Jim Drain, We Are the Bronx River, 2019, handmade, screenprinted earthenware tiles with ceramic mosaic, PS 46 Addition, Bronx
We Are the Bronx is a handmade ceramic mural by artist Jim Drain. It was created specifically for the PS 46 Bronx addition and is located at the top of the grand staircase just in front of the school’s auditorium. The mural features plants and animals native to the Bronx arranged in four distinct themes: winter, spring, water and autumn. The insects, birds and vegetation in the foreground are glazed mosaics, while the background is made of screenprinted tiles that feature unique patterns, natural landscapes and architectural details from the borough.
The inspiration for this artwork came from the artist’s walks around the neighborhood and taking pictures along the way. He was intrigued by the many curious and unique instances where nature and man-made elements intersected and the role of nature in the borough as a whole. Selections from his photographs, extensive research of local flora and fauna, and outreach to local community groups, determined the content of the artwork. The resulting mural is intended to reflect how the Bronx is both an urban and natural habitat to be recognized, honored and maintained.