Sunset Park

Sunset Park interim library celebrates art created by local teens

December 18, 2018 By Jaime DeJesus Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A teen-designed window shade. Photo courtesy of Leroy Street Studio
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On Thursday, Dec. 13, the interim Sunset Park Brooklyn Public Library branch unveiled a new sculptural window-shading system created by local teenagers from Sunset Park’s Center for Family Life (CFL).

This past summer, New York-based architects Leroy Street Studio (LSS) helped the youngsters work on their various designs with teaching artist Mauricio Trenard as they created their vision for the community, the environment and the importance of lifelong learning.

During the event, held at the interim library, 4201 Fourth Ave., BPL President Linda Johnson honored the students’ work.

“A successful library reflects the community it serves. We are delighted to present the artwork of the student designers from Sunset Park’s Center for Family Life, which captures their vision for the neighborhood today and in the future,” she said.

Trenard shared his pride in his students and discussed what the art means to the Sunset Park community.

“As an immigrant and Sunset Park resident myself, it has been an honor and source of pride to have worked on this project with students from the Sunset Park immigrant community,” he said. “This beautiful art installation shows us once again the potential that the young people of this community have and what can be achieved when we involve them in the process of transforming the public spaces of their neighborhood. I hope that this new space and its art — imbued with their imagination, innovation and creativity — continue inspiring Sunset Park youth to become wonderful creators of beautiful and transformative things.”

LSS converted the former courthouse into an interim home for the Sunset Park Library.

“This is an example of how community members can have a direct hand in creating their public space. As designers, we are moved by the life and energy these students brought to the project,” said Shawn Watts, a partner in LSS. “They are representative of the local expertise that helped craft this library — their work not only embodies an element of curiosity and joy but, inspired by the neighborhood and their own experience, also creates an imprint of Sunset Park itself.”

Working on the project. Photo by Pankaj Khadka/Leroy Street Studio
Working on the project. Photo by Pankaj Khadka/Leroy Street Studio


The project brought applause from elected officials representing the area. “Public spaces should reflect the spirit of their communities, so who better to design them than the next generation,” said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. “The creativity, foresight and intelligence of young people never ceases to amaze me. These teens are the future of our communities, and I thank the Center for Family Life, the Brooklyn Public Library and Leroy Street Studios for giving them this opportunity.”

“As a longtime supporter of art and our library system, I welcome the Brooklyn Public Library’s sculptural window shading system at Sunset Park Interim Library,” added Assemblymember Felix Ortiz. “I commend the Center for Family Life and the Leroy Street Studio for promoting a wonderful program for our children, adults and families through neighborhood-based family and social service efforts.”

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