Bay Ridge Strong: Local artist paints uplifting images to help community, thank essential workers

A local artist in Bay Ridge is painting the windows of businesses with uplifting designs and messages to bring light to the community during the pandemic.
Alicia Degener has always loved to paint images of South Brooklyn and the landscapes and landmarks that make up New York City.
She says she's now a pandemic artist, adding the Statue of Liberty urging people to wear a mask to part of her repertoire.
"It’s the one thing I have that I can share that makes people happy,” says Degener.
The brightly colored painted images of the Verrazano Bridge, Coney Island and the Statue of Liberty are accompanied with messages of thanks to the essential workers, along with the message, Bay Ridge Strong.
"Having this kind of positive energy that is out here saying ‘we’re here with you, we are a community, we’re going to get through this together,’” says Degener.
The Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID supplies the volunteering artist with paint and helps coordinate with local businesses. While her art studio in the Brooklyn Army Terminal remains closed and she's been furloughed from her job, she says the art is a morale booster for herself as well as the community.
"It brighten things up, put smiles on people, something to look at, especially everyone’s going through some really, really rough times right now,” says Degener.