Oct. 4, by Nathaly Pesantez
An historical walking tour through the streets of Greenpoint is in store for this Saturday as part of an effort to raise money for a public art project at McGolrick Park.
The event will begin at 3:00 p.m. atop the Kingsland Wildflowers green roof at 520 Kingsland Ave, where Martynka Wawrzyniak will be the featured artist of the month and speak to her public art project, “Ziemia”, rooted in the history of Greenpoint.
Geoffrey Cobb, a local historian and author of “Greenpoint Brooklyn’s Forgotten Past”, will then conduct a tour from Kingsland Wildflowers to McGolrick Park, the site of Wawrzyniak’s ongoing project.
“Ziemia”, meaning “earth” in Polish, was conceived of by Martynka two years ago in response to the changing face of Greenpoint. The project is centered on personal histories with a heavy focus on land and the environment, and calls for residents to give soil samples from meaningful places in their lives, which will form part of a sculpture yet to be built at the park.
“The piece aims to bridge divides between the neighborhood’s disparate subcultures by serving as a collective portrait of the community through embodying residents’ personal homelands and migration stories,” Martynka wrote on the project’s website.
Proceeds for the walking tour, priced at $15.00, will go directly toward building a ceramic orb created out of local clay and the soil given by participants. The orb will sit at a fenced meadow at the park, where plant species native to Greenpoint currently grow.
Wawrzyniak has already collected 150 samples of soil from participants, and says she is accepting more samples until the end of the year. With ongoing fundraising efforts, including a concert held yesterday and assistance from local politicians including Assembly member Joseph Lentol and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Wawrzyniak hopes to begin building the orb in January 2018.
Residents interested in participating can view instructions on how to contribute soil on the Ziemia webpage.
Tickets for the walking tour can be found here.
Update 10/4, 2:23 p.m. – An article published on Sept. 29 reflected the event’s original scheduled time for Sept. 30. The event has since been rescheduled for Oct. 7.