Things are looking a bit brighter along a stretch of Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City. That's because a protected bike lane barrier is being turned into a colorful piece of art as part of the city Department of Transportation's Barrier Beautification Program.
"We always see concrete. We always see metal. We always see, you know, dark construction and elements like that so we so we like to add something that's a pop of color and surprises someone who is along their route," said DOT Art Program Project Manager, Courtney Whitelocke
This is the eleventh round of the DOT's beautification program which aims to revitalize public spaces throughout the city with colorful designs. This one is the work of designer Jessie Contour. The San Diego transplant and Parson's graduate answered the DOT's open call for artists posted online.
"I really was looking for a way to feel at home in New York City cause it's such a big place and something like this being able to create artwork and make a mark on the city seemed like a great way to do it," said Contour
Her inspiration came from an old paper plate design from the 90's called the jazz cup. It has a zig zaggy pattern that was on disposable plates and cups.
Volunteers from New York Cares and Army West Point teamed up to bring life to Jessie's 1990's inspired design
"I really liked the idea of beautifying an area where there's going to be a lot of people. I like beautifying near a park," said volunteer Carla Hawke
Contour hopes the 1-thousand 80 linear feet of concrete barriers spanning from 31st avenue to 40th Avenue will be a bright spot in people's day.
"I just wanted them to be able to walk, bike, drive past it and just feel energized and just happy to be on their way," said Contour
Volunteers will finish the painting the design on Friday.