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Centre-Fuge in FiDi

An older man, wearing a long tan wool coat, walks by a colorful geometric mural in the city.

How do you feel about urban art, graffiti? Living in the new high-rise apartments in NYC, chances are that you’ve seen a lot of it in and around the streets. The urban art scene and culture in FiDi is alive and vibrant, with one group in particular focusing on turning their craft into a mission of positivity and strengthening communities.

They’re called Centre-Fuge, and their story is as inspiring as it is unique. Whether you want to join in on the urban art movement or simply want to learn more, this group is an excellent example of what graffiti in Manhattan is all about.

What is Centre-Fuge?

The Centre-Fuge Public Art Project focuses on turning transitional spaces in New York City into vibrant works of art. The goal is to facilitate local communities with the artists who live there and the idea of public artwork in the hopes of opening people's eyes to the beauty and empowering sensation of artistic graffiti.

The project was originally an outdoor gallery at the corner of First Street and Fifth Avenue, Downtown. Members turned the walls of the Houston Street Restoration office trailer into a place where they could showcase their murals. As the group expanded, so did the scope of their project.

Members noticed city streets filling with garbage containers, scaffolding, and pop-up offices in the wake of NYC's never-ending construction. Equipped with cans of spray paint, Centre-Fuge takes these less than appealing sights and re-purposes them into focal points of inspiration and art for their respective communities.

The project’s ranks include college students, high-school doodlers, local artists, and even nationally renowned street artists occasionally. There are no limitations on what a member can propose as the next project, with individuals offering up ideas in the form of sketches on the side of the Houston Street Restoration office trailer. All styles and levels of talent are welcome to join.

Centre-Fuge, its positive message of inclusion and community, and dedication to free expression are inspired by the late Mike Hamm. A local, and incredibly talented, street artist, Hamm passed away in 2012 at the age of twenty-nine. The original murals on the trailer paid homage to this local graffiti legend. Today, the group carries on his memory and passion for life as they work to enrich the lives of others.

At its core, Centre-Fuge is a grassroots, non-profit art movement that legally creates works of graffiti. At its heart, the project is a flame that burns in memory of a friend lost too soon. On the streets, it inspires individuals to seek out beauty in life even when it looks as though there is none.

Breaking The Mold

Centre-Fuge’s use of transitional spaces is about more than just redecorating unappealing structures in the community. New York City’s art scene is highly competitive, making it difficult for aspiring artists to make themselves known let alone pay the rising costs of rent. By using these transitional spaces, artists have a canvas seen by the entire community. It gives struggling artists a way to express themselves freely in a way that is both legal and free.

Secondly, the attention their artwork draws to these forgotten construction projects helps move the city’s plans along. The Houston Street Restoration office trailer originally used by the group was the biproduct of unfinished construction on 1st Street.

As the trailer sat abandoned, it became a safe haven for criminal activity. Members of the local community began to feel anxious about what police continually found inside the trailer’s walls (guns, drugs, and homeless men sleeping in their own waste).

Be turning the trailer into a positive work of art, it became a community gathering place where neighbors could converse and share their thoughts on new installments. In honor of Mark Hamm, Centri-Fuge worked tirelessly to strengthen community bonds and brighten people’s faces by giving them art to view instead of instead of the decaying remains of unfinished construction.

Working with the Community

In recent years, Centri-Fuge has partnered with Cre8tive YouTHink, a non-profit organization that promotes expressing ideals of social justice through urban art. Crea8tive utilizes peer-to-peer mentoring to foster positive development in the city’s youth, encouraging public outreach and helping young individuals become leaders in their community.

Together, these two groups provide young adults with a healthy and safe creative outlet while strengthening communities across Manhattan. Their work can be found throughout the Financial District, anywhere that construction has opened up transitional spaces.

New High-Rise Apartments, NYC

High above the murals painted on the streets below sits a dramatic update to the classic skyline of lower Manhattan. This shimmering cultural jewel ushers in a new era of downtown. One that is welcoming, warm, livable, and enviable. This is 19 Dutch.

Designed by GKV architects, this convivial Dutch concept of “gezellig” (the combination of comfort and convenience) explores a heightened level of interior wit that harkens back to a time inspired by the whimsical romance of the Dutch Golden Age. Classic stylings from another era combine with the finest in modern furnishings to deliver a unique home in one of Manhattan’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

Residents have access to a selection of carefully curated amenities designed to cater to a variety of lifestyle. A work lounge with private meeting rooms aids the entrepreneur, while the residents canteen helps any New Yorker relax after a long day. The Fitness club and terrace helps residents stay active, while the outdoor sky lounge on the 64th floor offers breathtaking views of the city.

Just outside your door, you’ll find immediate access to the whole of Manhattan with the island’s vast array of public transportation options. Fine dining, premier shopping, and world-class entertainment are right at your fingertips.

19 Dutch is more than just another run of the mill New York City address. It’s a vibrant community in and of itself that provides the oasis you deserve after a day’s work in the Financial District. We invite to experience a higher level of living, one that speaks to artistic culture of the city as well as life in the modern age. Welcome to 19 Dutch. Welcome Home.