NYC Art Public Art in the City that Never Sleeps

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I know you are all aware of the problems that plague New York City. However, I am sure that none of us are aware of just how much art is in New York City. Public Art in NYC is an amazing website that brings to light some of the most surprising pieces of public art in the city. The site was created by a woman who calls herself “Public Art Girl”, who calls it “a blog about public art in New York City.” It took her two years to complete it, and she even has a contact list with other contributors and curators.

The site is very visual, and I would suggest that you take out your camera and start snapping pictures of the art because a lot of them are hard to find, especially if they are small or tucked away. The blog is set up by borough which makes it easy to find what you are looking for. Each post features a picture and description of the piece with a brief history/informational section as well. If you have time, check out some of these works of art and remember there is more waiting for you around every corner.

If you are looking for information about, or images of, public art in New York City, you may have found this blog.

The site started in 2010 as a personal project—a way for me to document and share the impressive array of public art that I see daily in NYC. Since then, it has grown into an archive of more than 1000 entries, with images and information about dozens of artists and hundreds of pieces of art. There’s also a section with links to sites where you can learn more about public art in NYC and around the world.

This site is run by myself and a small group of contributors who share my passion for this subject. I hope you find it useful!

The site was created by a group of professional artists, curators and critics who value public art in New York City. Through our posts we present the latest news, events and happenings regarding NYC public art, as well as information related to past exhibitions, calls for entries and events. We also feature artist’s projects from around the world and connect them with NYC.*

The idea for this blog was born on November 29, 2006. On that day, I wrote a blog post about the work of artist Tom Otterness in the New York Times. I called it: “The Best Public Art in New York City.” The post gained some attention and people started referring to it as “the best public art blog.” Since my main focus is public art, I decided that maybe writing a blog regularly might be fun and a effective way to share my passion with others who may share my enthusiasm.

I am a visual artist living and working in Manhattan. As a maker of public art, I like being able to address both the mind and body of the viewer/participant. Standing under one of my sculptures, you experience something that seems like it was designed to provoke your response, so you can’t help but be engaged. Yet there is also something about it that is familiar or relatable; you might say that there is something about it that lets you know that it isn’t out of reach or above your head. My hope is that this blog will give me an opportunity to continue to explore and share with you what I find interesting about making art for public spaces in New York City and elsewhere.

“Public Art” refers to contemporary artworks created specifically for public display, as opposed to the fine arts. Public art is the visual counterpart to public space and the physical embodiment of civic ideals and aspirations. It is often created by artists working collaboratively with communities in which they install their work.”

Public art is any artwork that has been planned and executed with both the site and its audience in mind. It is made for a specific place, has a definite location, and it is also designed to engage people in dialogue, interaction and interpretation of the site in which it exists. Public Art can take many forms including but not limited to: murals, sculptures, mosaics and banners.

Public art can be sponsored by local government or by a private organization or individuals. There are many different types and styles of public art in New York City, ranging from large-scale sculptures placed in parks or on large buildings to small works installed on street corners or lampposts along busy boulevards. The most popular places for public art are in Central Park, at subway stations, and along the waterfront. Many pieces of public art have gained iconic status within the city; some examples include Anthony Caro’s Homage to Newton (1977) near Lincoln Center, Claes

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled the “Art Program” in 1985. The program was created to reduce graffiti in the subway system by using art as a tool to prevent vandalism. The program incorporates a three-pronged attack on graffiti: prevention, removal and punishment.

The DOT Art Program has achieved much success over the past 20 years. It has been imitated by other cities and its techniques have proven valuable for artists, citizens and local communities.

When I was a kid, I used to look down at the sidewalk and wonder who had made it. It seemed like just another one of those things that adults did.

I was surprised to learn that no one makes sidewalks. They grow them, like coral. Like the Great Wall of China or Stonehenge or the Egyptian pyramids, they’re a kind of monument to the power of collective work and human ingenuity.

Tolstoy says that happiness is impossible without a daily task, and I think of sidewalks as my daily task, something I do every day just because it needs doing. I don’t do it for money or fame; I’m not even trying to win any awards. But every day there’s another layer of dirt and abrasion that has to be worn away from the surface of the sidewalk. And it always feels good to chip in for a little bit of that work.”

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