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Collaboration with Groundswell: New York Academy of Art update

The award of a four-year grant to the New York Academy of Art has served to further several goals of this graduate school of Fine Art.  First and foremost it allows us to advance the education of young persons, a key objective of the Foundation.  Second, it allows us to address the financial needs of talented, aspiring young art students who without financial support might otherwise not be able to afford the cost of a master’s degree in the fine arts.  Third, the support of the Foundation has inspired an opportunity to enable scholarship recipients “to give back to the community” a portion of that which they have been fortunate to receive.  This final element is achieved through a mentoring project.


In the first year of the grant, the Academy has been fortunate to collaborate with another Foundarion grant recipient, Groundswell Community Mural Project.  The first scholarship recipient at the Academy is Jason Talley, a twenty-two year old graduate of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC.  Jason, during his undergraduate years, was fortunate to have had mural painting experience through one of his former teachers, and he is putting this experience plus his training in drawing and painting at the Academy to good use in his mentoring project. 

pix Jason

Groundswell is working with a national union to create a mural that commemorates the history and a significant anniversary for the institution, whose headquarters is only several blocks away from the Academy on the edge of Chinatown and TriBeCa.  The union’s commitment to its members, maintenance workers, cleaning staff and others, is vividly captured in a room-size mural which is now nearing completion.  Jason, under the guidance of the artist-in-charge and his assistant, works side by side with Brooklyn youth of varied backgrounds, on the mural, sharing his skills, experience, and insights into the mural-making process.  Not only does this allow our Scholarship recipient a practical art-making experience as well as trying a hand at teaching, but it also, through the bonds of a team-based effort with students only five or six years younger, encourages an excitement in committing to a community-based project and a spirit of enhancing the city in which they live.


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