Concrete Connection Unveiling
New public artwork unveiled in the South Bronx!
Thank you for coming out in support of the new gateway to Concrete Plant park!
Parks have taken on a new meaning in the COVID-19 era. For many individuals sheltering in place, spacious, outdoor environments like the Bronx River Park offer a much-needed respite—an essential antidote to cabin fever. For others—for example, people with compromised immune systems or essential, frontline workers—visits to parks remain off-limits.
Concrete Connection is a physical connection to the Bronx River Park that also connects these two realities.
Back in July we met with and requested community members of the Southern Boulevard neighborhood engaging in park activities to share their photos as part of a series of large-scale portraits. Illustrated by the artist Richard A. Chance, Concrete Connection features these portraits of the residents reenacting their favorite park activities from their homes.
We spent the beautiful day in Concrete Plant Park in the Bronx to officially unveil Concrete Connection. We were joined by the organizations that helped make the installation possible as well as members of the community who were featured in the mural. The Bronx River Alliance acted as the host, handing out flyers and eager to share all the events they host throughout the year- from canoeing to agricultural gardening.
Users of the park mentioned that the main entrance was hidden to many people in the neighborhood, and that having the mural with the beautiful portraits displayed so prominently serves as the perfect entrance to the park. Artist Richard A. Chance was in attendance to take photos with the people whose portraits he had transformed.
Representatives from the Point CDC shared with us the history of how the park was claimed by the community through a temporary garden, which has since greatly expanded and is now a permanent agriculture element within the park. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene agreed with how Concrete Plant Park serves as a new model for community led parks in the city.
It was inspirational to hear how seemingly small community driven interventions, like a garden or mural, become neighborhood centerpieces that bring us together as we spend more time apart.