On a beautiful Saturday we sat down with Fay Bonas, a multi-media artist and Kelly Street gardener, for a “visual interview” with her works in the Kelly Street Garden. Fay told us a little about her journey as an artist from Tobago to Brooklyn to the Bronx.
How would you describe your art?
Right now I’m learning to recycle and reuse materials to make new pieces, focusing on paper art.
Can you tell us a little about how you started making art?
I’ve been making art all my life, I stopped for 10 to 11 years until the garden opened and Rosalba asked me to paint that wall. At one of the first garden meetings, we were in the garden and there were crayons, and Rosalba saw my drawings and asked me to paint a mural on a wall in the garden.
The art never dies within you.
Why did you stop making art?
Life happened. Kids.
I grew up painting and took drawing and painting in college. After I left college I didn’t do it until now.
How would you describe your practice?
I like beautiful things and I like using my hands. Keeping my hands busy. Making my mind stretch away from problems. You forget about it when you’re making art. Forget about everything.
Restarting making art has been rewarding. Doing the art workshops. It has opened up new doors and she’s been hired to teach art workshops with other organizations, like The Laundromat Project.
Why recycled art?
I always have paper in my house and I was just throwing it out. I thought, let me make something with this.
How has the garden influenced your work?
Right now, the sunflowers influence the jewelry I’m making.
How have you collaborated with other artists in the garden.
Sajata (another Kelly Street Gardener and artist) gives advice, what to use, etc. She is also into recycled art and we’re hoping to get a grant to do a show of recycled pieces.
View Fay’s work below!