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  • Writer's pictureErica Stella

Jenna Morello Spreads Love the Brooklyn Way

And it just won't quit.

Art will continue to occur out on the streets despite constant changes. The continued fight for the legality of public art will mold the landscape, and artists react accordingly. The waves of popularity clash with the culture, and the market can get saturated.

From the birth of hip hop, when graffiti was an expression in the urban terrain, artists needed each other. They needed a look-out, an assist, and a documenter as well. Today if they want a legal wall, AKA "permission", they will need a curator. The annual collectives and festivals bring some of the most impressive art to the area they occur in; but for as many as succeed, there are more that fail after a few cycles.

Collaboration not only occurs between artists, but there is a duet between artist and curator that can make for one successful wall. Simple and plain.

Photo by Erica Stella

Bay Ridge resident and "sicker than your average" artist, Jenna Morello was contacted by a San Francisco stencil artist named Fnnch, about his upcoming trip to the East Coast. He wanted to get up in Brooklyn, and he heard she was the woman to give him a hand. They were introduced through a mutual friend Cameron Moberg AKA Camer1 (from her Street Art Throwdown days), and the project came together quickly.

Photo by Erica Stella

Fnnch is known in the Bay Area for his Honey Bear, and other colorful, stenciled objects that make you smile. By putting beautiful art on sidewalks, mailboxes and parks, he is forcing you to grapple with the idea that something illegal exists. Perhaps the art should stay, and there should be a system permitting artistic expression in these spaces. His style is endearing, and you can’t say no. Neither could Jenna.

She took a walk around her neighborhood, and thought about the subject matter - a honey bear bottle. What type of business would appreciate such a thing on the side of their establishment? A common kitchen item, but for some reason gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. As she strolled down 3rd Avenue, she stopped at the corner of 80th Street - a restaurant supply store!

Photo by Erica Stella

Jenna walked into Tops Restaurant & Bar Supply Inc. and gave her business proposal. It isn’t always easy, and you never can predict how a situation will go. But Jenna is confident in her skills, and can sell her work. She also has Brooklyn on her side, and spreading the love to a fellow artist from the West Coast is a good deed she felt compelled to accomplish.

This wasn't a typical approach for Jenna, but a pleasant surprise! The family owned business were street art fans, and couldn’t be happier to be asked to participate in a collaboration on the side of their business. The owner’s daughter had spent the previous day chasing down the most recent Banksy craze, so street art was in the early Spring air.

If you listened to the In the Spray Room episode 6 with Jenna Morello, you would get a good sense of her work ethic:

"Everything you get you got to work hard for it"

Photo by Erica Stella
Photo by Erica Stella

Photo by Erica Stella

But Jenna "spreads love the Brooklyn way", because it’s no fun to feel success unless your friends & family are around you. She completed the piece with a single rose. Fnnch’s IG post received well over 3,000 likes as of post date, and both artists were happy with the reception from the neighborhood.

Jenna said, “The funny thing about this piece is it doesn’t mean anything, or make much sense! The image and colors just worked together well, and the dark grey background. It’s always fun to collab. I learned early on as an artist that you can get away with a lot if you make it look good. I am pleasantly surprised as to how well the mural was received!”

Photo by Erica Stella

It seems that things are heating up in this Brooklyn neighborhood with some new sanctioned and unsanctioned public artwork. As the weather warms up, maybe we will see even more public pieces around this area....

"And if you don't know, now you know".

Photo by Erica Stella

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