A mural hundreds of feet high made of chalk — we must be dreaming. And we are in a way. The annual public art project ChalkFIT — titled Dreaming — kicks off today drawing attention the current political climate in the country. Our Michael Scotto has the story.
These drab buildings at the Fashion Institute of Technology are getting an artistic makeover courtesy of students who are taking part in what's called ChalkFIT, 75 students using chalk to create a massive mural on several concrete walls.
"It's new for me," said student Melissa Cicero. "This is actually new material. I'm used to canvases and paper. It's a challenge. But I accept challenges.
Now in its fourth year, ChalkFIT takes seniors out of the classroom and into the street to create a mural based on a theme chosen by their professor.
This year, the theme is dreaming. It is a take on the political debate across the country over what to do with the so-called "Dreamers" immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children.
"As artists they naturally are dreamers and have a good imagination," said professor Dan Shefelman. "But I wanted them to push it further into their subconscious and their dreams for the future."
The students had just one week to come up with their designs before they were sent to the sidewalk to draw them on the sides of buildings.
This sketch puts the heart in the head.
This one propels the viewer to space.
"Is it a nightmare or is it some kind of surreal scene?" said student Kreg Franco. "Is it him that he's seeing. I'm trying to keep it up for interpretation a bit.
Some students started their work just before the sun came up Monday, and immediately they began getting feedback from pedestrians who had stopped to look at what they were creating.
"I haven't even started on the color yet," said student Elana Conti. "And I've already got people coming up to me and saying, 'Wow, that's so cool, what's it about?'
It will likely take students until Friday to complete the mural. Once it is done, it will be up until spring.