Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
This article in the New York Times describes a really interesting intersection of individuals and organizations, resulting in a very cool public art installation. Local artists in NYC bring John James Audubon’s illustrations to life by painting their own interpretations of the birds on roll-down gates in Audubon’s very own neighborhood. Avi Gitler, a gallery owner and founder of the project, decided to create a mural project to ‘transform’ his neighborhood and got the help of his landlord and the Audubon Society. The article says that it was artist Tom Sanford who connected Mr. Gitler with the Audubon Society. A picture of each installation along with text about each bird and artist will be posted on Audubon’s website, as well as a call for other artists and landlords to sign up to join the project.
This article reminded me of our talk this past Monday about the multiple roles of artists. Tom Sanford was able to connect a local gallery owner with the Audubon Society, and to kick off this whole project. I love public art installations like these, and I think it’s a really imaginative and creative use of space within the community. It’s so cool that the area is John James Audubon’s actual neighborhood as well!
I think it’s also a great example of collaboration across the sectors. This project involves artists, individuals, a for profit, and a nonprofit, to create a work that involves a community in which they all play a part.
One thing I wasn’t very impressed with was the information regarding paying the artists involved. The article said that some of the artists received small honorariums, while others ‘volunteered’ their time. I wonder why some artists received compensation and others weren’t, and how the money was gathered and distributed. Maybe this is because the project is headed by an individual, rather than a public arts organization or another structure.