12. Jeff Kasper’s Soft Spots

Soft Spots by Jeff Kasper at the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk. Photo by Ronald Weaver II.

This fall, interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator Jeff Kasper will debut two new mural installations he calls Soft Spots. The murals will be presented by Not a Monolith — a public art and professional development initiative created in partnership with ArtBridge, Facebook Open Arts, and We The Culture, which amplifies the voices of New York-based Black artists. Soft Spots’ design involves a series of colorful paths inspired by the playful style of self-help and mutual aid graphics that became popular during the pandemic. Along each path, the colors switch from cool to warm and change in size from small to large.

In addition, the murals subvert the visual language of “social distancing” vinyl floor signage, compelling viewers to further contemplate the challenges we face in seeking support while feeling unsafe. Both murals are accompanied by an audio guide featuring affirmations and visualizations to foster a sense of self-confidence and to decrease social anxiety in viewers. The first mural is located in Queens at the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk, and the second is in Staten Island at the Stapleton Waterfront. Both will be on display through March 18, 2022.