Youth Artist

Nafeesa Davis

Ever since I was about six years old, I knew that art and having the ability to create things would be an important part of my life.

As someone who lives with social anxiety and has since I was a kid, often times art is the most effective way for me to communicate with other people. It also is a sort of therapy; a way to relax and be in the moment, creating something meaningful and beautiful. Youth-led community art is an extension of this idea.

I can't stress enough how much it means to youth when people give us the chance to do the talking, the brainstorming and take the reins on large scale murals that will last a lifetime in our communities. It gives us the feeling that we have power in our own lives and confidence in a world that sometimes regards youth as unimportant and trivial. Also, being able to walk up to a huge piece of artwork that adds additional personality to a neighborhood, a block, a building - and say "I did that" is an indescribable feeling.

New York City is continuing to change, to be gentrified. I feel like those of us who are from the city and have been watching these rapid changes have no control over what our neighborhoods will continue to become. But even as they continuously shift, our murals, our art, small pieces of ourselves remain on these walls and remind us that we will always be a part of these communities. 


The Spirit of SoHo

The Spirit of SoHo is a 4,000 square foot mural that scales Aby Rosens latest hotels south-facing wall, designed to celebrate the history and culture of SoHo. SoHo is a diverse metropol...


Carnival of Aspirations

Learning has been proven fun through a Carnival of color, vibrancy, and community engagement with youth artists. With three monumental murals already installed on the exterior of the school, ...


Aspire to Inspire

Groundswell, in partnership with Jamaica NeON, engaged youth muralists in the creation of Aspire to Inspire, a mural highlighting education as the most crucial step toward success in life. ...

Profile picture of Nafessa Davis.