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Ellie Balk
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill

ARTIST STATEMENT: What I am creating is a system of organization where community residents can formalize the way they are connected. My murals carry an energy that is not stagnant to a single image, but exist as a web of concepts to evoke thought. The work is about commanding a space in a way to create a platform for people to create and understand a collective image. As a result, I create visual map of the community, showing how we are from the same fabric, in the same space at the same time, finding a way to live together and communicate. In this form of abstraction, we create an affect that shows a concept of memory.

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You Are Here: Tillie's Community Mural

Community Mural completed on the corner of Vanderbilt and DeKalb Ave in Clinton Hill/Fort Greene Brooklyn. 10 ft. Circle map of the neighborhood was painted directly on the wall of Tillie's Coffee shop. The community was invited to come put a dot where they live in hopes to connected the community and celebrate the diversity of the old and new. YOU ARE HERE was Designed and Orchestrated by artist Ellie Balk. It was funded by the Puffin Foundation, community organizations and members. it is a project of the SONYA mural Arts Fund.

The String That Ties Us Together

Ellie Balk, Shot by Linn Edwards For this project, we connected Old Stone House to Brooklyn Historical Society with a red string. The 2.5 mile path shows both residential and commercial streets, traveling through 6 neighborhoods in this unique area of Brooklyn. My goal for this project is to raise awareness of ideas of home and how we are connected to our communities. Brooklyn is an extreme representation of the experimentation of the United States as creating a Utopian Society based on making a home away from home. The constant influx of immigration from abroad and from within America into neighborhoods in Brooklyn can raise tensions and connections. Utopia is a concept of an ideal society and Brooklyn is seen as a manifestation of that. As we strive to survive and create new community for our families and ourselves that is genuine to our culture, we create an energy that is felt as the Utopian pulse of Brooklyn.


647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217


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