Signs of life: Artist Steve Powers tacks thought-provoking ‘ICY Signs’ around New York City

Art City Terrain East Transportation Urbanism
(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

Manhattan-based artist Steve Powers is offering a non-caffeinated pick-me-up for weary NYC commuters with his pop art–style street signs mounted on light poles around the city. Bearing food-for-thought slogans with themes of life and love against a pictograph or logotype, such as “I get lost to get found” stamped on a briefcase, the signs are designed to inspire smiles and/or introspection.

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

Titled ICY Signs, the temporary public art signage project takes after traditional handpainted signs. Powers uses the common sign as a tool to overstate the importance of signs to guide us through a confusing world. “It’s drag yourself to work day,” reads one. Another depicts a lighthouse stamped with the word “You” beaming light onto the word “Me.”

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

The artist envisioned the signage as an emotional wayfinding system which encourages pedestrians to not only navigate the city streets but explore their own inner alleys and avenues. The 30 signs are being exhibited at four of the intersections earmarked as Summer Streets – part of an annual celebration of car-free NYC streets in which seven miles of streets are reappropriated by pedestrians and cyclists for three consecutive Saturdays in August.

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

Powers’ artwork will go up at four Summer Streets rest stops: Midtown at 25th Street and Park Avenue; Astor Place at Astor Place and Lafayette Street; SoHo at Spring Street and Lafayette Street, with the majority to be displayed at Foley Square at Duane Street and Center Street.

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

(Courtesy New York City Department of Transportation)

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