LES Partnership Seeks Artist Proposals For Pedestrian Plazas

Straus Square.

Straus Square.

Here’s a new opportunity for artists on the Lower East Side. The LES Partnership is inviting proposals for artwork to be displayed on seating modules in a few pedestrian plazas throughout the neighborhood.

The local community development organization is refashioning Straus Square (alongside Seward Park) and the Division/Canal Street triangle, among other spaces. A prominent feature of the new plazas will be jersey barricades that double as seating with room for planters.

Here’s more from the Partnership:

The seating is currently in a pre-fabrication phase. Prior to full assembly, we seek the installation of pattern-based artwork on each barrier… We are most interested in colorful designs that add visual impact to this seating infrastructure that will be placed in highly trafficked pedestrian plazas throughout the Lower East Side… Our community panel will select three to five artists to design seating artwork that will then be installed in each plaza space. Each selected artist will be designated a seating configuration where their bench designs will be placed.

The application process is open now and will remain so until March 16. Each artist will receive $1,000 per barricade. Click here for more details.

Delancey Street Mural, “Riders Galore,” Unveiled; Celebration on Saturday

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There’s something new on the Delancey Street pedestrian plaza.

Throughout the day yesterday, artists were installing a new mural named, “Riders Galore.” The project is a collaboration between the Lower East Side Partnership and ArtBridge, an organization that brings public art to scaffolding and construction fencing. The mural stretches across two sites of the big Essex Crossing project.

The mural was curated by Caroline Samponaro, deputy director of Transportation Alternatives, and Elizabeth Denny, the founder, and director of Denny Gallery. The artists are Alan Goldsmith & Susan Mayer, who won an open-call competition.

The community is being invited to an event this coming Saturday to celebrate the new mural. It takes place from 1-4 p.m. at Delancey Plaza (Suffolk Street). There will be free food from Osaka Grub, cookies from Insomnia Cookies and fun activities for all ages. More info on our Events Calendar.

The previous mural, on display from 2014, was designed by by Boym Partners.

UPDATE: The Saturday event has been postponed due to weather. We’ll let you know when it’s rescheduled.

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Temporary Art Installation, Safety Improvements Come to East Side Waterfront

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There’s a new temporary public art project along the East River. City officials this morning came to the Lower East Side to unveil an installation dubbed, “We Call This Place Home.”

The installation consists of 124 abstract sculptures that have been placed in the new median on South Street between Montgomery and Rutgers streets. They were designed by artists Chat Travieso and Samuel Holleran in collaboration with local residents. The shapes represent people who live in the neighborhood. “It’s a celebration of the existing community,” Travieso explained during a brief media happening this morning.

The project was a joint effort between the Department of Transportation’s Art Program and Hester Street Collaborative, a local non-profit organization. The city selected this stretch of the waterfront at the urging of State Sen. Daniel Squadron.


Luis Sanchez, DOT’s Manhattan borough commissioner, said the installation is just one part of a safety and cosmetic improvement plan along the dangerous roadway. The new medians protect bike riders from cars, trucks and buses.  A traffic signal was added at Clinton Street, at the request of City Council member Margaret Chin.

Sen. Squadron said he sees the newly renovated stretch of South Street as an important link between two parks to be built on Pier 42 and Pier 35. Construction on Pier 42, located just above Montgomery Street, is scheduled to start early next year. Last week, officials with the Economic Development Corp. told Community Board 3 that the Pier 35 project would be complete by next fall. The mythical eco-park has been plagued with delays for years. (We’ll have more on the Pier 35 quandary this week).

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Public Art: New Sculpture Coming to Ahearn Park

Photo Courtesy of Martin Delossantos via NJ.com.

Photo Courtesy of Martin Delossantos via NJ.com.

A new art work is coming to Ahearn Park. The little triangular space at Grand Street and East Broadway will be the beneficiary of New Jersey artist Martin Delossantos’s, “Little Oil Well.”

It’s part of the city’s Art in the Parks Program. According to the Jersey Journal, the piece will be installed Oct. 5, next Wednesday.  The artist told the newspaper that the statue was started August 15 and took two weeks to complete. It’s apparently been sitting in a warehouse waiting for the city’s bureaucracy to process paperwork and get all of the necessary approvals. Delossantos says he self-funded the work.

A sculpture by Brooklyn artist Allen Glatter was showcased in Ahearn Park in the past year.  While a Parks Department representative briefed the community board about the new sculpture earlier this month, the city has made no effort to disseminate information about the Lower East Side project in the larger community.

LES BID, Artist Kim Sillen Create New Public Art Project on Orchard Street

City Approves Grant For LES BID’s Division Street Art Project

Friday is Deadline For Division Street Public Art Submissions

Time is running out to submit proposals to re-envision the asphalt triangle at Division and Canal streets.