The mural, created by local artist Stae Two, was commissioned by Madison International Realty, a global firm which owns the 410,000-square-foot shopping mall in Elmhurst.
Evan Walke, portfolio manager at the firm, said in an interview that the company not only believes in supporting local artists, but has welcomed art at its properties as a way to “bring enjoyment to the neighborhood” and contributing to the arts and urban landscape.
“Madison International Realty has a strong interest in public art,” he said, “and the presence it can have in the community.”
The Elmhurst mural, called “TOGETHER,” was inspired by the firm’s desire to convey a message that the community is “in it together” during the global pandemic and the fight against social injustices, Walke said.
He noted that Queens Place Mall is close to Elmhurst Hospital, and hopefully will serve as an inspiration for those who serve on the front lines against the coronavirus.
Walke said Madison International Realty chose to work with Stae Two because of the artist’s ties to the borough. The artist was born and raised in Queens, and is currently the co-owner and creative director of the Graffiti Arts Mural Company, a mural design and consulting agency.
The mural isn’t the only one that the firm has created at its New York City properties. Recently, Madison International Realty also commissioned a mural called “HOPE” at Atlantic Terminal Mall in Downtown Brooklyn.
That mural, which was created by local artist Jason Naylor, was inspired by the rainbows that children have been drawing and painting as a way to inspire hope during this uncertain time.
“Both murals convey the message of hope for brighter days to come,” Walke said. “We believe art is integral to local communities, and each of these locations helps to make it accessible and ideally provide messages of hope.”
Naylor, a Brooklyn resident, was chosen for his “vibrant style of art” and his positive messaging, Walke said. The Brooklyn artist has also started his own project to spread messages of hope throughout the city.
Walke said the company would welcome the opportunity to commission more murals like these in the future.
He noted that “HOPE” is the third artwork commissioned by Madison International Realty at Atlantic Terminal Mall. Previously, the firm worked with Brooklyn artist Patrick Dougher from the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) to create a piece called “Spread Love.”
Madison also worked with other artists from MoCADA to create a mural called “Take It Easy.”
“We are excited to work with local artists,” Walke said, “and to give back to the communities that our properties serve.”