• Fine Arts (BFA)

    Althea Bennett

    Mission-Stuy: City of Change

    Mission-Stuy is a miniature city cut out of its world measuring four feet by four feet. It is a mix of Mission Hill, the hood I grew up in, and Bed-Stuy, my new hood and home. From baseball fields to basketball courts, schools, and project housing, this hood was designed based on personal memory. I have tried not to create a perfectly accurate depiction of these two places. Rather, the purpose is to re-create the layout of the streets I navigate, and a sense of gentrification taking over both places. 

    Mission Hill newspapers cover seventy percent of the land in Mission-Stuy. The stories in these papers describe new developments and art hubs, and stories of police brutality. These stories have a direct influence on gentrification. The other thirty percent of Mission-Stuy is covered by blank newsprint and tall white buildings. These new buildings imply new populations. Living beings are absent from the work, because architecture is the most apparent evidence of gentrification and change. When new buildings come into these hoods, sidewalks are leveled and streets are repaved. History is stripped and sterilized, swept and cleared away. Bodegas are given new storefronts, brownstones get new doors, and faces start to disappear. This work is meant to show that although gentrification is gradual, its presence is seen from the start.