By Carlotta Mohamed
A Queens-based artist unveiled his vibrant murals “Kittizens of Fresh Meadows” last week that portrays everyday people as cats — an inspiration that stemmed from his love of animals.
The Nov. 30 unveiling at 190th Street (opposite AMC) at Fresh Meadows Place includes three permanently installed murals by visual artist Rob Anderson.
Anderson was joined by state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing), City Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Fresh Meadows), Martha Taylor, Chair of Queens Community Board 8, and Bryan Furze, vice president of Federal Realty.
“Too often public spaces lack an artistic, whimsical element. ‘Kittizens’ fills that void with colorful creativity,” said Stavisky. “I can’t think of a better theme adjacent to a pet store, movie theater, and other venues in the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center.”
Anderson began working on the murals in mid-October with help from family and friends.
The visual artist described his artwork as big bold colorful creations that’s reminiscent of a playful New York City architecture with cats hanging out, going in and out of the arches.
The public art murals will add a lot of value to the neighborhood where there isn’t any visible street art, said Anderson.
“There’s an innocence to them that I think if another person looks at it they can be inspired and say I can go home and do something like this,” said Anderson. “I think that if the right people see this it might inspire a tradition of wanting to color the walls in this neighborhood more.”
Federal Realty has partnered with Anderson to create a public art program that is planned to roll out over the next couple of years at Fresh Meadows Place, one of the area’s most prominent destinations.
“Public art draws a community together and enlivens underutilized spaces,” said Furze. “We strive to create community centers where people may gather and share experiences. Rob’s whimsical murals bring excitement and new energy to Fresh Meadows as we work to enhance the connection with our neighbors and the destination for our visitors.”
Grodenchik said the new murals in Fresh Meadows “brightens and cheers” the corner of the vibrant community.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha