Re:Construction

WalkingMan

This is the first of many Re:Construction-related posts to come, so I’ll begin with a brief description: Re:Construction is a program that recasts construction sites as canvases for temporary public art and architecture.

In other words, the program aims to address the aesthetically unpleasing construction conditions in Lower Manhattan using artistic interventions, and thanks to the Community Enhancement Grant we received from the LMDC, we are all over it!  Working closely with public and private developers, we identify construction sites which could use a surface-level makeover. And then as Tim Gunn on Project Runway would say, we “make it work!”

The multitude of very important cogs in this amazing engine that is Re:Con includes our four fantastic arts consultants (Abby Messitte, Colab Projects Group, BravinLee programs, and ARTEA Projects), innumerable artists of considerable talent, regulating City agencies, diligent permitting agencies, attentive insurance companies, industrious general contractors, curious construction crews, conscientious installation crews, effusive passers-by, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Over the past two and a half years, you may have encountered a Re:Con project — a fancy-looking construction fence along Fulton Street, perhaps? Or you may have done a double-take on Broadway: Were those zebra stripes on that concrete barrier? How about those colorful pixilated digital code designs embedded into those fences on Houston Street? Flying cows on Rector Street? How can this be?!

The answer to that question and many, many more, will unfold over the course of these missives on Re:Con.  I have had the great privilege of carrying the program forth from its start as a humble pilot program all the way to this moment, where I’m pleased to say that we are on the verge of having fifteen (15!) projects under our belt, and counting.

Along the way, we’ve definitely learned a lot. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve climbed tall ladders, gotten our pants dirty (and then donned protective yet fashionable coveralls), and we still have two years to go!  With each new project, new sets of considerations arise, so the name of the game is flexibility. No two projects are alike, and no two installation processes are ever the same. And with that vision of artistic- and construction-related infinitude dancing in your head, I will say: Stay tuned!

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