Bridging the Divide: Todt Hill Houses, Staten Island

  • Amari Hines, Nurture of Color, 2022
  • Christian Penn, World Piece, 2021


The artworks created for Todt Hill Houses reflect the people, landscape, values, and buildings that make up the community. Workshops were held at the JCC Cornerstone in collaboration with the Todt Hill Resident Association and ranged in topic from exploring ways to support mental health, sharing and celebrating cultural identity, and concepts of what makes a community. Materials and methods included pour painting to make fluid art, drawing with markers, pencils, and crayons, to create symbols of community, and cutting and collaging flags.

Photo Credits for all Todt Hill Houses artworks: Lloyd McCullough

Amari Hines, Nurture of Color, 2022

Nurture of Color, by Staten Island artist Amari Hines, is a representation of Todt Hill. The digitized patterns that make up the background of the piece refer to poured paintings created during workshops that centered discussions on mental health. The mural’s repeated central panel was painted by the artist. It presents Todt Hill’s seven buildings. In addition, roses signify love and courage, and a butterfly represents hope and new beginnings. The hands holding the earth symbolize the community’s ability to create change through working together.

275 Westwood Avenue, Staten Island, NY | @mochathings

Christian Penn, World Piece, 2021

World Piece, by Staten Island artist Christian Penn, showcases the flags of over 50 countries to represent the melting pot that is NYC. Blending together varying design styles, the artist’s colorful tapestry portrays a diversity of aesthetics and cultural identities. According to the artist, nations’ flags share similar features, just like all humans share likenesses. Every flag represented in the artwork was suggested by a Todt Hill resident, either in person at a workshop or by responding to a flier asking people to email or text the artist.

815 Manor Road, Staten Island, NY

Misha Tyutyunik, A View of the Hill, 2021

A View of the Hill, by Misha Tyutyunik, is a visual representation of the collective efforts of Todt Hill residents to articulate their thoughts and feelings about their community. The artist’s final composition is based on the drawings and discussions generated during workshops. It also portrays the community’s multiple cultural backgrounds. The composition includes local landmarks, pastimes, and people of all ages. The mural connects these elements through color, shape, and form, to create a timeless tapestry of symbolism specific to Todt Hill.

289 Westwood Avenue, Staten Island, NY | @mdot_season

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Bridging the Divide