in the Public Realm
Harlem River Park Mural 'Harlem Projections'

Creative Arts Workshop Tour: Stop 9 - Harlem Projections
Janet Braun-Reinitz
Sites at this Tour Stop...

Harlem Projections

About this Tour Stop...

Harlem Projections is a tribute to the cultural legacy of Harlem. Depicted in the mural are musicians Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, as well as authors Julia de Burgos and Zora Neale Hurson. The left side of the mural is also a tribute - in style - to the artwork of Romare Bearden, who created collages of Harlem living. In fact, the name Harlem Projections was inspired by an early exhibit of Bearden’s work, in which he revealed his bold new style. The theme of intergenerational learning is highlighted through the young boy, who is looking up to these iconic figures from Harlem’s past. The black and white style of the portraits serves as a contrast to the liveliness of the Bearden-inspired portion (as well as the Bearden-inspired elements of the adjacent “Harlem River” mural). The mural also draws imagery from the park’s natural setting, including trees, and a flower native to the area - groundel. Patterns based on African textiles help the figures stand out and link the mural to the two other murals in the park.