Just about everyone who lives in the Flatbush neighborhood of Ditmas Park, knew Ric Menello. Even those who didn’t know his name probably still would recognize him, because Ric Menello was intricately woven into the fabric of this neighborhood. Much of Ric’s time was spent in the area on and around Cortelyou Road, but he could also often be found having lunch or sitting on a bench in newly renovated Newkirk Plaza. This was, in fact, the place he was on February 28, 2013 when he had the heart attack that would end up taking his life one day later. It’s fitting then that the mosaic designed by J. Carlos Pinto and worked on by other local artists, most of whom knew Ric, would be dedicated to him and that his likeness would be the last image immortalized in the piece.
The mosaic, one of many street art projects produced by Mr. Pinto through the Brooklyn Recycle Project, http://brooklynrecycleproject.tumblr.com/, in various locations in New York City, was several months in the making. Its completion was celebrated and dedicated to Ric on May 11, 2013.