Last Tuesday’s panel of public artists
We had a great time co-hosting Tuesday night’s panel discussion on public art with the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI). All of the panelists make exciting and engaging work, and they had a lot to say about the ways in which financing, permissions and public interaction have played into their work (or the work they curate). Some highlights (from panelists pictured above, from left to right):
- Kathryne Hall detailing her effort to secure appropriate permits to exhibit her project Tubisms in Times Square, where the fact that it was an “art project” was ultimately all the police needed to know;
- Ingrid Chu describing how artists like Pablo Helguera have used the storefront of Forever & Today to engage passers-by through projects that read more as commerce than art;
- Christina Ray’s inspired sidenote that an unauthorized street furniture intervention attaching seating to street signs had endured since the 2004 Conflux festival for years without removal;
- Mierle Ukeles describing her relationship with public commissioning agencies as having transitioned from something like flirtatious dating to a marriage that is productive but weighted with a sense of obligation and occasional conflicts over personal space;
- Michael Falco’s review of photos he’d taken out on the streets and in the industrial workplaces of the city, which reminded us that the photographic work of documenting and showing the city to itself can be public artwork, too.
We’re grateful to all the panelists, to moderator Sara Reisman from Percent for Art, and to the folks who packed the back room of the Cargo Cafe to hear them all talk. We’re looking forward to engaging more with COAHSI and with artists citywide as we continue to develop Freshkills Park’s identity as a hub for arts and culture.