Posts tagged with "public art":

Giant inflatable flowers are taking over Sixth Avenue

Starting May 2, New York-based creative studio PLAYLAB, INC. is decking out the glass canyon of Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan with a broad stroke of color in the form of giant, inflatable flowers. The public art installation is sponsored by the Avenue of the Americas Association. GROWN UP FLOWERS consists of six different inflatable pieces, which PLAYLAB describes as “sitting, lounging, floating, standing tall or even bending down to greet passerbys” between 44th and 55th streets. PLAYLAB hopes to harken back to Manhattan’s pre-colonial landscape, one where the “island was covered with wild and beautiful flowers.” As a result of their gargantuan size, the installation’s flowers will be able “to compete with the scale of their surroundings.” Each of the six flowers is assigned a unique stance and personality. For example, Jack of 1221 Sixth Avenue measures 30 feet in height and “loves to draw portraits.” Wilt bends towards passing bystanders and enjoys “all kinds of people and can be a little bit of a talker.” PLAYLAB, INC.’s projects often activate public space with interactive installations, including giant slinky-like tents for the Storefront for Art & Architecture and an ongoing collaboration with Plus Pool to design a water-filtering floating pool on the East River. Inflatable Images, an Ohio outdoor advertising company specializing in custom inflatables, fabricated the oversized flowers. The colorful installation will be up through June.

Artist Mel Chin will take over Times Square with AR nautical ruins

Artist Mel Chin is bringing two new installations to Times Squares Broadway plazas this summer. Wake and Unmoored are part of Mel Chin: All Over the Place, a multi-location exhibition produced by the Queens Museum and the public art nonprofit No Longer Empty Other locations involved with the citywide exhibition are the Queens Museum and the Broadway–Lafayette/Bleeker Street subway station, which is hosting a May 13 rededication for Signals, Chin’s permanent installation at the station.  Wake is a 24-foot-tall installation crafted by Mel Chin to resemble a shipwreck intertwined with the skeleton of a marine mammal. Adjacent to the shipwreck will be a 21-foot-tall sculpture based off of a figurehead of 19th-century opera singer, Jenny Lind. This project is being fabricated by the UNC Asheville's STEAM Studio. A celebrity during her career, Lind was also a figurehead for the USS Nightingale, a mercantile clipper involved in the trade of guns and slaves. Chin views Lind’s inclusion in the piece as means to pull back the complicated, and often controversial, factors that led to New York City’s rise. According to Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance that partnered with the producers on the project, Wake serves as bridge to Unmoored. In collaboration with Microsoft, Unmoored is a mixed reality experience revealing a speculative vision of a world where global warming goes unchecked. Unmooreds augmented reality section will extend from 45th to 47th Street, and will be viewable through cell phones and tablets. Times Square Arts commissioned these installations, which will be on view at the Broadway plazasbetween the cross streets above at Broadway/7th Avenue beginning July 11. In a statement to the The New York Times, Chin describes Wake coming alive through digital interaction, such as the sculpture of Jenny Lind who will sigh and raise her head to the heavens," as Times Square floods around her. All Over the Place began at the Queens Museum on April 8. The museums portion of the exhibition is the first survey of the artists work by a New York City institution. In total, the survey contains over seventy works spanning Chins four-decade artistic career, including paintings, sculptures and videos. Additionally, two newly commissioned projects, Flint Fit and Soundtrack, are found at the Queens location. Curators Laura Raicovich, the Queens Museum's former president and executive director, and Manon Slome, No Longer Empty's co-founder and chief curator, describe All Over the Place as a city-wide celebration of Chins work and his ability to deliver provocative and profound investigations of the ways in which we live, our socio-economic contexts, our relationship to our surrounding environments, how power skews the scales, and how poetry can intervene, to a broad public. Wake and Unmoored will stand in Times Square until September 5, 2018. More information about the exhibition can be found here.

Fearless Girl’s new home is outside the New York Stock Exchange

After spending a year in Bowling Green Park, the Fearless Girl is moving to the New York Stock Exchange. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that the 50-inch-tall sculpture will be relocated to a “long-term” home outside the Stock Exchange by the end of the year. His announcement confirms a report in The Architects’ Newspaper last month. The popular bronze sculpture, which depicts a girl standing defiantly with chin out and hands on hips, became a magnet for visitors after it was installed at Broadway and Morris Street just before International Women’s Day in March of 2017. But it also raised safety concerns for city officials, who didn’t think the narrow public space on Broadway could accommodate the high number of pedestrians who were visiting, many seemingly oblivious to the vehicular traffic all around. “We are proud to be home to the Fearless Girl. She is a powerful symbol of the need for change at the highest levels of corporate America—and she will become a durable part of our city’s civic life,” de Blasio said in a statement. “This move to a new location will improve access for visitors and ensure that her message and impact continues to be heard.” The sculpture by Delaware-based artist Kristen Visbal was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors to raise awareness of the need for more women on corporate boards. In the year since it was installed, more than 150 companies have added a woman to their board, according to State Street president and CEO Cyrus Taraporevala. “Our hope is that by moving closer to the NYSE she will inspire many more companies to take action,” he said in a statement. The Stock Exchange at 11 Wall Street is an appropriate location for the sculpture, said president Thomas Farley, in a statement. “The historic corner of Wall & Broad saw the swearing in of our country’s first president and the birth of our capital markets, and is joined now by a striking symbol of our ongoing journey toward greater equality [and] broader inclusion,” he said. “We eagerly await the arrival of Fearless Girl to her fitting new home.” Much of the sculpture’s impact is due to its location facing another work of art, Arturo Di Modica’s Charging Bull, positioned as if standing up to the animal.  There has been talk about moving the bull with the Fearless Girl sculpture, so they can stay together, but no decisions about that have been announced. “I’d love it if she could stare down the Charging Bull for the rest of time,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, as part of the mayor’s announcement. “But even if she can’t, I’m glad she will stay in the neighborhood and remind those who pass by the Stock Exchange that it’s past time for companies to put more women in boardrooms and in charge.” The Fearless Girl has become something of a cottage industry for the artist, who is now selling “limited edition” reproductions of the sculpture, ranging from desktop versions to full size. The smaller version is about 22 inches tall and costs $6,500, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to charities that support “one or any of the gender diversity goals Fearless Girl stands for,” according to a website set up by the artist. According to CNNMoney, the artist has sold three copies of the full-size version, including one that’s already on exhibit in Oslo, Norway. Twenty-five will be cast in all. The artist also has plans to sell smaller reproductions and children’s books based on the Fearless Girl character, the network reported. Those who want another sort of connection to the Fearless Girl can purchase a signed black-and-white photo of the sculpture, taken by Federica Valabrega, for up to $5,000. Or they can do what thousands have done and take their own.

LaGuardia Airport will host first-ever artist residencies in historic rotunda

New York’s LaGuardia Airport (long the butt of snarky comments) will soon be getting a bit more hospitable. Announced earlier this month by the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA), the QCA ArtPort Residency will give four artists 3-month residencies at the airport’s Marine Air Terminal (A), with the first starting in mid-April. The opportunity is open to any Queens-based visual artist who can commit to the 3-month period. The lucky artists will be given a $3,000 stipend and access to 110 square feet of public studio space in the terminal’s rotunda, in what was formerly a Hudson News stand. The residency will take place entirely within view of the public, in a highly-trafficked area that receives thousands of visitors a day. Of course, any artist seeking to win a residency will need to abide by the rules set by the New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, which funds the QCA, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The list of prohibited materials is long and excludes anything toxic, and certain themes have been precluded; works can’t be too obscene or political. The space will serve as a gateway to cultural life in Queens, much as the airport welcomes visitors to the city. “Queens is often overlooked for many reasons, and being that almost everybody who comes into the city comes through Queens, we want them to experience a flavor of Queens,” QCA’s Grants & Resource Director Lynn Lobell told Hyperallergic. “As an arts council, we also wanted the general public to be able to experience art in unexpected places and to see how the artist process works.” The residency program within Terminal A will take place under Flight by James Brooks, a large, wraparound mural created as part of the Works Progress Administration program. The landmarked Marine Air Terminal itself, a squat, art deco building defined by its two-story rotunda, has taken on higher traffic than normal as construction continues around the airport. If the residency proves successful, QCA will look into expanding the program to LaGuardia’s Terminal B, once it’s completed in 2021. Interested artists have until Tuesday, April 5 to apply.

Burning Man goes to D.C. with new show at the Smithsonian Museum

The psychedelic stylings of Burning Man will be reaching a wider audience with the installation of No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. Visitors can enjoy photographs, sculptures, and interactive installations from the annual festival, usually just ephemera, only a stones-throw away from the White House. The challenges of translating a massive outdoor festival (where sculptures are designed to be burnt to the ground at the end) to a museum setting wasn’t lost on the curators. Art cars and sculptures, some originally on display on the Playa and others commissioned for the show, jewelry, and even experiences­–through VR–in an institutional setting reveals an underlying tension between the disposable, freewheeling nature of Burning Man and the typically more stoic nature of museum exhibitions. Large-scale installations in the gallery form the heart of the show, but the Renwick has partnered with Golden Triangle Business Improvement District to spread six outdoor pieces throughout the neighborhood. From March 30 through December 2018, residents can spy: No Spectators will put multiple large installations front and center, many of which were commissioned specifically for the show, including a temple from sculptor David Best. Despite taking place in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, Burning Man has always had a heavy architectural and planning component to the festivities. Technically complicated pavilions and temples go up every year, such as 2018’s digitally fabricated Galaxia, and the temporary city that houses 70,000 residents every year serves as a proving ground for radical urban planning ideas. No Spectators sprung partially from the desire to spread the Burning Man gospel, as organizers admit to the Times, as well as the opportunity to tap a wellspring of previously un-exhibited work. For the Smithsonian’s part, the museum has committed to upholding the festivals’ ideals, having kept corporate logos away from the art, hiring local “burners” to help patrons appreciate the pieces, and commissioning a history of the festival to contextualize the works. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man will run from March 30 through January of 2019.

Creative Time brings interactive urbanism and Recetas Urbanas to Art Basel 2018

Spanish architecture studio Recetas Urbanas (Urban Recipes) will be leaping to this year’s Art Basel, courtesy of New York-based arts organizer Creative Time. In the group’s first international commission, Creative Time has organized Basilea, a series of interactive projects for Basel, Switzerland locals and international fairgoers alike. Basilea will sit on Basel’s Messeplatz and involve visitors through a combination of talks, hands-on workshops, observations, and even through soliciting their help to build the pavilions. By involving the public, Basilea aims to empower guests to re-examine their role as citizens and the effect they can have in civic systems. In the three weeks leading up to Art Basel’s opening on May 23, Recetas Urbanas, headed by architect Santiago Cirugeda, will construct a public pavilion with help from volunteers. The “multi-purpose civic structure,” which will resemble an auditorium, will be built from locally-sourced and found materials, while the participants (fairgoers can sign up here) will be encouraged to learn from each other in a mutual sharing of ideas. After a run of performances and as-of-yet undetermined talks, the future home of the venue will be handed over to the public to vote on. Recetas Urbanas is well known in Spain for their low-cost “guerilla” structures, and previously represented Spain at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. Spanish artist Lara Almarcegui, who represented Spain at the 2013 Venice Biennale, will construct a large-scale “quarry” installation made of gravel that will surround the finished Recetas Urbanas pavilion. The piece will grow daily over the course of the fair, as gravel mirroring the amount removed from a local Basel quarry will be deposited on the Messeplatz, and ask viewers to consider the destructive impact humans have on the environment. Dominican-American artist Isabel Lewis will round out Creative Time’s program, and using her training in dance and philosophy, and experience staging interactive shows, will host a series of workshops and events. Throughout the fair, Lewis will encourage visitors to rethink how they conceive of “self” versus “community”, and how citizens form relationships with the urban space around them. Basilea marks the first time the trio of artists will collaborate with each other, and their program at Art Basel should layer and complement each other’s work. Art Basel 2018 will run from May 23 through June 17.

Median design contest winner pitches elevated platforms for Park Avenue

Only two weeks after finalists were announced for the Fisher Brothers-sponsored contest to repurpose the median strips that run along Manhattan’s Park Avenue, a winner has been chosen that could–maybe–reimagine the public park islands. “Park Park” proposes installing a series of elevated platforms down the middle of Park Avenue, creating floating parks, concert venues, and art galleries akin to the High Line. "Beyond the Centerline" was announced in November of last year as a design competition to rethink how those medians are utilized from East 46th Street to East 57th Street, sans any limitations, with a $25,000 grand prize. A grand jury made of architects and planners voted on the winner after the 17 finalists were revealed, while the public was encouraged to vote for their favorite design for a popular vote prize. Ben Meade, Anthony Stahl, and Alexia Beghi of design firm Maison took home top honors with Park Park, which would place elevated platforms on each block and install unique programming on each. Maison’s winning proposal presents a different typology for each block, including a basketball court, an aerial skate park, and a flying forest. It even includes projecting art on three enormous glass cubes. One of the boldest sections would install a bright red ramp that stretches seven stories into the air, with tight spirals meant to evoke comparisons to the Guggenheim Museum and present views down the boulevard. The popular vote went to “Park River,” an ambitious plan that would have eliminated the medians entirely, squeezed the road together, and carved out a looping river on either side of the avenue. This new shoreline would provide new recreational waterways in the heart of Manhattan, allowing for kayaking in the summer and ice skating when the “river” froze over. Amy Garlock, Drew Cowdrey, and Fareez Giga of Local Architects will be taking home $5,000 for their efforts. While all of the entries payed homage to the city’s history in one way or another and shone a spotlight on innovative new ideas for the avenue, it remains to be seen if any of the concepts could ever be realized. The guidelines forced entrants to stick to realistic proposals that could theoretically be built, but intentionally disregarded zoning and other real-world, non-physical hurdles.

Ten temporary public art installations coming to ten New York City parks in June

In June 2018, the Department of Parks & Recreation is launching its Art in the Parks: UNIQLO Park Expressions Grant initiative. The initiative will deliver the work of ten emerging New York-based artists across ten city parks designated as in need of more cultural programming. The artists were awarded their grants in February, and are tasked with temporarily transforming these parks into cultural destinations attracting residents from across the city. This is the second year of operation for the Park Expressions Grant, which in total has provided $200,000 in funding for the Arts in the Park program. The initiative builds off of the NYC Parks’ longstanding Art in the Parks program that invests in the installation of temporary and permanent installations throughout the city’s public park system. Notable past installations of the decades-long initiative include the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert Indiana and Tony Smith. The locations of this year’s art installations are evenly distributed across the five boroughs, and are listed below. Bronx: Dionisio Cortes Ortega, Sitting Together Joyce Kilmer Park Located adjacent to the Bronx Supreme Courthouse, Sitting Together is an interactive and sculptural critique of the status quo of proceedings in courtroom cases. Cara Lynch, I’m So Happy You’re Here Virginia Park I'm so Happy You're Here will transport a gradient of interior parquet flooring patterns, with a broad color palette, to the public ream. Brooklyn: Tanda Francis, Adorn Me Fort Greene Park Tanda Francis' Adorn Me questions the lack of African-American representations in American public space, and draws upon African sculptural tradition and Ife portraiture. Roberto Visani, (x)ofmanychildren Herbert Von King Park  Visani's (x)ofmanychildren utilizes 3-D modeling software and is inspired by West African figurative sculptures. Manhattan: Karla & James Murray, Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S. Seward Park Mom-and-Pops of the L.E.S consists of four-life sized mom-and-pop businesses that have recently disappeared from the Lower East Side streetscape due to rising gentrification. Harumi Ori, I am Here Thomas Jefferson Park I am here consists of folded and sewn orange industrial mesh depicting snapshots of Thomas Jefferson Park taken by Harumi Ori.

Queens:

Zaq Landsberg, Islands of the Unisphere Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Landsberg recreates several islands from the adjacent Unisphere, which will form a publicly accessible archipelago representing the diversity of Queens. Rose DeSiano, Absent Monuments Rufus King Park These mirrored obelisks will stand upon blue and white Dutch Delft photographic tiles which interact with Native American pattern work. Staten Island: Jackie Mock, The Pencil Museum Faber Park The Pencil Museum is a collection of antique writing instruments, located on the former grounds of Johann Eberhard Faber's Mansion. Faber was the owner of the Johann Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory, the first of its kind in America. Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao, Stick Stump & The Lawn Lumps Tappen Park Frezza & Chiao's exhibit is a collection of playful forms meant for public interaction.

Fearless Girl likely to move to the New York Stock Exchange

New York’s Fearless Girl statue is likely to move to the New York Stock Exchange, according to a city representative knowledgeable about the pending relocation.

The bronze sculpture by Delaware artist Kristen Visbal has been a popular attraction since it first appeared in Manhattan’s Financial District on March 7, 2017.

Depicting a defiant girl with chin out and hands on her hips, the statute was placed in a public plaza, Bowling Green, at Broadway and Morris Street. It stands opposite a much larger sculpture installed in 1989, Charging Bull by Arturo Di Modica, as if daring the bull to run at her.

Fearless Girl was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors to highlight the company's initiative to bring more women onto corporate boards. The firm wanted it in place by March 8, International Women’s Day, which commemorates the movement for women’s rights.

The city initially allowed the statue to stay in place for several weeks under a temporary permit. Mayor Bill de Blasio later announced that it could stay at its current location until March 8, 2018.

With that deadline approaching, city officials said last month that the sculpture would remain on public view somewhere in the city, but not at Bowling Green, because the space isn’t large enough for the amount of traffic and number of visitors it draws.

Although numerous sites have been considered, the New York Stock Exchange at 11 Wall Street has emerged as the leading candidate, according to the city representative who is privy to the deliberations but not authorized to discuss the move. More details are expected before March 8.

“We are discussing various approaches to ensure this statue continues to be a part of the city’s civic life,” Natalie Grybauskas, a representative of the mayor’s office, said in a statement. “The message of the Fearless Girl statue has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike.”

The city is also considering plans to move the Charging Bull statue, either to keep it with Fearless Girl or to make it separate. The bull initially appeared in front of the Stock Exchange in 1989 and was later moved to Bowling Green.

Chicago’s Merchandise Mart to become “world’s largest” canvas for projected art

Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart (rebranded as theMART), a massive art deco design center on the bend of the Chicago River, will play host to a 2.6-acre art installation come fall of 2018. At a press conference this Sunday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, city cultural officials, and representatives of building owners Vornado Realty Trust’s Chicago branch announced a plan to convert the front wall of The Mart into a canvas for large-scale, projected art. “Art on theMART” will paint the river-facing wall of the Mart with high-resolution images and videos, including indie works, through an open-source software. Mart Chief Operating Officer Myron Maurer has promised that the project would never be used to display ads. A curatorial board would be set up as early as this spring to select which works would be screened, including holiday-specific pieces and work from student art shows. First proposed in March of 2017 as a joint effort between the Mayor’s office and theMART, the project was envisioned as a “large-scale architectural projection” that would contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the Chicago waterfront. Vornado had reached out to New York City-based A+I Architects and San Francisco-based Obscura Digital to conduct the feasibility study and will be paying the $8 million installation cost and $500,000 yearly maintenance costs out of pocket. Obscura has worked on enormous projections and screen-related art projects at Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building, and at the Sydney Opera House. With the project moving forward, Mayor Emanuel is advancing an ordinance to the City Council that would allow for the installation of the 34 necessary projectors under a 30-year license. If the City Council approves, theMART’s light shows could begin by October of this year, and works would be projected for two hours a night, five days a week, for up to ten months a year. “It brings two great strands of the city of Chicago together,” Mayor Emanuel told reporters on Sunday. “What we all know as the Merchandise Mart will now become the largest canvas in the world.” Art on theMART is the latest in a continuing transformation for the building, which has recently shifted from housing wholesale retailers and showrooms into a tech hub and office building. A video mockup of the installation is available here, courtesy of The Chicago Sun Times.

Deliriously dripping sculptures are coming to Madison Square Park

Just in time for spring, the 36th season of outdoor art at Madison Square Park will bring architectural landscapes, dissolving mythological figures, and eroding monuments to the lower Manhattan park. Diana Al-Hadid’s Delirious Matter will weave feminine narratives with Modernist thinking and scatter “ruins” for park-goers to discover come May 7, 2018. The Aleppo-born artist is well known for using casting techniques and materials that result in ethereal, yet surprisingly strong, works, and Delirious Matter is no exception. Six sculptures will be on display, and all of them resemble eroded organic forms, produced through pouring colored polymer gypsum on a surface, peeling it off and reinforcing the structure with a fiberglass coating. Al-Hadid has called the technique “a blend between fresco and tapestry.” “I was educated by Modernist instructors in the Midwest, but also was raised in an Islamic household with a culture that very much prizes narrative and folklore,” explained Al-Hadid. On the park’s Oval Lawn, Al-Hadid will lay down a set of 14-foot-tall porous walls that fade into the hedges, one 36 feet long and the other 22 feet, allowing visitors to explore the gaps in the hard scaffolding. The first wall, Gravida, evokes the Roman god Mars Gradivus, while the second references Allegory of Chastity by Hans Memling, a 15th century painting where a woman arises from a mountain, her clothing and body becoming one with the rocky landscape. Three female figures in repose, all of them missing heads and sitting on plinths, will be scattered around the rest of the park. The three sculptures that make up Synonym all hover in midair, dripped over invisible, destroyed classical statues, and are seemingly supported by nothing more than the extra fluid that’s spilled over the sides. A final sculpture, also referencing Allegory of Chastity, will be installed in the park’s reflecting pool. Delirious Matter is Al-Hadid’s attempt to blend sculpture and plant matter for the first time in her career, much in the same way her work combines contemporary fabrication methods to reinterpret historical paintings and sculptures; it also represents her largest show to date. Delirious Matter was made possible in part by a $35,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and through the support of the Madison Square Park Conservancy. The show will run in tandem with the Diana Al-Hadid: Delirious Matter at the Bronx Museum of the Arts from July 18 through October 14, 2018, while Al-Hadid’s melting mashups in the park will be on display until September 3, 2018.

Fearless Girl statue is here to stay, requiring new site design or a relocation

Less than a year after financial firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) installed its Fearless Girl statue opposite Arturo Di Modica’s classic Charging Bull in Manhattan’s Financial District, both sculptures may be relocated. As first reported by Adweek, Fearless Girl, which was originally meant to be a month-long installation for International Women’s Day 2017, has proven so popular that the Mayor’s Office has begun negotiations with SSGA to make it a permanent fixture. The only problem? Fearless Girl is a victim of its own popularity, and throngs of tourists are making the patch of open space impossible to navigate through. As a result, and because both sculptures have become intertwined, the city will either need to redesign the plaza for better accessibility, or move the pair to a more open location. While neither the Mayor’s Office, SSGA nor McCann New York, responsible for creating the statue, were willing to comment, it’s likely that the duo wouldn’t be moved very far. The initial reactions to Fearless Girl weren’t entirely positive, as some viewed the installation as a cynical marketing ploy; the criticism only intensified when SSGA’s parent company State Street Corporation was fined $5 million for routinely underpaying female employees. Di Modica himself was shot down when he petitioned the city for Fearless Girl’s removal, although it should be noted that Charging Bull was originally dropped on the streets under the cover of darkness without permission. Bolstered by the good press, SSGA has reportedly looked into installing Fearless Girl copies in other interested cities, giving credence to opponents who claim that the statue is a free advertising ploy (the statue, which cost $250,000 to install, has generated over $7 million in investments for the company). AN will follow up when we know exactly where the two statues will be moving to.