Image via Governor Cuomo’s Flickr
Despite garnering the most votes in a public poll, Mother Frances Cabrini will not be memorialized as part of the She Built NYC program run by First Lady Chirlane McCray. Controversy has followed the decision to not include Cabrini in recent days, with Mayor Bill de Blasio stepping in to suggest she would be a contender in future editions of the program during The Brian Lehrer Show last Friday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded by calling the decision an “affront” to the Italian-American community. During Monday’s Columbus Day Parade, the governor announced a new state commission that will lead the creation of a separate memorial for Cabrini.
, Mon, September 30, 2019
Rumors of War © Kehinde Wiley. Used by permission. Presented by Times Square Arts in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Sean Kelly, New York. Photographer: Kylie Corwin for Kehinde Wiley.
The artist widely known for his portrait of former President Barack Obama unveiled last week his first public sculpture. Nigerian-American visual artist Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War“ will be on display in Times Square until December. Standing 27 feet high, the artwork features a young African American man dressed in ripped jeans and a hoodie sitting on a horse, a direct response to the controversial Confederate monuments found all over the United States.
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photos © 6sqft
It’s been nearly two years since artists Gillie and Marc first revealed their “Statues for Equality” project. Noting that less than three percent of all NYC statues are of women, the husband-and-wife public art specialists created a series of 10 bronze sculptures of inspirational women who were voted on by the public–Oprah Winfrey, P!nk, Nicole Kidman, Jane Goodall, Cate Blanchett, Tererai Trent, Janet Mock, Tracy Dyson, Cheryl Strayed, and Gabby Douglas. Monday, on Women’s Equality Day, the statues were unveiled in front of RXR’s Realty’s 1285 Avenue of the Americas (h/t Untapped Cities).
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The original design. Photo by Tia Richards for 6sqft
Last year’s unveiling of designs for the first statue in Central Park’s 165-year history that depicts real historic women–a sculpture of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony–was met with mixed reviews: Why didn’t the statue, set to be dedicated in August of 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of nationwide women’s suffrage, include any of the many African-American women who aided in the cause? Today it was announced that a redesigned statue honoring pioneering women’s rights advocates will include Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth, an escaped slave and abolitionist who joined the fight for women’s rights.
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Sketch of the madhouse on Blackwell’s Island via NYPL; Photo of Nellie Bly via Wikimedia
An investigative journalist who exposed the horrible conditions of a New York City insane asylum will be honored with a memorial. In 1887, reporter Nellie Bly went undercover at the Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum, located on what is now Roosevelt Island, and documented the cruel treatment of women being held there. Her six-part investigative piece, “Ten Days in a Mad-House,” led to major changes, including increased funding for the asylum and removal of abusive staff members. To recognize her achievements, a monument will be erected next year on Roosevelt Island.
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Wittenberg Triangle, the proposed location for the monument honoring Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Image via Google Earth.
Days before the start of Pride Month, the city announced on Thursday that the next She Built NYC monument will honor two transgender activists, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, key leaders in the Stonewall Uprising that sparked the gay and LGBTQ rights movement in America. The monument is currently planned for Ruth Wittenberg Triangle in the heart of the Village and near other important LGBTQ neighborhood landmarks including the Stonewall Inn. The city is seeking artists interested in creating the public monuments honoring Johnson and Rivera in an open call.
Statues will honor women who changed NYC
Rendering by Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous.
In New York City’s five boroughs, only five out of 150 monuments of historic figures depict women. Launched last year, a program from Women.nyc called She Built NYC is attempting to narrow that gap by commissioning monuments throughout the city honoring visionary women who have helped define the city and made an impact on the world. To that end, acclaimed artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous have been selected to design the first of these monuments, which will honor celebrated New York congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.
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Design proposal by Mickalene Thomas
The city announced last November plans to commission a permanent statue in Brooklyn of Shirley Chisholm, a Bed-Stuy native who became the first black woman to serve in the House of Representatives. On Wednesday, the Department of Cultural Affairs unveiled five finalist design proposals and asked the public for feedback. An artist will be selected next month, with the monument, which will be placed outside of the Parkside entrance to Prospect Park, completed at the end of next year. The statue of Chisholm will be the first monument constructed under the city’s She Built NYC! initiative, which aims to increase the number of public monuments dedicated to NYC women. Currently, just five of the city’s 150 statues are of women.
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New York City is commissioning four more statues of trailblazing women as part of a campaign to address the inequity of the city’s public spaces. First lady Chirlane McCray and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen announced on Wednesday plans to honor Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Jennings Graham, Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías, and Katherine Walker with monuments. In November, the city announced it would commission a statue of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, to be built outside of the entrance to Prospect Park.
Ten bronze statues of inspiring women will be installed in New York City this summer as part of a project that hopes to address the lack of monuments of women in the city. Artists Gillie and Marc, the couple behind Astor Place’s 17-foot-tall rhino sculpture, on Thursday launched “Statues for Equality,” which aims to increase the number of statues of women in NYC by 200 percent. Currently, only five of the city’s 150 statues depict nonfictional women.