5. Somos Uno at Travers Park

Somos Uno by Mark Saldana. Courtesy of the artist.

Somos Uno is a series of 12 vibrant murals painted on the outside of tree pots inside Travers Park. Created by artist Mark Saldana, Somos Uno is inspired by the disparate cultures that make up the District 25 community in Queens. For Saldana, conserving the traditional practices of immigrants such as farming, sewing, and pottery in his artwork is essential. As a result, Somos Uno features two series of designs: One set represents the connection and harmony between vegetation, the natural world, and humans, while the other focuses on the talent and skills immigrants carry over from their former lives into their new day-to-day activities. 

In the center of one of the murals, two hands are cupped together with a heart, leaves, and the words “somos vida, luz, amor,, cultura, y communidad,” which translates to “we are life, light, love, culture, and community.” Through the implementation of these phrases Saldana’s piece works to inspire members of the local community to be proud and vocal about their heritage. In another mural, a woman can be seen turning a cog while surrounded by music notes, a coffee cup, and leaves — directly referencing the occupation of many immigrant workers in New York City. Somos Uno is presented by New Immigrant Community Empowerment and can be viewed through July 6, 2023.

Next, be sure to check out the 8 Best Public Art Installations To See In August 2022!