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Several members of the Kew Gardens community are coming together to create a new mural in the Kew Gardens Cinemas Park that will enhance the neighborhood while also showcasing the talents of its residents.
“In April of 2006, I visited Kew Gardens Cinemas Park, looked at the small brick wall which had graffiti on it and thought mural,” said project co-coordinator Carol Lacks, a member of the Kew Gardens Improvement Association (KGIA).
The project was put aside for a while and revisited in February of 2007 following discussions between KGIA, the Kew Gardens Civic Association and residents. A flyer was put out looking for Kew Gardens artists and ideas were solicited.
The design selected was by artist Carla Reyes. Once completed, it will show a filmstrip with 10 individual panels and will also include a marquee. Reyes said that this will enable artists to do work in their own styles and show the diversity of the neighborhood while still being brought together through the movie theme.
“I think they’re all going to be interesting and different,” Reyes said.
As the project progressed, it received the support of many individuals such as theatre and park owner Harvey Elgart and contractor Tito Chavez. Along with receiving an anonymous monetary donation from someone in the neighborhood, some supplies were also donated by Joe Anteri of J & B Paint & Wallpaper, Home Depot and The Studio @ DFB. The Kew Gardens Council for Recreation and the Arts has also supported the project.
“I think it will bring a sense of pride to the neighborhood and a lot of enjoyment for the people who sit in the park,” said project co-coordinator Rosemary Sherman. “The mural is an impressive collaborative artwork that showcases the talents of local artists and it will definitely give the people of Kew Gardens something to talk about.”
Reyes said they hope to have the mural completed around the same time of Community Day in June.
From May 14 to June 7, the artists involved in the mural project will be part of a group exhibition entitled “Art from the Urban Village: An Exhibition of Kew Gardens Artists.” It will be on display at Austin’s Steak and Ale House, located at 82-70 Austin Street.

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