Contemporary Artist Derrick Adams First Large-Scale Work on Ceramic Tile to Permanently Welcome Residents at New HELP USA Affordable Supportive Housing Center for Young Families in East New York, Brooklyn

Adams to host Art of Resilience Inaugural Benefit on April 24, 2023, to expand HELP USA’s trauma healing art therapy program to family shelters in NYC.


NEW YORK, NY– (March 28, 2023) HELP USA, the renowned national homeless services provider and low-income housing developer, today announced a slate of art initiatives with artist Derrick Adams to address traumas experienced by homeless and formerly homeless people in New York City. At the center of these projects is Adam’s large-scale mural, We Make the City’s Grid, 2023, a 25’ x 9’ ceramic tile mosaic which is the artist’s first time working in this medium and has been commissioned by HELP USA to be permanently installed at HELP One, a brand new affordable, and supportive housing complex, opening summer 2023 in Brooklyn.

“Art is therapeutic, whether you are making it or interacting with it,” said Adams. “This work represents community, family, and motion between those who will call this home and those from the neighborhood who will come as visitors, to participate in programs, and to work. I am honored to be a part of HELP USA’s efforts to share the healing power of art with those who are recovering from homelessness.”

Adams’s paintings, sculptures, collages, performances, videos, and public projects celebrate and expand the dialogue around contemporary Black life and culture through scenes of normalcy and perseverance. He has developed a distinctive style of joy, leisure, and the celebration of life, which can clearly be seen in We Make the City’s Grid.

Adams recently gained representation by the leading international art gallery Gagosian. His immersive public artwork, The City is My Refuge, commissioned by the Art at Amtrak program, is on view through June 2023 throughout New York’s Pennsylvania Station’s upper-level concourse. Concurrent with the HELP ONE opening, Adams will join five other artists in reimagining the role of monuments in civic life through the temporary exhibition Beyond Granite on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

“Art has the power to transform and heal a community, encouraging us to see the world in new ways. The elements of the human condition Derrick Adams instill in his art are perfect complements to the trauma-informed design aesthetic of our new complex,” said Dr. Tom Hameline, President and CEO of HELP USA. “The power of his work will provide solace, inspiration, and hope for all who will pass through the doors of HELP ONE for years to come.”

HELP ONE a hub campus of four trauma-informed design buildings developed by HELP USA affiliate HELP Development Corp., is rising on the original site of HELP’s first family shelter at 515 Blake Avenue in East NewYork. The first units will be ready for residents in late summer 2023. When completed, the campus will offer upwards of 500 homes for young families, homeless individuals with mental health concerns, and single mothers. Quality supportive services and programs at HELP ONE will create a rich tapestry of connections and ensure a more vibrant,
healthier, and safer community for all. Adam’s works will be permanently on view to the public in the two-story foyer of Building A.

In addition, HELP USA will bring to HELP ONE the Art of Resilience – its innovative art therapy program that marries the healing potential of art with individual social and emotional assessment to gain unique insights into the needs of those in crisis and create pathways to lasting solutions. The certified art therapists will host workshops, open studio events, and individual sessions where participants can express feelings, address trauma, and rebuild self-respect.

As part of HELP USA’s 2023 art initiatives, Derrick Adams will host the inaugural Art of Resilience benefit on Monday, April 24, 2023, at the National Arts Club in Manhattan. Artwork created by HELP’s art therapy program participants will be on exhibit. Guests will enjoy an intimate evening of cocktails, a silent art auction, and a communal art-making activity with surprise guest artists. Proceeds from the event will allow HELP USA to expand the art therapy program to 10 family shelters, bringing the power of art to 1000s of children and their caregivers. Limited
availability remains. Tables are $10,000 and $5,000; tickets are $350. For more information, visit


About Derrick Adams
Derrick Adams was born in Baltimore in 1970 and lives and works in New York. In 2022, Adams established two initiatives to nurture the arts and culture in his native Baltimore. The Last Resort Artist Retreat is a residency program committed to the concept of leisure as therapy for the Black creative. The Black Baltimore Digital Database is a multipurpose physically and digitally accessible space dedicated to cataloging and archiving cultural contributions by Black Baltimoreans, both historical and ongoing. Permanent collections include the Baltimore Museum of Art;
Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Exhibitions include ON, Pioneer Works, NY (2016); Network, California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2017); Patrick Kelly, The Journey, Studio Museum in Harlem/Countee Cullen Library, NY (2017); Sanctuary, Museum of Arts and Design, NY (2018);Transmission, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver (2018); Where I’m From, Baltimore City Hall (2019); Buoyant, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY (2020); Derrick Adams and Barbara Earl Thomas: Packaged Black, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2021); LOOKS, Cleveland Museum of Art (2021–22); and I Can Show You Better Than I Can TellYou, FLAG Foundation, NY (2023). Adams has received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (2009), Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize from the Studio Museum in Harlem (2016), Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2019).

HELP USA works to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. We build affordable homes, provide shelter for people in crisis, and strengthen vulnerable communities. Every day, we address the root causes of homelessness at our 44 residences and over a dozen prevention and support programs. To contact HELP Development Corp., email For more information on HELP USA, visit

Self-Referral Form

Client Referral for Services

Photo Inquiry