Art Curator Jeff Beler said he thought it would be nice to bring art to a building that sat abandoned for ten years.

Jeff Beler, artist and curator of the Underhill Walls project
Photo: IG @sacsix

On Saturday, art curator Jeff Beler was back in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Prospect Heights for the sixth installment of his bi-annual, day-long painting event called “Underhill Walls,” in which some of the most celebrated muralists across the Tri-State area go to work beautifying  Underhill Avenue and St. John’s Place.

This street art expo is one of many Beler has conducted in and around the Prospect Heights area. The first project started in 2015 when Beler collaborated with Love Heals, a non-profit organization that empowers young people to become educators and advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The artists painted on 8-ft by 8-ft wooden panels used to wall off an abandoned building– one that has sat unoccupied for the past decade, Beler explained. Beler said he was granted permission to paint on the 17 panels surrounding the building, and he chose 20 artist to complete the task. Some of the artists reached out to him via Instagram and some Beler had worked with on previous occasions. Beler said, when identifying artists for the project, he looks for people that are “positive, easy to work with; who work well with others, and are interactive with the crowd or audience.”

Artist Albertus Joseph paints another famous artist from Brooklyn, Basquiat
Photo: BK Reader

He likes the art to be expressive, fun, and loving but nothing controversial like religion or politics, because he wants it to bring happiness and positivity for all in the community. The neighborhood loves it and always gathers to watch the transformation as artists of all stripes show off their personal style– from graffiti art to realism, from conceptual art to comic art and even wood carving.

You can find all the featured artist on Saturdays event on Instagram:

@zimad_art, @pintocards, @jsear7, @jeffhenriquezart_, @albertusjoeseph, daniellebknyc, @winslowworld, @funquest, @chinomaria, @nileonyx, @clawmoney, @dirtcobain, @outersource, @mylifein.yellow, @adine.fe, @vballentine99, @dylonthomasburns, @sr.lasso, @soulsnyc, @miyagivisuals, @reynoldsart

“It has been a huge labor of love, and it’s gratifying because it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” said Beler. And there’s more to come:

  • On April 21, Beler and artist Albertus Joseph will return to Underhill and St. John’s Place to erect a temporary mural of Sean Price, a Brooklyn rapper who died in 2015.
  • On April 28, Beler and his artists will paint the walls of P.S. 9, the Teunis G. Bergen Elementary  on Underhill Avenue. The mural will be in honor of a 9-year-old girl, a former student of P.S. 9, who passed away from brain cancer.
  • On September 29, Jeff will hold another live art curation at The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens during the Chilli Pepper Fest.

To learn more about where Jeff Beler and his team of muralist will be working this summer, follow him on Facebook.

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Shanell Culler-Sims

I am 19 years young. I am an intern at BK Reader through Bridge Street Development Corporation's MyBase program. I enjoy reading, writing, and singing. I'm a little sister and a big sister just trying...

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  1. The so-called “abandoned” building is not abandoned at all. The owners live nearby and it is fact used as a storage area for junk. Did you hear any dogs barking while investigating the story about street art? Well, there are dogs that live in the basement. Why not do a story about that? 311 doesn’t care, NYPD doesn’t care and the ASPCA doesn’t care. How about that for a story?

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