City calls on artists to add flair to drab construction fences in two-year pilot program

Posted On Wed, September 19, 2018 By

Posted On Wed, September 19, 2018 By In Art, Policy, Urban Design

“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.”

Welling Court, Welling Court Mural Project, AstoriaImage 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.

[Via Archpaper]

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