, I aim to create work that is culturally and socially aware, while also aesthetically, visually and compositionally sound. Both locally and abroad, working in underserved spaces where I have existing relationships and in new ones where there is the potential of creating public art to be used as a tool for social change, is the priority for me."
"The transformation of Beverley Road will provide New Yorkers of all ages with a beautiful space to gather and enjoy. The installation of art gives the corridor a burst of color and homage to the diverse communities in Brooklyn," said State Senator Iwen Chu. "As a city, it is vital we continue to improve street safety and nourish our public spaces. I commend DOT for working with the local community to implement the upgrades and increase access for all New Yorkers. I'm excited to see how the local community will utilize the newly created pedestrian plaza."
"The creation of a permanent pedestrian plaza along Beverley Road will increase the size, scope and versatility of the adjacent Kensington Plaza and thus create a wonderful and unique public open space for the Kensington community," said Assembly Member Robert Carroll. "This beautiful new open space will be further enriched by Misha Tyutyunik's 'A Conversation on Beverley' mural that reflects the multilingual character of the Kensington community. I know that this mural will help ensure that the Kensington Plaza will be a gathering place for all generations to come."
"I am so thrilled to announce the expansion of Kensington Plaza today. Creating this extended open space in Kensington has been in the works for years. It is the result of hundreds of intentional community conversations and piloting it for the last two summers," said Council Member Shahana Hanif. "Unlike nearly every other neighborhood in District 39, Kensington has few public pedestrian spaces, so the inclusion of East 2nd Street and Beverley Road is a welcome addition. Creating accessible public spaces like the new Kensington Plaza is safer for pedestrians, good for small businesses, cuts down on our community's greenhouse gases, and will make our neighborhood stronger."
"We are thrilled to see the Beverley Open Street organizers' hard work pay off with this investment from DOT. Making this beloved Open Street permanent will create the support and stability to ensure it brings much needed public space to Kensington for years to come; expanding and improving the surrounding streets will help make Beverley Street into a safe, vibrant public space destination that builds community and connection," said Jackson Chabot, Director of Advocacy and Organizing at Open Plans. "New York's priorities are in the right place when we create new opportunities for public spaces to thrive."