GFF’s Valerie Baldridge recently participated in ‘Rise in the City,’ a national art competition held in New York City between architects and designers. The event brings together many influencers in design and construction that are able to discover how architecture combined with social enterprise can help to solve poverty problems in Africa.

The guidelines for this year’s entries were to create an artistic representation of one block in NYC implementing African culture. Valerie selected the block of 5th Avenue and Central Park, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She painted a silhouette of the city’s sky line and filled them with fractal, self-organizing geometrical patterns, as well as traditional patterns that adorn African vernacular buildings, which were implemented as the dominant content of the art.

The theory of fractals is commonly used in mathematics, biology, architecture and social sciences. Valerie referenced the research of Dr. Ron Eglash, Professor of Cybernetics and Ethnomathematics at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for his extensive research on African Fractal Design and its influence on science and society.

“It was truly fascinating to meet architects, entrepreneurs and artists from all over the world who share the same mission and vision. Being an immigrant from a war country myself, I understand well how meaningful it is when solid and stable societies, like the US, support the ones in need. I feel flattered to have an opportunity to make an influential impact in helping humanity on a global level.”

Valerie’s art piece was selected as one of the top 15 pieces and was successfully sold at an auction in New York City on October 25th. All of the funds raised go to build study facilities and orphanages for children in Africa.