A new mural in Forest Hills pays tribute to the life and legacy of former resident Helen Keller.
The mural features images of Helen Keller with scenes from her life, her biography and her most famous quote: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” The 48-foot-long, 4-foot-high mural can we found on the west wall of the LIRR’s Ascan Avenue overpass.
Rego-Forest Preservation Council Chair Michael Perlman predicts that the mural will not only generate community pride and beautify the area, but will also attract tourists, educate passers-by, and become an “Instagrammable” spot in the neighborhood.
The mural initiative was spearheaded by Perlman, who secured $6,500 in funding from Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz, the Queens Economic Development Corporation and a few local retailers. The mural was painted by internationally famous street artists Crisp and Praxis.
As an infant, Keller was left blind and deaf after suffering from scarlet fever and later would learn lip-reading and Braille. From 1917 to 1938, Keller lived in a brick house where The Reform Temple of Forest Hills currently operates at the corner of 112th Street and 71st Road. She ultimately became the first first deaf-blind person to receive a bachelor of arts degree from Radcliffe College and went on to become a women’s suffragette, disability activist, author and lecturer on the way to being inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.