5Pointz's summer 2012: Celebrating the five elements of hip-hop

The New York graffiti hub celebrates its tenth anniversary with a summer of free events.

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  • Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz

    "Currently [5Pointz curator] Meres One's favorite piece is located on Crane Street by artist James Cochran from Australia," explains 5Pointz event organizer Marie Cecile Flageul. "It's a portrait in pointillisme of a young African American kid wearing a hoodie. Since aerosol paint is a must [when painting at 5Pointz], Cochran adapted himself by using the required tool, yet stayed truthfull to his style inspired by artists like Georges Seurat. When you look closely at the piece you see the heart-shaped pupils."

    Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz
  • Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz

    "My favortie piece," says Flageul, "is the large roller by SPUD on the back wall of the building. Aestheticly it's not the best, but the skill it took for the artist to make those straight lines perfectly filled and colored showcases mad talent and determination. Spud is the graffiti monster in Toronto and he started a war against the mayor who has taken extremely oppresive action against graffiti. Spud is definetely a vandal, yet he is a great artist. [He's a] king of stencils—we have a lot of his grenades around the building as well [see next slide]—and he just had a sold-out show at the Don't Tell Mama Gallery in Toronto. The show was named Censored. The reason why I love this piece is because it really exemplifies what 5Pointz is all about. We embrace the roots of graffiti, we welcome all artists, and we are able to be a platform of expression for all while showcasing the talent in the art form."

    Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz
  • Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz

    Grenade stencils by Spud

    Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz
  • Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz

    The oldest piece that's visible to the public at 5Pointz, dating to 2000, by Child

    Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz

Graffiti-spotting at 5Pointz

"Currently [5Pointz curator] Meres One's favorite piece is located on Crane Street by artist James Cochran from Australia," explains 5Pointz event organizer Marie Cecile Flageul. "It's a portrait in pointillisme of a young African American kid wearing a hoodie. Since aerosol paint is a must [when painting at 5Pointz], Cochran adapted himself by using the required tool, yet stayed truthfull to his style inspired by artists like Georges Seurat. When you look closely at the piece you see the heart-shaped pupils."


No trip to Long Island City, Queens, is complete without a stop to marvel at the art-covered walls of 5Pointz, and this summer there's more reason than ever to drop by. To celebrate its ten-year anniversary, 5Pointz has planned its most ambitious season of programming to date—a free series of live painting, music, B-boy performances and more.

RECOMMENDED: Street art and graffiti guide

5Pointz was founded by Meres One (Jonathan Cohen) in 2002 to create a peaceful, legal and inspirational environment for graffiti artists in the five boroughs. Over the past decade, it has grown to become an epicenter of street art, with artists from five continents making the pilgrimage to write on its walls.

Meres One curates the space, issuing free permits to artists and alloting space on the sides of the warehouse. Inevitably, many works have to be painted over, but some pieces are permanent. The oldest, by Child, is located by the loading bay and dates to 2000. The names of the fathers of graffiti—like Iz the Wiz—that line the top of the building (and other areas) are also there to stay.

In August 2011, reports surfaced that the building's landlord, who has granted use of the warehouse's walls to 5Pointz for free, had applied for permission to develop the property into condos. While event planner Marie Cecile Flageul wouldn't comment on the future, she did say, "We are here, we are strong, and happy and thankful for the opportunity given [to us] by the landlord and optimistic that we make a difference every day."

In addition to the event lineup below, drop by each Sunday (2–6pm) to see B-boy crews training, and every other Sunday (starting May 12 2–6pm) for a cypher (for the unitiated, a circle of freestyling beat-boxers and MCs) hosted by beatboxer Grey Matter.

5 Pointz summer events

Reopening bash

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The tenth-anniversary season begins with artists spraying murals, plus DJs, MCs, beat-boxers and break-dancers performing.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

Freestyle Sundays

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The long-running weekly open mike Freestyle Mondays (freestylemondays.com) brings its five-piece band to the 5Pointz courtyard, to play classic rap tracks while MCs, singers and beat-boxers take turns freestyling.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

B Boys Battles

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Fans of break dancing will be well served at this competition, hosted by the current president of the Dynamic Rockers crew, Kid Glyde. Crews of B-boys from across the five boroughs will go head-to-head to claim the day's title, while a DJ provides the soundtrack.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

5Pointz Fest

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Beat-boxers Grey Matter, Mike Check and Joe Pepe host five live bands.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

The Artist Process

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This project by Marthalicia Matarrita takes place at the back of 5Pointz on Crane Street. Meres One has outlined block letters of the event title, which 13 artists who work in different mediums and styles will fill, creating something both individual and collective. Hang around and see how the piece comes together, while enjoying break dancing demonstrations and spoken-word performances, and listening to the DJ.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

Poetry Slams

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Singer, actor and writer Shanelle Gabriel of Def Jam Poetry curates and hosts two evenings of spoken-word performances.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

Dynamic Rockers 33rd Anniversary

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Celebrate one of the original break-dancing crews at this afternoon of demonstrations, which includes a barbecue. The Dynamic Rockers formed in 1979, famously battling the Rock Steady Crew as part of the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival in 1981, and are credited with pioneering moves like the continuous headspin.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

Subway Series at the Pointz

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Since 2006, Kid Lucky has organized gatherings of beat-boxers and MCs on the 7 subway line—delighting (and bemusing) fellow straphangers. This summer, the event emerges from the transit system to host a giant cypher of beat-boxers and MCs. Hang around afterward for the second installment of Shanelle Gabriel's Poetry Slam.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

Battle of the Kings in Queens

  • Critics choice
  • Free

To see legends of the New York graffiti scene in action, drop by for this live painting event. Meres One has reserved a wall for a team of street-art royalty to showcase their talent. The lineup has yet to be announced; check the 5Pointz website for details.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

Kids Day and LIC Celebration

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The season culminates with this community day, featuring all-ages workshops on stenciling, beat-boxing and break dancing. Plus, there will be magicians and face-painting for the young'uns.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info

Art Battle

  • Critics choice
  • Free

See local and international talent match wits at this spray-off. Up to ten artists will create separate works on canvas based on a predetermined theme. The winning piece, selected by a panel of judges, will be auctioned off.

  1. 45-46 Davis St at Jackson Ave
More info


Users say

3 comments
anthony
anthony

Awesome meres...keep it up...Anthony kids of ny

Between The Lines
Between The Lines

You can see more of SPUD's work and meet him in person at his historic CENSORED show he dedicated to Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford in our popular web series Graffiti Talks, a teaser for our upcoming feature doc Between the Lines about Toronto's War on Graffitii: http://vimeo.com/38455592

SONONE
SONONE

I've always thought 5-pointz as a great place to collaborate have fun and meet other artist from all walks of life..its a great environment even for those that don't paint but have an EYE to witness GRAFFITI ART at its best.-Thank you Meres One for making this happen.