Gleason's Members' Works Of Art 

Grace Baley

Mosaic Artist

Grace Baley has been working as a professional mosaic artist for the past 21 years. As a life long New Yorker, she credits the murals and mosaics found in the subway as a source of inspiration. The majority of her work is fabricated using glass, paper, ceramic and cement. She often collaborates with designers and architects to create site specific works and large installations and sells smaller pieces in gift stores around the NYC area. 


She received a BFA from NYU and subsequently earned a masters degree in education.  Baley resides in Brooklyn with her 2 daughters and their 2 rescue dogs, Jade and Benny Smalls.  

John Douglas

Boxer / Artist

John Douglas is a professional boxer and boxing trainer from Guyana. His long an illustrious pro boxing career was punctuated by his love of wearing bright colors which matches one of the most colorful personalities in the field of professional pugilism. Also matching his electric personality & wardrobe is John's art. He creates uniquely colorful and imaginative creatures with which he enjoys entertaining people.

Carolyn DiCarlo

Architect / Designer



Boxing has such a bad rap. In boxing movies, there’s always blood flying and someone is down

for the eight count. But there’s a whole other side to boxing when you approach it from the inside.
That is, inside a real boxing gym like Gleason’s.


Training like a boxer betters you in ways you never thought exercise could. Here are some of the ways:



Don’t ever think that knowing when to hit or not won’t come in handy. Boxing helps you uncover that natural knowing called instinct. The best leaders have the keenest instincts.



Your hand/eye coordination and reaction time visibly improves training as a boxer. 



Boxers’ bodies don’t look so artfully sculpted for no reason. The act of boxing means moving your body with strength in every direction imaginable.



By facing your fears, directly and physically.



Because you can.



Partly because of the core work and development of so many affected muscle groups, you end up standing straighter.



Contrary to popular belief about the angry boxer, it actually works anger out, not in. Punching the heavy bag does wonders. Most boxers are quite chill as a result.



For me, if I do another repetitious class, I’ll shoot myself. This is the opposite. 1 ½ hours fly by because your body and mind are engaged. 



Believe that Virgil saying about “whoever has courage and a strong and collected spirit in his breast” because it’s true, most boxers have heart, something this world needs more of. IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS: Concentration requires less effort as your mind and body become more in sync through boxing training.


WARRIOR SPIRIT: In the documentary Free Solo, the climber Alex Honnold defines a warrior spirit as “giving your 100% because you know your life depends on it.” A bit melodramatic for boxing training, but it applies nonetheless.



Mind/body. It’s exactly the same as meditation in that you are fusing your mind and heart into boxer’s instincts. They are both about being in the moment. If you’re busy in your head wanting to hit your opponent, you have a better chance of not being present for what’s actually right in front of you at that second. With boxing, you learn to be less willful and allow things to come to you.


Boxing training can have a ripple effect in your life. Think: if you become less fearful physically, it can’t help but mean you become less fearful in other parts of your life, your relationships and your daily decisions.


Boxing at Gleason’s is not just exercise.

Daqwaun Smith


Lacing Up Those Bootz

There's always a time when a boxer has to lace up their own boots, it could be their very first time... Once in a while or all the time. Some people have the opportunity and privilege to have others willing to do it for them. I'm pretty sure you understand the point I'm trying to make. When a boxer lace up their boots it shows that he/she knows the risk they are taking with their lives before anyone else can ask, "You know what you're putting yourself in?"

He/She already know what they are putting themselves into before anyone knows about it or asks about it. Some may choose to do it because it's fun and others may do it to make a statement. But within all boxing if you don't have determination you can't do either even if you tried. Nothing is impossible but if you have determination within your doing, who knows, maybe you will be the next "World Heavyweight Champion"- - - -

But that all falls down on you to make that decision just like every boxer had to make. Are you ready to finally lace up those bootz?


Inside A Boxer's Mind

Getting inside the ring.

Brings another vibe that is different and unique.

The very first time you wrap your hands with

your wraps you mess up a bit because you're nervous,

You hesitate to ask for help because you don't want to

sound like a newbie.

You eventually relax and adapt to the loud noisy

environment where they say there isn't any breaks

in success.

You meet your trainer learning that he is nothing

else but a role model who wants nothing but the best;

He gives you the basics of the sport which sounds like

nothing but a piece of cake.

You begin to realize that this sport is intense and

recognize that this is nothing like a game. But

only in this game someone wants to take off your head.

Boxing is not a sport for everyone but can be taught to

anyone, depending on how much effort you put into the sport.

We all want to be the best but don't want to put the effort

in to be the best.

In order to be the best you got to tell yourself that you are the

best and focus on boxing to accomplish that goal.

The true best knows that it takes time and work to achieve that


Jo Ellen Van Ouwerkerk

Painter / Visual Artist

Jo Ellen Van Ouwerkerk, one of our gym regulars, is a Surrealist Artist based in New York City. Most of the images are simply a frozen private moment. One frame of a film of someone’s life captured by rituals. Jo Ellen has been influenced by The Police Gazette, Mexican Ex-Votos, everything Victorian and all the Surrealists. But who hasn’t? LEARN MORE...


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