Artwork Unveiling  

Elody and her murals in Chinatown Optical

Chinatown Optical continues it’s 40th anniversary celebrations by commissioning a New York-based artist, Elody Gyekis, to express its principles and values through art. Chinatown Optical’s treasured values of Family, Community, History, and Expanding Horizons are reflected in two murals that will be displayed on our iconic windows on the corner of Mott and Pell Streets. Elody Gyekis is a storied artist whose work pushes the boundaries of gender roles and celebrates femininity using the language of myth and fairy tales. Her community mural projects bridge the old and the new and bring communities together, making her a perfect fit to showcase Chinatown Optical’s long-standing commitment to the community.

Her first mural celebrates how eyewear not only serves as a necessity, but as a fashion statement and statement of empowerment; especially for Asian and Asian-American females throughout the twentieth century. It demonstrates how we can use eyewear to express the vision of who we are and who we can become. As Chinatown Optical, currently headed by two strong Asian-American women, celebrates it’s forty years, we recommit ourselves to using Chinatown Optical as a platform to inspire and foster the next generation of Asian female leaders and expand their horizons of what’s possible for them.

Her second mural takes a rarely seen, old painting that hangs in the basement of Chinatown Optical that underpins who we are and shows how our values have remained the same over 40 years. The painting in Chinatown Optical’s basement depicts a Norman Rockwell-esque family coming together after having dim sum at a nearby restaurant to get their glasses at Chinatown Optical. They are having fun discovering amazing eyewear, trying new frames, and having a shared experience of getting eyeglasses together. Forty years later, the child has grown up with a family of his own, and still returns to Chinatown Optical as a trusted place to find the best eye care products and guidance for his loved ones.
 These two celebratory murals were made possible in partnership with Curina, Rent the Runway for Fine Art, offering original art from up-and-coming Brooklyn artists via rental and rent-to-own. (

About Elody Gyekis 

Elody Gyekis is an American Artist who splits her time between living in Brooklyn, Central Pennsylvania, and Central America. Her work pushes the boundaries of gender roles and celebrates femininity, using the language of myth and fairytales as a process of personal catharsis. She completed her MFA in Painting at the New York Academy of the Arts and she earned her BFA in Painting and Ceramics from Penn State in 2009.

In addition to her fine art work, she has been a community arts organizer and muralist for nine murals in State College, Harrisburg, Williamsport, Huntingdon, and Millheim Pennsylvania. She has also worked on various other community art projects in other locations, such as Toms River (NJ) and the Dominican Republic. She was the artistic director of the “Book Benches of Centre County” public art project in 2014 - 2016.

 Some of Elody Gyekis's fine art: