Bed-Stuy-inspired artwork by Lantern artists unveiled, to be displayed at MoMA

Part of the 'Block Party' artwork created by Lantern Community Services artists through an education partnership with the Museum of Modern Art

Read about this event on dnainfo: Supportive Housing Residents Artwork to be Showcased at MoMA

Brooklyn, NY – June 1, 2016 – A large-scale relief map artwork was unveiled at Lantern Community Services’ Clover Hall in Bedford-Stuyvesant today, created by a group of formerly homeless artists through a collaborative project with MoMA’s Community Partnership program. The experimental, foam block work communicates the artists’ feelings and sensations of Bed-Stuy, and of New York City at large.

Lantern Community Services was selected by MOMA as a Community Partner because of the organization’s commitment to integrating art into its work with its formerly homeless clients. Through the program, MoMA Educator Kerry Downey joined Lantern clients at Clover Hall over five months to discuss, design and create the artwork. The artists’ expansive discussions about place over the course of the sessions led them to create the block-printed map, showing the lines, shapes, and textures of the Bed-Stuy neighborhood. The artwork includes abstract ideas alongside symbols and images which speak to the lives of the participants, and was made by drawing into foam, inking the surface, and printing the foam blocks.

William Bish, 72, lives at Clover Hall and is one of the artists who created the foam block work. A prolific artist himself, he has been involved in Lantern’s art group for over a year and believes that art is vital for social connection. Mr Bish said:

“This project drew us together, combining our efforts into unusual teamwork. This is what the world needs: people to come together. If people understand this, take a chance and take the time to find out what’s going on with others, they would find out that we’re all on this ball together. All people should learn to come together in this way. Art connects.”

Laura Lazarus, Lantern Community Services’ Executive Director, said:

“Art is a powerful tool for therapeutic self-expression and recovery and is a crucial part of the holistic service we offer our formerly homeless clients. Our partnership with MoMA has been a great opportunity for some of our talented artists to develop their passion, and we can’t wait to see their work at MoMA in November.”

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