June 4, 2013
The 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center of Long Island City, Queens is under threat of demolition. The name “5 Pointz” was originally developed to suggest a sense of unity among all 5 boroughs of NYC, as a place where artists from around the city could come together to paint legally on the walls of this 200,000 square foot building. Since its beginnings, 5 Pointz has become a major site of international graffiti and street art activity and has become known as the world’s “graffiti Mecca,” a place where artists from around the globe will travel to paint alongside one another.
In 2002, Jonathan “Meres” Cohen began curating the 5 Pointz Aerosol Art Center in an effort to provide a place where artists from around the city could come together to exhibit their work outdoors for the public—and to do it legally. One of the wonderful things about 5 Pointz is that it provides artists with a means to showcase their talent on the streets without risk of their work being cut short because of authorities or having it painted over a day later. In addition, the international recognition of 5 Pointz as a must-see location for many artists allows New Yorkers to come into contact with artists from around the globe who they would otherwise have never met, and likewise introduces international artists to the amazing aerosol art of NYC. Recently, for instance, Chock and Pixie of the UK’s Girls On Top crew (GOT) came to 5 Pointz to leave their mark on NYC.
5 Pointz, the “Institute of Higher Burning,” has been an epicenter of graffiti, street art, and Hip Hop culture since its establishment by Cohen over 10 years ago. Owner of the building David Walkoff has expressed plans to demolish the structure and erect high-rise residential towers. After giving the building to the artists who have fallen in love 5 Pointz for what it has become, Walkoff has evidently decided to take back what he’d given years before. The problem is, 5 Pointz doesn’t only belong to Walkoff now—it belongs to the artists who have traveled far and wide to paint there, and to the artists who have called 5 Pointz a home-away-from-home for the past decade.
So, what can we do to save 5 Pointz? What can YOU do? Well, for starters, if you live in the NYC area you can attend the Community Board meeting scheduled to be held on June 6th at 7pm in Sunnyside (further details to be determined). For new updates on the location of this meeting, join the Save 5 Pointz public Facebook Event page. If you don’t live near the area or can’t attend the meeting, you can be there in spirit by spreading the word to your local NYC peeps by reposting the event and inviting your friends. Next, you can download a form to submit a request to the city government to consider 5 Pointz a cultural landmark. Download the form here, fill it out, and email it to Landmark5pointz@gmail.com (and be sure to include the address: 45-46 Davis St, Long Island City, NY 11101).