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March 2019 - Art in the Gardens - Edward P. Bowman Park

About the Garden:

The nonsectarian, nonprofit, Harlem organization was founded in 1994 as one of the few inner-city, urban land trusts in New York City and the United States.  They are responsible for creating and now stewarding three vest-pocket parks and community gardens, and one open-space children's playground on West 128th and 129th Streets between 5th and Lenox Avenues. These are the locations where 50+ Harlem families become big-city, urban farmers growing their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers. 
 
As part of their mission to improve the quality of life for Harlem children, families and senior citizens, Rev. Linnette C. Williamson Memorial Park Association Inc. has used their four open-space properties for 25 years to strengthen the social fabric of Harlem by bringing together people of diverse ages, cultures, ethnicities, incomes, races, religions, and sexual orientations. They have also provided for 22 years an educational enrichment program, free of charge to low-income families, emphasizing literacy training in partnership with the Bank Street College of Education, a national leader in children’s learning.
 
 
About the Mural:
The mural was envisioned by two of the original founders of The Rev. Linnette C. Williamson Memorial Park Association, Inc., Edward P. Bowman and Dorothy Morris.  The park is named in honor of Mr. Bowman who passed away in 2006. Funders of the mural include: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. and Manhattan Community Arts Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
 
Painted in 1994 by Shirley and Timothy and then in 1997 by a group of children, the image captured in the mural emphasizes the yearning of urban residents to experience close to their homes a microcosm of country living, green spaces, and farming that so many people once experienced each day. The waterfall, trees, lake, and fish in the mural speak to a different time and place far from the city streets - bringing Harlem residents from the concrete and asphalt of the city streets into a refuge of the natural world.  “The mural is [greatly] appreciated by residents”, Paul Coppa, one of the original founders the Harlem Land Trust, reflects “this is no doubt why in its 25 year history, the mural has never been vandalized in any way. It remains a special part of our Harlem neighborhood”. 

 

Photo: Mural at Edward P. Bowman Park community garden. Photo by Ariana Arancibia, GreenThumb 

 

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