For Immediate Release: September 16, 2019
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NYC DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS, ARTBRIDGE, AND GOOGLE CELEBRATE THE FIRST PUBLIC ARTWORK INSTALLED THROUGH “CITY CANVAS”
ArtBridge and Google commissioned murals from seven NYC-based women and non-binary artists on a construction shed outside of Google’s Chelsea headquarters
City Canvas is a pilot program of the City that allows artwork to be installed on construction sheds and fences citywide
Images of the installation are available for download here; photo credits are found in filenames
New York – The NYC Department of Cultural Affairs joined ArtBridge and Google to celebrate the first public artwork installed under the City Canvas pilot initiative, announced last year by DCLA. The murals, which stretch an entire city block on West 16th Street from 8th to 9th Avenues, were designed and painted by seven prominent female street artists based in New York City, including BKFoxx, Danielle Mastrion, Indie184, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Gera Lozano, Natasha Platt, and Jess X Snow. It will remain installed at least through December.
“With this first installation, City Canvas has helped to transform one of our city’s ubiquitous construction sheds into a platform for the work of local artists,” said NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “These structures are essential for public safety, but they’re not much to look at. So along with the Department of Buildings and the Mayor’s Office, we’re thrilled to work with ArtBridge and Google to display the work of these seven extraordinary artists in the heart of Chelsea.”
“Sidewalk sheds keep the public safe -- and by allowing local artists to beautify them, we’re bridging the gap between construction and culture to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. We’re proud to work with our partners in the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and ArtBridge on this innovative plan to enliven the city’s built environment that’s now a reality outside Google’s headquarters,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca.
“New York City currently has 310 miles of construction fencing — a staggering amount that corrodes the vibrancy of our city. Through City Canvas, we can now transform this eyesore into canvases for local artists,” said Stephen Pierson, Executive Director of ArtBridge. “We were thrilled to work with Google and these supremely talented artists to create an exhibition that the entire neighborhood can enjoy.”
“New York City, and Chelsea in particular, is home to some of the most talented artists in the world," said William Floyd, Director of External Affairs for Google. "These murals reflect this and the creative spirit that animates our neighborhood. We are thrilled to work with Artbridge to provide such a large canvas to local artists so that everyone can experience their unique work.”
“The City Canvas public art program serves as a shining example of what can be achieved when government and the private and nonprofit sectors work together to improve communities. Through the City Canvas program, these projects create a positive visual impact on an otherwise unattractive construction shed, helping to reinvigorate our urban landscape. I want to thank ArtBridge, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department of Buildings and the Mayor’s office for helping to bring this beautiful mural to fruition, and look forward to many more of these projects throughout my district and the City,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“As construction in the City continues to increase in our neighborhoods, streets are frequently covered in sidewalk sheds, scaffolding, and other industrial structures that obscure buildings and impose on sidewalks,” said NY State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. “While they are necessary for keeping the public safe, they can be improved through beautification and allowing artists to contribute to the public good. I am pleased to see this program being introduced in our City both as a way to promote local artists, and also to help improve the streetscapes of New York City as buildings are under construction.”
"Every day, New Yorkers are forced to walk through construction sheds that diminish the beauty of our city,” said NY State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I'm thrilled that we're about to see that change with City Canvas, and that this wonderful program, beautifying a full block with public art, will begin in the heart of my district in Chelsea by highlighting the work of female artists."
ArtBridge has a number of other installations in development around the city planned for the City Canvas pilot. Paints and brushes for this exhibition were donated by Liquitex.
About City Canvas
City Canvas, announced in September 2018, allows nonprofits to install large scale, temporary artwork on protective construction structures – namely construction fences and sheds – throughout the five boroughs. A 24-month pilot program, City Canvas is a collaboration between NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the Office of the Mayor, and the NYC Department of Buildings designed to improve the city’s visual landscape, while giving artists and organizations opportunities to bring their work to public space. More installations are anticipated in the months ahead. Learn more at www.nyc.gov/culture.
ArtBridge empowers emerging artists to transform urban spaces. New York City currently has a staggering 310 miles of street-level construction scaffolding. Since 2008, ArtBridge has transformed this eyesore into a canvas for local emerging artists. ArtBridge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Chelsea.
About NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. Among the agency’s primary missions is to ensure adequate public funding for non-profit cultural organizations, both large and small, throughout the five boroughs. The Department represents and serves non-profit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/culture.