If you live in Queens or happen to be around that burrough with some time to spare, I highly suggest checking out the Welling Court Mural Project in West Astoria. It’s free, open 24/7 to the public, and a true hidden gem in NYC.
Coming from Manhattan? Definitely take the ferry from Wall Street or East 34th street to Astoria. The Astoria ferry stop is steps away from Welling Court, and it’s lovely to take in the views of the East Side as you cruise. You can even get a drink or a snack from the on-board bar.
Once you find yourself near Welling Court and 30th Avenue, you’ll find an array of murals that are a mix of pop eye candy and political art on every viable surface. These works are completed by numerous artists in a variety of mediums and provide a truly eclectic art experience.
This public art project began in 2009 and has been going strong since. Residents of Welling Court teamed up with Ad Hoc Arts, a gallery based in Brooklyn, to beautify their neighborhood and their efforts seriously paid off. This would be a super fun place to live.
The best part? The murals are redone on a yearly basis by a different crop of artists. You’ll want to make stopping by Welling Court an annual tradition. Over 150 murals were completed on June 9th, 2018 during the last changeover, so head towards there this summer to check out the fresh crop of art.
The murals are the perfect backdrop for your next selfie on Instagram. Heck, stock up on different poses in front of as many murals as possible and you’ll have plenty of posting material for months to come. There are plenty of fire hydrants to lean your phone against if you don’t have someone to snap a shot for you (thank goodness for self timer.)
My favorite pieces from the most recent update are definitely the politically charged ones. It’s clear the artists are passionate about the relevant messages behind their art.
The previous years’ political murals were more heavily focused on the Trump administration. The pieces from the recent redo seem to be shedding light on the deeper, more specific issues surrounding our country and planet.
I appreciate the change because it seems to highlight that our society’s problems are bigger than our president. Get inspired by these passionate statements and then make some phone calls to your government representatives.
Looking for a break from the pavement and spray paint? Socrates Sculpture Park is only a few minutes away by foot by taking Vernon Boulevard.
You can also walk to Astoria Park in about ten minutes. I love how accessible nature is in this part of Queens!
If you have a dog, the Welling Court Mural Project is a great walk to do with your furry friend. Stop by Chateau de Woof, half dog boutique/half coffee shop, to pick up human and dog treats and take a break from the summer sun.
Be sure to check out the Welling Court Mural Project before the murals are redone in 2019!
I look forward to sharing more of my favorite spots in New York City over the next few months through Self-Care Season‘s new series, “Around NYC.”