Public Art Fund Is Transforming New York City’s Kiosks

As galleries and art institutions around the world begin to slowly reopen, we are spotlighting individual shows—online and IRL—that are worth your attention.

Art on the Grid” presented by Public Art Fund
Various locations in New York through September 20, 2020

What the organization says: “The exhibition was conceived in the spring of 2020 in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As it developed, the parallel epidemic of systemic racism came into sharp and painful focus. Both crises now set the backdrop for the exhibition. The city, country, and world will emerge changed by these events, and the exhibition’s focus on reconnection and renewal has become even more urgent. Works in the exhibition are united around a number of themes including healing and loss; community and isolation; intimacy and solitude; and the creation of a future that is more just, inclusive, and equitable.

On view on 500 JCDecaux bus shelters and more than 1,700 LinkNYC kiosks across all five boroughs, these works serve as a reminder of the irrepressible creative spirit of New York City and transform the city into a free open-air art gallery this summer…. Spaces typically reserved for advertising and public messaging serve as temporary canvases for 50 artists to showcase new works that encourage the public to re-engage with their communities.”

Why it’s worth a look: It might not be easy to visit a museum this summer (at least in New York)—that’s why Public Art Fund is bringing art to you. From now through September 20, bus shelters and LinkNYC kiosks across New York City will feature works by emerging and established artists alike, all created over the past few months.

Among the contributors is artist Sharon Madanes, who is also a physician. She drew directly from her experience as a healthcare provider to create the work Pulse, which shows a caretaker checking the pulse of a patient. Despite the presence of gloves and masks, the work is a celebration of a moment of grace and intimacy. Meanwhile, Brooklyn-based artist Andre D. Wagner’s photograph of a neighbor spinning a basketball on one finger nods to a favorite community past time, and what he describes as a “summer right of passage for Black boys as a way for us to escape and bond.”

The first round of contributions has been released, featuring 10 artists’ works on 100 bus stops. On July 27, the next 40 works will debut across 400 bus shelters and Link networks.

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