It’s always great to see part of your community represented in public venues. That’s why a new installation of handcrafted tiles at the New York Aquarium is so neat. Senior residents of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have crafted over 80 handmade tiles, which will be on display at the New York Aquarium starting on Wednesday, October 24th.
The ocean-themed tiles feature an array of sea creatures such as fish, octopi, and mermaids. Through the community arts program at NYCHA, seniors from Frederick Douglass Senior Center and Sheepshead Nostrand Community Center were given the opportunity to work with professional artist Jennifer Wade. Wade sees art as an optimistic process, a healing process—and tries to transfer this belief into the NYCHA seniors she works with.
She has a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from New York University (NYU). She’s been involved with NYCHA since her time at NYU. She says, “Art is the process of living in the world—art is about life. Art brings out the creativity of the individual. Even though the students’ skill levels range vastly they are always solving problems and engaging with each other creatively. The art environment provides a full circle of education and encourages students to tap into normally unused areas of their brains.”
The tiles she helped NYCHA’s seniors create are a welcome addition to the aquarium’s plaza, giving it a colorful, warm feeling of community. The work will be unveiled at 1:00 PM on October 24th, and will be a free and open event for New York City residents.