February 20, 2017—New York, NY—Award winning New York-based creative agency Johannes Leonardo has teamed up with international design and real estate development firm GDSNY to spearhead a global art project born out of reaction to the current divisive politics surrounding immigration. The project, #WallThatUnites, utilizes empty walls on and within highly-visible and strategically placed real estate as a display channel for positive messages of unity. The first wall launched on President’s Day, February 20, in West Chelsea on the Highline Park, at 253 10th Avenue.
#WallThatUnites is a global art project for the people, by the people. Its aim is to galvanize artists and people to create art on walls across the world. These walls will then be joined together digitally with the goal of besting the proposed length of the Mexico border wall—over 1900 miles. The wall will become a symbol of people coming together to show the power of unity.
“GDSNY has a history of installing architectural-scale artworks and using its buildings as canvases for artists to affect culture for social good, so we are proud to provide the inaugural wall for this project,” said GDSNY founder and CEO Michael Kirchmann. “Collaborating with London-based artist Laurène Boglio on this first wall was an easy decision. She relays ideas that are imbued with a rich sense of purpose and meaning with a very simple delivery. In a matter of seconds, or with a passing glance, people will be able to connect with this message right away.”
“Recently, the word ‘wall’ has become a symbol for division, hostility and disillusionment,” said Johannes Leonardo co-founder Jan Jacobs. “We won’t let that happen. We’re going to create our own wall and symbol. Political walls divide people. Ours will unite them.”
Johannes Leonardo and GDSNY will spearhead the project’s rollout, which includes more installations in New York in the coming weeks, including collaborations by world-renowned visual and performing artists.
“We hope they will create powerful and emotive work that represents unity and acceptance,” said Jacobs. “As a group of creatives, this is our way of attempting to spread positive messages of hope and unity in a time of turmoil. Our hope is that these first few walls are just the beginning of a much bigger story which will unfold day-by-day, wall-by-wall.”