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  • Words by Kristy Calabro

Brooklyn Broadway Sold Tour Recap

On April 7th, 2018 Sold Magazine held its 2nd guided walking tour, which took place in Brooklyn highlighting parts of Williamsburg, Bed Stuy, and Bushwick. We met at the corner of Union and Broadway and had a great time exploring this historic and bustling strip in Brooklyn.

Our knowledgable leader, Bytegirl (@bytegirl24), launched right into the history of these neighborhoods. Dutch settlers first established Breuckelen (around the 17th century.) Many types of industries flourished along the waterfront in Williamsburg, while Bushwick was rural, a place to gather firewood and where animals would graze. Hessians, mercenaries from Germany, settled in Brooklyn and have a personal connection to our tour guide. These were just a few tidbits we learned along the way.

V. Ballentine spending time with the tour, telling us about his mural with the assistance of Groundswell

There’s history in these streets and long-standing structures, but also newer walls that have powerful messages. As we moved along on our Brooklyn journey, the artist, V. Ballentine came cruising by on his bike and circled back around to meet us in front of his mural located at Broadway and Leonard St. At the corner, there’s a depiction of Ida B. Wells, an African-American journalist and one of the founders of the NAACP. It also shows a tearing down of a statue, working towards a more just future. V. Ballentine (@vballentine99) worked on this huge wall with Groundswell (@gswellmural) and aspiring young artists in the neighborhood. From Groundswell’s Facebook, "#Art and #Activism are at the root of Groundswell's work nourishing these seeds in the minds of our youth artists is what makes them #artivists." Through Groundswell, these artivists, learn how to use their creativity for social change. It is always special when we hear from the artists and Vince was engaging and so gracious to spend some time with us.

Just part of this massive wall "I Just Want to Come Home" depicting Kalief Browder

“I Just Want to Come Home”, on the other side of the Food Bazaar supermarket, brings awareness to the complex relationship between police and people of color. This massive blue and purple mural was made possible by Chris Soria (@chrissoria) along with over 15 participating young artists. He is self-taught and works often with Groundswell. Chris is a multi-talented artist, who along with Marc Evan, started Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, turning pumpkin carving into an art form. They have been collaborating with each other for over 20 years.

Other artists we learned about were: Rubin415, Shiro_one, AdamFu, Turtlecaps, John Bramblitt, Mike Lee, Kwue Molly, Nite Owl, Huetek, Dasic Fernandez, Marcelo Ment, Lexi Bella, Hirakunyc, Aquarela, Zimer, OG Millie, Resa Piece, L7 Matrix, Caro Pepe, Diva Vandals, Werd, etc.

As a bonus, the group stumbled upon some WIPs by Scott Tarbox @tarboxx2 from Houston, Texas and some golden calligraffiti by Sebastian Ferreira @ArtbySebastian and @TrueSkoolwear for Bushwick Street Art @BushwickStreetart over on Willoughby Ave.

We ended at the Hotel RL where the group gathered over drinks and great conversations. We learned more about each other and all the art we discovered along our walk. And, of course the lucky participants went home with free art! It was another great Sold Saturday tour experience!

Our next tour will be held around Welling Court in Queens on June 9th. Check with Sold where we will share a link to reserve your spot.


For more information, check out:

V. Balentine (@vballentine99)

Groundswell (@gswellmural)

Hotel RL

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