“Breathing Wall” by Monika Bravo. Photograph courtesy of the artist via NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
On September 12, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs announced a search for applicants for a new pilot program called City Canvas, Archpaper reports. The program was designed to beautify New York City’s visual landscape by installing large-scale–and temporary–artwork on its endless construction fences and 270 miles of sidewalk sheds. The protective construction structures are an everyday eyesore for New Yorkers, but current building codes prohibit altering them. The City Canvas program circumvents that ban by allowing select artists and cultural institutions to add visual art to the visual affronts.
Image: Billie Grace Ward via Flickr
There are two main objectives for the new initiative. First, to improve the experience of strolling through the city’s streets for residents and tourists alike by turning the ubiquitous fences into beautiful works of art, and second, to increase opportunities for artists and cultural institutions to get recognized for their work and to create art that represents the surrounding community. Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler said “If anyone can bring some love to the sidewalk sheds New Yorkers love to hate, it’s our city’s artists.”
Image via Welling Court Mural Project
During the pilot period, which will run for the next 24 months, the city is seeking proposals from at least one qualified nonprofit organization to install artwork on at least one ugly sidewalk shed/fence. The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, October 12. Application instructions are available at the NYC Cultural Affairs website.
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