Canvas Mural Exchange: Okhla-India, Callao-Peru, Queens-New York: in collaboration with Give a Hand, Vidya, CAES and Teachers College (CU)


Canvas Mural Exchange: Ohkla-India, Callao-Peru, Queens-New York

The international exchange canvas mural is an exchanged gift, originally created in Jackson Heights Queens, New York by fifteen local young painters. This canvas was intentionally painted in two halves. A vote across the group decided which side would go to Peru, and which side would go to India. Messages were written in Spanish and Hindi, and after completion, the piece was cut in half.

The right half of the canvas was then brought to Delhi, India. The mural was presented to the children in the Vidya center in Endira Camp, Ohkla Phase I, as a permanent gift for the entrance of the Center. Videos and photography of the group from Queens was shown to the group in Delhi. From seeing the video and the mural, this ignited a conversation about what the mural in exchange would be, to bring back to kids in Queens.

The idea was to have a series of two conversations between two men and two women. This was painted over a color ground of different tones of green, written in different sized letters in Hindi. A traditionally patterned mountain range, river, sun and trees emerge. In the center there is an Indian flag, and the two conversations are occurring on either side of the flag. Both interactions are exchanges of handshakes and gifts. Over twenty participants worked on this piece over three days, and the mural was presented at the Shanti Arts final mural, foundstrument, music and dance performance.  Over one hundred kids gathered in front of the mural displayed for the closing ceremony.

Currently, half of the canvas mural made in Jackson Heights, Queens greets every person who walks in the center in the main entrance of the Vidya center, in Ohkla, Delhi. The ideas of imagination and conversation related across the cultures. The mural was then brought to Peru and collaboratively painted by a community in Callao, Lima, Peru. This international canvas conversation mural now resides in the Joseph Pulitzer School, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY. This mural exchange will be seen by children, teenagers and adults across the world every day living as creative public gifts.