Inspired by the 1943 book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, City Tree is a new mural, standing tall at the new District 19 S.T.E.M. Academies on Atlantic Avenue in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Based in New York City, painter Adam Cvijanovic won the competition held to find an artist for the project. His design, a 12 by 12ft mural reflects the local area, referencing both its architecture and flora.
About the piece Cvijanovic states, “this tree grows out of Brooklyn, grows out of, and is, the city itself…It is a tree of the imagination. It is a map, a story that changes over time, a friend who gives its secrets slowly to those who look.” The buildings at the base of the mural blend into the trunk of the tree which branches out in vibrant yellows and oranges.
Over eight months the New York Tilemakers based in Long Island City worked together with Cvijanovic to produce the perfect glazes and tones needed to help his vision come to life. Due to delays and challenges it was decided that subway tiles would be best for the job (around 1,350 in total) with around 30 colours making up the palette.
To install the mural the arrangement mapped out the placement of each individual tile on HardieBacker cement tile backer boards which were then installed in sequence with overlapping tiles disguising the seams. The result is a beautifully bold, elegantly detailed design that offers more and more depth with each look.
A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, June 2021.