Press Release: UNION SQUARE PARTNERSHIP UNVEILS “FLOWING TOGETHER” BY NEW YORK ARTIST TALISA ALMONTE

UNION SQUARE PARTNERSHIP UNVEILS “FLOWING TOGETHER” BY NEW YORK ARTIST TALISA ALMONTE, 

THE FOURTH ANNUAL 7,500 SQ FT 14TH STREET MURAL INSTALLATION

Introduced in partnership with NYC DOT, Talisa Almonte’s “Flowing Together” celebrates Union Square as a gathering space for community, compassion and creative expression

Photo credit: Carlos Chiossone

New York, NY (May 20, 2024) Union Square Partnership (USP) today announces the completion of a new street mural installation along the pedestrian areas of the 14th Street Busway, between Broadway and University Place. Titled “Flowing Together,” the colorful artwork is designed by Queens-based visual artist Talisa Almonte. The 7,500-square-foot mural has been installed from Monday, May 13 through Friday, May 17 with the help of community partners, volunteers and sponsors. This is USP’s fourth annual street mural, presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation Art (NYC DOT Art) program and supported by Street Plans, a Brooklyn-based urban planning and design firm with national and local expertise in delivering asphalt art projects that enliven streets and public spaces.

Almonte’s “Flowing Together” recognizes the Union Square’s legacy as an iconic space for people to come together, from all walks of life, in the name of self-expression – whether to make their voices heard or to celebrate life, joy, art, music and dance.  “Flowing Together” is bright and bold, abstractly depicting the flow of people who congregate in Union Square’s public spaces. The southern portion of the street mural is filled with organic shapes of diverse colors, representing the constant flow of people passing through Union Square, while the northern portion showcases those same shapes joining into a spiral, representing the unification of people for a specific cause.

“Union Square Partnership is honored to work with Talisa Almonte to bring her inspiring artwork to 14th Street and utilize our public space to create a shared experience within the community,” said Julie Stein, Executive Director of Union Square Partnership. “This unique street canvas presents an opportunity to infuse exquisite, original artwork into our urban neighborhood’s bustling environment, and ‘Flowing Together’ beautifully portrays Union Square’s rich history, local context, and diversity of experience. Thank you to our community volunteers, partners and sponsors for making this year’s mural installation so successful.”

USP’s annual 14th Street mural program aims to beautify the streetscape and envision eventually expanding pedestrian space in the neighborhood, as outlined in the USQNext Vision Plan. These murals pay homage to the site’s history and draw inspiration from the vision for its future – a district renowned for its social vibrancy, recreational space, and commercial activity.

Each year, Union Square Partnership works with emerging and established artists to feature their work, unveil the mural, and celebrate the BID organization’s mission to enhance livability, build community and drive growth within the neighborhood. Almonte was selected from over 27 original mural submissions for the popular street mural project.

With a palette influenced by the hues of nature, the vivacity of TV and film, and the kaleidoscope of Latine culture, Almonte’s heart beats for the promotion of BIPOC representation. Her art isn’t just about colors; it’s a beacon of empowerment, aiming to inspire and uplift by celebrating individuality, diversity, and sheer joy.

“I’m thrilled to have been the artist selected to paint such a lively area of New York City,” said Talisa Almonte, artist of “Flowing Together.” “Sharing my design with the Union Square community, along with international visitors and other New Yorkers alike, is an incredible opportunity. I’d like to thank Union Square Partnership, NYC DOT Art, neighborhood partners, and the volunteers for enlivening ‘Flowing Together.’ This artwork, now located within such a beloved neighborhood in the heart of NYC, is inspired by the history, the environment and the celebration of the people whose paths have crossed through the iconic Union Square.”

“Through NYC DOT Art, we work to reimagine our public spaces with bold and beautiful artwork that reflects community priorities and local context,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We thank the Union Square Partnership and artist Talisa Almonte for their collaboration in bringing ‘Flowing Together’ to life which depicts the vibrancy of Union Square through bold and bright colors.”

“Union Square is the ideal location for this vibrant new street mural because it is the place where diverse voices, different styles, and multiple cultures come together to define our community,” said Jen Hensley, the chair of the Union Square Partnership, and Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Con Edison. “Con Edison has called Union Square its corporate home for well over a century and is honored today to be part of this artistic celebration of unity and diversity.”

“Union Square serves as a pivotal anchor within our district, shaping the area’s identity and vibrancy,” said Nicholas Haines, CEO of The Bromley Companies. “The Bromley Companies is proud to contribute to its enhancement through the 14th Street Busway Mural project, as the neighborhood is of utmost importance to both our own employees and our building’s tenants alike. ‘Flowing Together,’ by artist Talisa Almonte, embodies the district’s energy and creativity, and we find this event such a fantastic opportunity for our employees and colleagues to help create art for all to enjoy. As we mark the fourth year of this collaborative community project, we’re excited to stand alongside neighborhood volunteers for a second year in a row in beautifying this iconic space, enriching the visitor experience and fostering a dynamic cultural landscape.”

“W New York – Union Square, designed by the Rockwell Group, draws inspiration from the vibrant heartbeat of Union Square,” said Christina Poon, General Manager of W New York – Union Square. “Since our inception, our talents have embraced the area’s dynamic energy, rich history, and diverse culture. Each year, we eagerly contribute to the vibrant mural street art, a tradition that embodies the neighborhood’s creativity and community spirit. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for our team to step away from their desks and bond with the local community as we come together to create art. Our ongoing involvement not only showcases our commitment to Union Square but also strengthens our deep-rooted connection with its artistic and vibrant spirit, celebrating the very essence of New York City.”

NYC DOT implemented the 14th Street Busway project in October 2019 as a new transit and truck upgrade for 14th Street. The center of the busway crosses the heart of Union Square, where sidewalk extensions were installed to make additional walking space. These new pedestrian areas are situated in a highly visible confluence of foot traffic and transit access. “Flowing Together” will be on view for millions of New Yorkers and visitors, including the 370,000 pedestrians who walk through Union Square daily, ride buses, and visit upper-floor spaces looking down 14th Street.

“Flowing Together” is the fourth mural to activate the pedestrian areas on 14th Street over the last four years. Previous murals at this site have included Ji Yong Kim’s “Ripples of Peace + Calm” and GERALUZ + WERC’s “Collective Vision.” Last year’s 14th Street mural, “Union with the Universe,” was designed by Brooklyn-based Spanish artist and educator Vanesa Álvarez. “Union with the Universe” served as a call to protect our planet while strengthening our connection with nature and creating a more balanced life. The artwork featured peaceful designs and color shades, inspiring viewers to slow down, connect with the universe around us and take action to save our planet’s changing climate. Similar to Almonte’s message in “Flowing Together,” Álvarez’s “Union with the Universe” also captured the district’s history as a place for people to gather together and advocate for social transformation.

The five-day mural installation involved approximately 100 volunteers applying 85 gallons of paint infusing vibrant colors from the Sherwin-Williams collection, including Nifty Turquoise, Obstinate Orange, Gusto Gold, Dishy Coral, Dynamic Blue, and Oceanside.

“Flowing Together” is also part of the NYCxDESIGN Festival, an annual citywide celebration featuring hundreds of design events, from exhibits and trade shows to talks and tours, drawing hundreds of thousands of attendees from near and far.

Union Square Partnership is proud to partner with NYC DOT Art as well as featured artist Talisa Almonte. This year’s mural is also sponsored by Con Edison, Target, The Bromley Companies, and W New York – Union Square. To view the finished street mural, “Flowing Together,” stop by Union Square-14th Street from May 17, 2024, onward.

For more information on Union Square Partnership and the Union Square-14th Street District, please visit www.unionsquarenyc.org.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

Talisa Almonte, a spirited Afro-Dominican artist, illustrator and muralist, calls Queens, New York, her creative playground, after being shaped by the vibrant cultures of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Miami, Florida.  With a background in fashion and fine arts from Design and Architecture Senior High and a BFA in fashion design from The Fashion Institute of Technology, she has woven her talents across fashion, graphic design, and traditional fine arts. Her career has taken her through notable roles at industry giants like Victoria’s Secret and Gap, where she embraced a spectrum of creative endeavors from graphic design to trend forecasting.

March 2021 marked the genesis of Almonte’s self-made venture, Almonte Studio. Fueled by her father’s early introduction to the world of art and design, her LLC stands as a tribute that echoes his early influence on her artistic path and a continuation of his artistic heritage.

With a palette influenced by the hues of nature, the vivacity of TV and film, and the kaleidoscope of Latine culture, Almonte’s heart beats for the promotion of BIPOC representation. Her art isn’t just about colors; it’s a beacon of empowerment, aiming to inspire and uplift by celebrating individuality, diversity, and the sheer joy her creations spark.

She thrives in collaborations with kindred spirits—be it individuals or brands. In her colorful journey, Almonte has proudly collaborated with esteemed clients including Marvel, Disney+, Lucasfilm, Wrappr, and Buzzballz, adding a sprinkle of her vibrant magic to their worlds.

ABOUT UNION SQUARE PARTNERSHIP

For over 45 years, Union Square Partnership has worked to ensure the best possible quality of life for its residents, businesses, and visitors. USP’s programs include sanitation, public safety, economic development, public programming, and marketing services, and we invest in the beautification and maintenance of Union Square Park – the district’s crown jewel. We are dedicated to the neighborhood, and work 24/7 to make sure that Union Square-14th Street remains a phenomenal place to live, work and visit. For more information visit unionsquarenyc.org.

#USQArt is an incredible opportunity to bring engaging artwork to one of NYC’s great public spaces. Exhibitions are presented by Union Square Partnership with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program and NYC DOT Art in collaboration with selected galleries and artists.

The Union Square-14th Street district of Manhattan is a thriving hub of culture, food, fashion, tech and cutting-edge businesses. With millions of annual visitors, residents and commuters accessing Union Square and the astounding transit options, the district is one of the most impactful locations to debut public art in New York City.

ABOUT NYC DOT ART

New York City Department of Transportation Art (NYC DOT Art) partners with community-based not-for-profit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to eleven months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections, and eye-catching sculptures. A variety of public spaces serve as canvases for temporary arts, including sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas, and pedestrianized spaces. Since 2008, NYC DOT Art has produced 450 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dotart and @nyc_DOTArt.