photo by bigcitiesbrightlights.wordpress.com
East Harlem, New York
Sting Ray decided to break orthodox and create a slightly unauthorized gallery in 1980. Ray’s and his supporters created the “Hall of Fame” was a place where graf artists could come and practice in a safe place can during a time when the art form itself was moving away from simply scrawled tags to bright, expressive murals. Since them, the school yard’s four walls both in the grounds and out were fair game.
Today the philosophy has changed with the motto of the site being, “Strictly Kings or Better,” and a rotating cast of internationally celebrated street artists visiting the Hall of Fame and leaving a piece on the walls. Now the walls are usually covered in clean, professional, pieces of graffiti. Despite graffiti’s often badmouthed reputation, the Hall of Fame has brought enough attention to the school complex, that the schoolyard has been renovated to help support the Hall of Fame. This is a community supported schoolyard art gallery that has stood the tests of time over the last 40 years.