Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art Announces Partnership With Three NYC Nonprofits In Conjunction With Artist Josiah Mcelheny’s Prismatic Park Prismatic Park is Mad. Sq. Art’s thirty-fourth public art exhibition
Prominent, innovative choreographers, dancers, musicians and poets including musicians Limpe Fuchs and Lea Bertucci, choreographers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, and poets Joshua Bennett and Mónica de la Torre will be in residence as an integral part of Josiah McElheny’s outdoor public art project, Prismatic Park, in Madison Square Park from June 13, 2017 through October 8, 2017.
These professional artists will undertake rehearsals, workshops, and performances in full view of the public on McElheny’s prismatic glass tile and wood sculptures: a curvilinear, translucent blue sound wall for experimental music; a circular, reflective green floor for vanguard dance; and a vaulted-roofed luminous red and yellow pavilion for poetry. The public will also have access to the sculptures, to view or to adopt as a framework for their own innovative use.
As part of the project, Madison Square Park is collaborating with three nonprofit organizations based in New York City: Blank Forms, Danspace Project, and Poets House. The nonprofits selected the resident artists who will participate in Prismatic Park.
McElheny has urged the artists to use his sculptures and the site of a public park in New York City as the starting point for their own creative expression. He has prompted them to envision “publicness” as the subject of their works: what it means to make new dance, music, and poetry inspired by the site and the myriad, often chance encounters with the public that a park provides.
“It is a great honor for Danspace Project to be invited by Josiah McElheny and Madison Square Park Conservancy to be part of his Prismatic Park installation,” stated Judy Hussie-Taylor, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Danspace Project. “The opportunity he offers us to consider new collaborative models for activating the public imagination couldn’t be more relevant and urgent.”
“For Josiah McElheny’s Prismatic Park, Blank Forms has invited six musicians that deal with ideas of public space, collectivity, and community in their artistic practices,” said Lawrence Kumpf, Artistic Director of Blank Forms. “It’s a great chance for Blank Forms to work in a city park and to see what dialogues and interactions develop between the musicians that we work with and the wide range of Park visitors through the openness of the residency structure.”
“Poets House’s has asked a diverse group of contemporary poets to bring the intimate art of poetry into a bustling urban oasis and to develop projects that bring their poetic practice into a public setting defined by civic engagement and chance encounters,” said Stephen Motika, Artistic Director, Poets House. “Their efforts will involve poetry walks, translation and book making workshops, and performances of all sorts; we hope the result will underscore the energy of poetry in our time and remind the public of the transformational possibility of language in these challenging times.”
Josiah McElheny emphasizes that this project is one of shared effort, between himself, the Park, the collaborating artists and, not least, inhabitants of and visitors to New York. “One of the most urgent societal issues today is how can we best share what little public space is left to us. Prismatic Park attempts to provide a partial answer to this question by suggesting that the arts can expand existing public spaces through the visionary efforts of individuals and small groups, creating works of art, dance, music and poetry in the middle of our city.”
“Our program of public art continues to push the boundaries of this field. Josiah McElheny’s Prismatic Park is a hopeful use of a Park site where sculpture and performance will seamlessly unite for the tremendous benefit of Parkgoers,” said Keats Myer, Executive Director, Madison Square Park Conservancy. “We are delighted to have this project on view in the summer of 2017 and to collaborate with our colleagues at Blank Forms, Danspace Project and Poets House.”
Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Director and Martin Friedman Senior Curator, Mad. Sq. Art, said: “Josiah McElheny’s Prismatic Park scrutinizes and poses alternatives for the use of public space for a democracy, for solidarity, for optimism. This project takes the impetus from recent activism in public parks and squares, but its core comes from an idealistic, almost utopian, concept for the shared responsibility of a public site by people and the artist’s role in solidifying that contract. By making three stunning prismatic glass and brightly colored painted wood works and by partnering with three nonprofits, McElheny is positing his works as platforms for questions of how sculpture can revamp other disciplines.”
A bi-weekly giveaway newspaper available in the Park will list when the resident artists will inhabit Prismatic Park.
The resident artists and dates are as follows:
Music: Lea Bertucci; June 13–18, 2017
Dance: Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener; June 20–25, 2017; June 27–July 2, 2017
Poetry: MC Hyland; July 4–9, 2017
Music: Ánde Somby; July 11–16, 2017
Poetry: CAConrad; July 18–23, 2017
Music: Joe McPhee and Graham Lambkin; July 25–30, 2017
Dance: Netta Yerushalmy; August 1–6, 2017; August 8–13, 2017
Poetry: Joshua Bennett; August 15–20, 2017
Music: Shelley Hirsch; August 22–27, 2017
Poetry: Donna Masini; August 29–September 3, 2017
Music: Matana Roberts; September 5–10, 2017
Dance: Jodi Melnick; September 12–17, 2017; September 19–24, 2017
Poetry: Mónica de la Torre; September 26–October 1, 2017
Music and poetry: Limpe Fuchs and Patrick Rosal; October 3–8, 2017
Madison Square Park’s 6.2-acre site welcomes more than 60,000 daily visitors—a richly diverse audience including local residents, families, public school groups and day camps, office workers, students, artists, and international tourists.
A celebrated series of sculpture exhibitions by living artists, Mad. Sq. Art was launched by the Madison Square Park Conservancy in 2004 to bring free public art programs to New York. The program has received extensive critical and public attention since its inception and has developed into a world-class cultural institution. Its ambition and scale expands each year alongside an increasingly diverse range of innovative, world-class artists.
Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram via the hashtags #MadSqArt, #JosiahMcElheny and #PrismaticPark. For more information on Madison Square Park Conservancy and its programs, please visit http://madisonsquarepark.org.
About Josiah McElheny:
Josiah McElheny (born 1966, lives and works in New York) received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. His work is acclaimed for the way he explores the history of ideas as an integral part of his experiments combining glass with other materials. McElheny has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, The Museum of Contemporary Art Boston, the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and with the Public Art Fund in New York. McElheny was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. He is represented by White Cube Gallery in London and Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago.
About Mad. Sq. Art and Madison Square Park Conservancy:
Mad. Sq. Art is the free, contemporary art program of Madison Square Park Conservancy. Since 2004,
Mad. Sq. Art has commissioned and presented thirty-four premier installations in Madison Square Park by acclaimed artists ranging in practice and media. Mad. Sq. Art has exhibited works by artists including Bill Beirne, Jim Campbell, Tony Cragg, Richard Deacon, Mark di Suvero, Kota Ezawa, Rachel Feinstein, Teresita Fernández, Bill Fontana, Ernie Gehr, Orly Genger, Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder, Antony Gormley, Paula Hayes, Jene Highstein, Tadashi Kawamata, Mel Kendrick, Sol LeWitt, Olia
Lialina & Dragan Espenschied, Charles Long, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Iván Navarro, Jacco Olivier, Roxy Paine, Giuseppe Penone, Jaume Plensa, Shannon Plumb, Martin Puryear, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Alison Saar, Jessica Stockholder, Leo Villareal, and William Wegman.
Madison Square Park Conservancy is the not-for-profit organization whose mission is to protect, nurture, and enhance Madison Square Park, a dynamic seven-acre public green space, creating an environment that fosters moments of inspiration. The Conservancy is committed to engaging the community through its beautiful gardens, inviting amenities, and world-class programming. Madison Square Park Conservancy is licensed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to manage Madison Square Park and is responsible for raising 98% of the funds necessary to operate the Park, including the brilliant horticulture, park maintenance, sanitation, security, and free cultural programs for Park visitors of all ages.
About Blank Forms:
Blank Forms is a curatorial platform dedicated to the presentation and preservation of time-based performance practices. Committed to long-term working relationships with individual artists both emerging and established, Blank Forms creates in-depth public programs and educational materials that provide a range of perspectives on inherently ephemeral practices that fall outside of conventional institutional support systems and consequently risk remaining inaccessible, minimally documented, and obscure. Through a variety of curatorial approaches including online and print publishing, public performances, exhibitions, education workshops, seminars, and residencies, Blank Forms crafts a robust support structure for artists and the presentation of their work.
About Danspace Project:
Danspace Project presents new work in dance, supports a diverse range of choreographers in developing their work, encourages experimentation, and connects artists to audiences.
Now in its fourth decade, Danspace Project has supported a vital community of contemporary dance artists in an environment unlike any other in the United States. Located in the historic St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, Danspace shares its facility with the Church, The Poetry Project, and New York Theatre Ballet. Danspace Project’s Commissioning Initiative has commissioned over 520 new works since its inception in 1994.
Danspace Project’s Choreographic Center Without Walls (CW²) provides context for audiences and increased support for artists. Our public programs(including Danspace Presents, Platforms, Food for Thought, DraftWork), Commissioning Initiative, residencies, guest artist curators, and contextualizing activities and materials are core components of CW² offering a responsive framework for artists’ works. Since 2010, we have produced eleven Platforms, published eleven print catalogues and five e-books, launched the Conversations Without Walls discussion series, and explored models for public discourse and residencies.
About Poets House:
Poets House is a comfortable, accessible place for poetry—a library and meeting place which invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry.
Poets House seeks to document the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, to stimulate dialogue on issues of poetry in culture, and to cultivate a wider audience for poetry.
Diversity and Inclusivity at Poets House:
At the heart of our mission is a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, which has informed our programs and activities since we opened our doors to the public in 1986. Poets House exists to create a welcoming home for poets, poetry readers and for those who are exploring poetry; a space that encourages artistic excellence, inquiry and experimentation, and one that welcomes everyone into the joyous exploration of this art.
We believe that poetry can promote a deeper conversation between individuals, communities and cultures. Poets House’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity has determined the course of our institutional life over the past thirty years; on a daily basis, we strive to make a democratic and pluralistic space for poets and the public.
Major exhibition support for Prismatic Park is provided by Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, Showman Fabricators, Andrea Rosen Gallery, and VIA Art Fund. Substantial exhibition support is provided by Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, Gillinder Glass, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and Lenore G. Tawney Foundation. Limpe Fuchs is presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut. Ande Somby is presented with support from Royal Norwegian Consulate General.
Major support for Mad. Sq. Art is provided by Toby Devan Lewis, Pentagram Design, Ronald A. Pizzuti, Sorgente Group of America, Thornton Tomasetti, Tiffany & Co., and Anonymous. Substantial support is provided by George W. Ahl III, Irving Harris Foundation, The Sol LeWitt Fund for Artist Work, Danny and Audrey Meyer, and The Rudin Family. Time Out New York is the Official Media Sponsor of Mad. Sq. Art. Ace Hotel New York is the Official Hotel Partner of Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Prismatic Park is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Mad. Sq. Art is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Mad. Sq. Art is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. Madison Square Park Conservancy is a public/private partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.