The top site of NYC graffiti and street art culture is now in Brooklyn. The neighborhood of Bushwick has become known for all kinds of up-and-coming artists. Now it is also being recognized for a large and ever-growing graffiti exhibition: the Bushwick Collective. This page provides important info for visiting; and an insider map of the mural locations. It also includes a self-guided tour. (Note: this page is unofficial and is not directly affiliated with the Bushwick Collective).
About The Bushwick Collective
The Bushwick Collective was founded in 2012 by Joseph Ficalora - a neighborhood personality and businessperson - to beautify industrial streets with vibrant graffiti art. Joe is inspired by his deceased father and mother, and the art is dedicated to them. The Bushwick Collective brings together street artists from around the world, legendary NYC graffiti artists, and local Bushwick talent. The art is all temporary - on average a mural will last approx. 12 months before being replaced. Artists are not paid - these are "permission" murals (as opposed to "commission"). The Bushwick Collective is a work in progress - new murals are painted year round (occasionally - approx. every 6-10 weeks). The main time of painting is at the annual Bushwick Collective Block Party. It’s held on a Saturday in the month of June and is free. There’s more info about the Block Party further down on this page.
Artwork by Sipros
Location & Directions
The Bushwick Collective is located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is easily accessible by the city's subway - a ride of approx. 15-40 minutes. Take the L subway line to 'Jefferson Street' station. It is 7 stops out of Manhattan. The L line can be picked up at '14th Street - Union Square" station or any other station along 14th Street. From there travel time will be approx. 15-20 minutes. From Midtown or Downtown Manhattan travel time will be approx. 25-40 minutes (since you will need to take a different subway line to 14th Street and then transfer to the L line). When you arrive at Jefferson Street station you will have arrived at the Bushwick Collective - it’s directly outside the station.
Best time to go
The Bushwick Collective can be visited at any time. It is on public streets so it's never closed. On weekends there are larger numbers of visitors and tours. On weekdays it is quieter and there are less visitors - so it's easier to get a feel for the area vibe. The Bushwick Collective is outdoors, so visiting during warmer weather will be more pleasant - although any time of year is fine. The most ideal time of year to visit is June. In June there is the annual Bushwick Collective Block Party - a weekend festival with music, food and live artists painting. Many new murals are painted then, and in the weeks and days leading up to the block party there is heightened artist activity in the area. Please note that Bushwick is not “new” or “recently discovered.” There is a large community that has been living here from before the art scene. Therefore please be courteous and respectful when visiting. Bushwick has become newly popular to visit but bear in mind that it is somebody’s home.
Insider Map + Self Guided Tour
Blue route is the self guided tour route.
Black markings show locations of murals and art.
A) Begin at subway station. If coming from Manhattan, exit towards front of train. Feel free to grab a coffee from Wyckoff-Starr coffee shop or a snack from the supermarket.
B) Check out the art all around this intersection, then go 1 block south on Starr Street to Irving Avenue. Turn right and walk 1 block to Troutman Street.
C) Walk 2.3 blocks north on Troutman Street. After you pass Wyckoff Avenue, the next 1.5 blocks are the center of the Bushwick Collective.
D) Turn around and walk 0.3 of a block back to St. Nicholas Avenue and turn right. Walk 1 block west to Jefferson Street. make a left and check out the art on the first 1/3 of the block.
E) Walk north on Jefferson Street back to St. Nicholas Avenue. Make a left and check out the artwork on this street. Then go back to Jefferson Street, make a left, and continue 1 block to Scott Avenue. Make a left and walk 1 block to Flushing Avenue.
F) Walk south to the first intersection. Cross Flushing Avenue onto Ingraham Street. Turn right onto Gardner Street. After 1 block make a left onto Johnson Avenue. Check out the art all along this block.
G)Return to Gardner Street and make a left turn. Go 1 block to Randolph Street. Make a left and walk 1 block to Stewart Avenue.
H) Turn left onto Stewart Avenue. Go 3 blocks to Harrison Pl.
I) Turn left and go 1 block to Flushing Avenue. Turn right and walk 1 long block to Irving Avenue. Make a left and walk 1 block, then make a left turn onto Jefferson Street.
J) Go 1 block to Wyckoff Avenue. Turn right and walk 2 blocks to Starr Street. You have returned!! You can sit down, relax and get something to eat in Artichoke Pizza or Sea Wolf restaurant. There are more nearby recommendations lower down on this page.
K) There's lots more art nearby if you are interested in more. See the mural locations marked on the map. Enjoy!
Here is an image version of the map:
Types of Art
The Bushwick Collective is comprised mainly of large aerosol murals. Most of them are pictures, images, or portraits - art known as "post-graffiti." Then there are some murals comprised of traditional graffiti (also known as "graffiti writing/tagging") which are generally the artist's name written in advanced, contorted or colorful lettering. Additionally, Around the area there is also lots of other art which is not part of the official exhibition and is not organized by the Bushwick Collective. There are local street artists who frequently deploy unsanctioned paper posters, stencils or stickers on walls and doorways in the neighborhood. These works of art generally do not last as long as the official aerosol murals. They are not overseen by any official curator so they are put up at random and do not follow any schedule. As you walk around, keep an eye out for hidden or camouflaged artworks. Look out for hidden faces, cats, yarn graffiti and drip art. And watch the ground! There are many artworks painted on the sidewalks.
Artwork by Dasic Fernandez
Here are some of the street artists who have painted at the Bushwick Collective:
Zimad & Sexer - Zimad and Sexer are two pals who have wielding aerosol cans since they were teens in the late 1970's. Over the years they have transitioned into more traditional forms of painting and art, too.
Damien Mitchell - Hailing from Australia (the city of Wagga Wagga), Damien Mitchell has made a name for himself over the last few years in New York City and Brooklyn. He is known for his murals which usually feature people or portraits. Often the colors are layered rather than blended into each other.
Dasic Fernandez - Dasic Fernandez divides his time between New York City and his homeland of Chile. His aerosol murals often feature human figures made with bright colors.
Case Ma'claim - Case Ma'claim is an accomplished street artist from Germany. He has painted around the world, with his distinctive style focused on closeups of human hands and finger.
Here are some other prolific artists at the Bushwick Collective: Lexi Bella, La Femme Cherie, Danielle Mastrion, Sipros, Freaky Kiss, Pixel Pancho, Beau Stanton, Fumero, Joe Iurato, Logan Hicks, Jorit Agoch, Don Rimx, Jodo, Tats Cru - Nicer Bio BG183, Michell Velt, Nychos, Phetus88, Adam Fu, BERT.
Artwork by El Xupet Negre (The Black Pacifier)
The Bushwick Collective Block Party is the focal point of the year. It is held annually, on a Saturday in the month of June. It’s free and open to the public. The Block Party attracts New Yorkers who are fans of street art or Hip Hop (or folks who just want to come participate in a fun event!) as well as locals from the neighborhood. Dozens of urban artists from around the world converge there too. Approx. 60% of the mural artworks are switched - the prior artwork is replaced by new ones. At the Block Party you can hang out and watch artists paint live. There will be a Hip Hop performance and a few art/music-related street vendors. You can grab food from several food trucks, and alcohol is available for purchase.
About Bushwick (neighborhood)
Bushwick is a dense post-industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City. It is currently becoming recognized for a blooming artist and creative scene. Also for new trendy restaurants and nightlife. The scene has blossomed over the last few years as nearby artsy Williamsburg has gotten more expensive. Aside from incoming artists and young professionals, Bushwick's primary population is Puerto Rican, Dominican-American and immigrants from Latin America. Bushwick is nearly 400 years old and was first founded by Dutch (on land taken over from Native Americans who lived there for centuries). In the 1800's the area filled with German immigrants and became a major place of manufacturing and beer brewing. There was also a large Italian and Sicilian immigrant community, before Bushwick's current Spanish-language residents began arriving in the 1970's. Unfortunately the area's gentrification has an ugly side - skyrocketing prices and people being dispossessed from their homes. Fortunately, you can help by donating to important nearby nonprofit agencies: St. Nicks Alliance, El Puente. The art is free - so this donation is a best way to give back to the community and show support.
Here are suggestions for dining and culture nearby to the Bushwick Collective:
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos - Off-the-beaten-path Mexican food housed within a tortilla factory. Super cheap!
House of YES - Party space and venue for trapeze performance. Frequent dance, music, bodypaint. Brunch on Saturdays & Sundays open to the public.
Artichoke Pizza - Laid-back pizza restaurant - a branch of the popular Artichoke in Manhattan. Interesting toppings & nice bar drink selection.
Sea Wolf - Nautical-themed seafood restaurant. $1 oyster happy hour 4-7pm.
The Sampler - Beer bar with big selection of taps and bottles - many local breweries. Decorated/painted by authentic NYC graffiti writers, and run by born-and-bred New Yorkers.
Chicha - Cool new Nicaraguan restaurant. Interesting cocktails on draft, and home to an exclusive mural by WERC.
KCBC - Fresh local-size microbrewery. Lively tap room open Tues-Sun, serving small-batch suds.
Roberta's Pizza - Wildly popular pizza restaurant known for Neopolitan (thin crust) wood-fired pies. A super hip place which is covered in graffiti art and has an urban garden on the roof. No reservations! Roberta's Pizza is a walk of approx. 10 minutes from the Bushwick Collective.
Fine 'n Raw chocolate factory - Small-batch artisinal chocolate factory. More than 15 flavors. Free samples to try. Closed Sunday. Fine 'n Raw is a walk of approx. 10 minutes from the Bushwick Collective.
All businesses listed here are in the immediate vicinity of the Bushwick Collective - except Roberta's Pizza and Fine 'n Raw chocolate, which are a walk of approx. 10 minutes.
Enjoyed this guide? Make a charity donation
This guide is provided for free. To show appreciation, please donate to the following nonprofit agency which supports low-income Brooklynites: St. Nicks Alliance. Your donation will support affordable housing, educational programs and job training. Thank you in advance!
Tours of the Bushwick Collective
Interested in a guided tour around the Bushwick Collective? Our Brooklyn Unplugged Tours Graffiti & Street Art Walking Tour runs every day at 10:30am (7 days per week).
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Here are some other useful guides:
Please Note: this page is not sanctioned by the Bushwick Collective. We are not affiliated with the Bushwick Collective. We are a sightseeing tour company.
© Copyright Jeffrey Stirewalt 2017