ART: Getting Back ‘To The Pointz’ and Roots of Hip Hop Culture
SAVING 5 POINTZ: THE INSTITUTE OF HIGHER BURNING
Still standing tall amid pending demolition and redevelopment plans, international graffiti mecca 5Pointz closes the season with its annual B-boy Battle today (Saturday, Sept. 14). ‘To The Pointz,’ a Dynamic Rockers and Lionz of Zion production, is free and open to all ages at the famed aerosol art center which spans a block-long former factory warehouse. Sign ups will be held the day of the event in Long Island City.
ARTISTIC VISION BLINDSIDED
If you don’t know anything about 5Pointz, stop by and see why this place means so much to graffiti muralists and writers, as well as legendary B-boy crews, local MCs, DJs and other supporters who have been inspired by the sprawling urban landmark from Day 1. I keep holding out hope, but most likely, this will be the last time you’ll have this chance since luxury, residential towers are in the foreseeable future.
This season was particularly poignant as 5Pointz welcomed its 10th year with “Summer 2013: Celebrating 40 Years of Hip-Hop,” a four-month tribute to the culture it represents so well. The site became a safe (legal) haven for thousands of artists sharing a unique art form with the world.
‘SORRY TO SEE IT GO’
Queens Tourism Council director Rob MacKay spoke with the NY Daily News recently about imminent changes. “We’re sorry to see 5Pointz go,” he said in the August article. “It has fulfilled the artistic needs of many people from around the world for a very long time. It gives us a kind of international street cred.”
According to news reports, property owner Jerry Wolkoff hopes to demolish 5Pointz by the end of the year, but promised new buildings will have an arts space. “It will have some space within there for some artists, not graffiti, but regular artists in there,” Wolkoff said in a WNYC interview posted here.
Marie Flageul, a spokesperson for the artists at 5Pointz, also shared her views with WNYC. “Long Island City is not Williamsburg. Long Island City is not Dumbo. Long Island City has been struggling from day one to keep an artists scene,” she said. “And everything they’re doing in developing Long Island City is pushing out the artists.”
In my book, graffiti IS art and the last time I looked, 5Pointz always made room for some amazing talent.
5Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burning: http://5ptz.com/
‘To The Pointz’ event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/233742143446827/
Dynamic Rockers coverage (2012): https://taniafuentez.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/dance-dynamic-rockers-going-all-out-for-anniversary/