FLATBUSH — Retail stores along Church Avenue in Flatbush will have a new look this spring. The commercial gates on five storefronts will be painted with “colorful and vibrant designs” by the winners in the “Uncover Church Avenue” public art competition.
Sponsored by the Church Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), the program was designed to engage local artists, residents, merchants and even children to take an active role in deciding the look of their neighborhood.
According to Melissa Skolnick, the BID’s program coordinator, More than 50 submissions were received from artists throughout Brooklyn, including students from Erasmus Hall High School.
“After months of community voting, brochure distributions and an exhibit at the Flatbush Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library — ending on Friday, Feb. 24 — the votes are finally in,” she said.
Following are the five winning artists and storefronts:
• Bruce Zeines for the Bonnie Youth Club at 1221 Church Ave.;
• Rudjessy Secours for Richie Rich at 1219 Church Ave.;
• Sherry Ginsberg Davis for the Iglesia Pentecostal at 1115 Church Ave.;
• Nu for the Children’s Corner at 1101 Church Ave.; and
• Catherine Rutgers for Drive Time Radio at 1111 Church Ave.
The above list includes three local residents (Bruce Zeines, Sherry Ginsberg Davis and Catherine Rutgers), one newcomer to Church Avenue (Nu) and one Erasmus Hall student (Rudjessy Secours).
“This part of Church Avenue is a very interesting zone, with stores on one side and homes on the other,” Rutgers told Skolnick. “My goal was to enhance a wonderful and complex environment, and bring eye-catching, refreshing brightness to the storefronts.”
“The Church Avenue BID applauds the vision of these artists and their commitment towards creating a positive and dynamic streetscape on Church Avenue,” said Skolnick.
The competition was sponsored by AvenueNYC, a program of the city’s Department of Small Business Services, along with Astoria Federal Savings Bank and the Brooklyn Arts Council. It was also made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.