PUBLIC ART SCHOOL MURALS
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "REBIRTH" at West Brooklyn Community High School, Brooklyn. Spring 2022, installed Aug 2022. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza.
16-session high school mural with approximately a dozen high school students at WBCHS. Design is about rebirth, cycles, and circles. Day and sun, night and moon. Fire, earth, and water, peppered with symbols of rebirth including a phoenix, Ouroboros, moon cycle, and lotus flower.
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "WORLD OF IMAGINATION" at PS 69k, Brooklyn. June 2022. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza.
16-session elementary school mural with 24 5th graders at PS 69k.
About the design: In the center is planet earth, held gently by two hands, filled with ocean wildlife and plants (including laurel leaves, a symbol of victory, prosperity, success, and protection). To the left is a blossoming cherry tree (a symbol of beauty, love, renewal) with a buzzing bee. To the right is a fruit-filled orange tree (a symbol of wealth and happiness) with a perched owl. On both sides bottom to top are clouds, swirling sky, and outer space with moon, sun, planets, rockets, and astronauts. On the far left is a silhouette of a child raising a peace sign. On the far right is a silhouette of a graduate raising their diploma.
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "DITMAS PROUD" at IS 62, Brooklyn. 2020-22. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza.
Middle school project that was canceled in March 2020 during the design phase due to pandemic, but later designed, painted off-site, and eventually installed in 2022. Design reflects the motto of IS 62, their school colors, and their vibrant after-school arts programs.
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "THE WINDOW OUTSIDE" at Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, Downtown Manhattan. June 2021,
Collaboration (hybrid in-person/remote after-school project) with high school students UASEM, acrylic on Polytab, approx 250 sq ft. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza. #groundswellnyc
About the design: This mural is about inclusion, student-teacher relationships, and the future outside of high school. Includes an open book with pages scattered with quotes of advice from the youth written during our research/design sessions. The figures of students and teachers symbolize the school community and the friendly relationship between faculty, staff, and youth. Color spectrum represents support and inclusion for all gender expressions. School is locations at the heels of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, a nod to the school’s neighborhood and connection to outer boroughs. Flowers, sky, clouds, sun, rain, and birds are all reminders of the beautiful world that awaits us.
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "KINDNESS TREE" at PS 69k, Sunset Park/Borough Park/Chinatown, Brooklyn. February 2020.
Collaboration with fifth graders from P.S. 69, acrylic on Polytab, approx 150 sq ft. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza. #groundswellnyc
About the design: The school emphasizes the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” as part of their daily school culture. It’s also their mission to promote multidisciplinary learning. Since the student population is predominately Chinese, I included a Gingko tree in the center which is an important symbol in Chinese culture that represents resilience and hope (there is also a Gingko in the school yard). The youth and I were both keen on the idea of “day and night” as a nod to the learning and growth that happens both inside and outside of school.
NYC MURAL ART PROJECT/DEPT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE, "FEELING ALL FOUR SEASONS, BRIDGING ALL FOUR SEASONS" at PS 24, 38th Street and 4th Ave, Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Completed June 2019, Dedicated October 2019. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza.
Created over 9 months in collaboration with adult peers from mental health community at Baltic Street AEH, students and staff from PS 24, and NYC's Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene. Design was developed and painted over 26 weekly workshops at Baltic, 4 open studio and design review events at PS 24, and 1 community paint day at PS 24. Acrylic on Polytab, approx. 2800 sq ft. Extension of mural installed at nearby Baltic Street Wellness Center in September 2019.
About the design: One's trauma or diagnosis does not define a person, just like our race, gender or other stigmatizing labels do not define us. We all struggle with mental health and those in the mental health community are just like you: We experience all four seasons in New York City, we cycle through emotional highs and lows, and we all seek connection, understanding and compassion — from family and strangers alike — just like everyone else.
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF PS 516" at PS 516, Sunset Park, Brooklyn. May 2019.
Collaboration with fifth graders from P.S. 516 over 16 sessions, acrylic on drywall, approx 200 sq ft. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza. #groundswellnyc
About the design: Students and staff wanted the mural to be a "welcome" to all students and directly reflect the school's 5 guiding principles: Creativity, integrity, resilience, inclusion, and curiosity. They also wanted to include images that reflect planet earth and their environmental science club.
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "WE ARE THE BRONX LIONS!" at PS 58x, Tremont, Bronx. June 2018
Collaboration with fourth and fifth graders from P.S. 58x over 20 sessions, Acrylic on Polytab, approx 250 sq ft. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza. #groundswellnyc
About the design: Principal requested the mural be colorful and welcoming, reflecting the immediate neighborhood of Tremont and the landmarks of the Bronx (and a lion since it's their school mascot). During the design phase youth made beautiful collages and all of them included lions. We spent a lot of time discussing colors and shapes, especially geometric shapes. Mural includes local elements such as Yankee Stadium, Bronx Zoom, Throggs Neck and Whitestone bridges, and the D train, as well as a male and female lion facing each other.
"WAKE UP! (Rooster)" at PS 9, 80 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, NY. August 2018.
STEAMmuralproject. Acrylic on brick, approx 100 sq ft. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza.
About the design: Rooster shouts "wake up!" to the youth entering the school building each morning, located near one of several entrances. Mural is exterior and viewable from the sidewalk, inspiring adult pedestrians to "wake up" and be more aware.
GROUNDSWELL NYC, "RIDGEWOOD IS MY PLACE!" at PS 305, Seneca & Dekalb, Ridgewood, Queens, June 2017
Co-Lead Artists: Julia Cocuzza + Mason Sills w/ a dozen fifth and sixth graders from PS 305 and IS 93, acrylic on drywall, approximately 200 sq ft.
About the design: Mural consists of two walls facing each other in the school's main entrance. The design is organized by a simplified street map of the Ridgewood neighborhood as well as local imagery including historic architecture, elevated subway platforms, Ridgewood theater, and bus stops. Design also includes "remixed" versions of the youth themselves, as well as hands-holding and other symbols of friendship and collaboration.
THRIVE COLLECTIVE NYC, "BREATHE FREE, NYC" Cafeteria of Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists. June 2017
Collaboration with high school students from BSSWA, Hunts Point, Bronx, NY. Acrylic on panel, approx 250 sq ft. Lead Artist: Julia Cocuzza.
About the design: Theme was "immigration" and its importance in what makes our city and our country so great. Students created drawings that reflected these themes which were assembled into the design, including Statue of Liberty, immigrants at Ellis Island, life cycle of dandelions, local bridges, and puzzle pieces.