Zachary Schulman’s The Community Gardener Portrait Project: Brooklyn

The Community Gardener Portrait Project: Brooklyn

BQLT is proud to highlight Zachary Schulman’s 2023 “The Community Gardener Portrait Project: Brooklyn” that included four BQLT gardens:1100 Block Bergen Street Community Garden, Clifton Place Block Association Garden, Mama Dee’s Garden and Woodbine Street Block Association Garden. Eight of their gardeners were featured in this series of portraits:

Hazel Hurley at 1100 Block Bergen Street Community Garden

Enrique Alie, Dominic Davis, Daniel Guralnick, & Kim Wadsworth at Clifton Place Block Association Garden

Princess Benn James at Mama Dee’s Garden

Sean Michael Fleming & Verena James at Woodbine Street Block Association Garden

His exhibit of 68 Brooklyn gardener portraits from 21 gardens located in nine Brooklyn neighborhoods ran from November 11th – December 17th at Walt L. Shamel Community Garden in Crown Heights.

Zack is a former BQLT staff member and friend of BQLT, and we proudly supported his Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) grant applications for this work. We continue to collaborate on his future endeavors, and truly appreciate his work to document NYC community garden history through photos and oral interviews. 

Verena James
(pictured above, photo and interview by Zachary Schulman)
Woodbine Street Block Association Garden
Bushwick, Brooklyn

It’s my safe haven. It’s so quiet, you can relax. Sometimes when neighbors come, they’re shocked to see that there’s a garden here. It’s always a surprise to them because they would just pass, but when they come in they love the space.

Hazel Hurley
(pictured above, photo and interview by Zachary Schulman)
1100 Bergen Street Community Garden
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

I’ve been here more than half of my life. I was always into gardening in my country. At one point I detested it, and then when I came up here, [neighbors] asked me to come over and help. Just to be a friendly neighbor, not to really stay, because I didn’t want to be in that again. But here I am. Now this has become part of me. Everybody takes pride in what they’re doing here.

To learn more about the project and follow for updates go to his Instagram @zacharyschulmanphotography, his FB Zachary Schulman Photography or reach out if you’d like to participate in his portrait project via email at: Check out his first series of beautiful portraits of garden leaders, including several from BQLT gardens, at:

***Exhibit On-going***

The Community Gardener Portrait Project: New York City

January 25, 2024 – March 14, 2024

The Arsenal Gallery, Central Park
830 Fifth Ave. at 64th Street, Third Floor
Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Closed holidays // Free admission
NYC Parks is pleased to present The Community Gardener Portrait Project: New York City, an exhibition of photographs and interview excerpts by Zachary Schulman. Over the past five years, Schulman has met with 121 community gardeners in NYC. Drawing on these years of work, the exhibition features a selection of 34 portraits taken across all five boroughs and invites viewers to learn more about the creation and long-term stewardship of these green spaces.  For more details, visit:
The Community Gardener Portrait Project: New York City is presented by NYC Parks’ Art & Antiquities division and GreenThumb, NYC Parks’ community gardening program.  

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