A Parade of Twenty Giant Candy Sculptures Arrived on The Garment District Mall in October 2018 & WTC Campus in January ~ Now on to JFK



Flag Candy, South Africa by artist Laurence Jenkell

Update on the controversial art installation Candy Nation ~ which left the Garment District Mall in December, 2018 for the World Trade Center Campus, while a flurry of controversy followed one particular ‘candy’ sculpture, representing the Saudi Arabian flag – positioned next to Oculus, near the 9/11 Memorial site.

After further consideration, the Port Authority will relocate the entire exhibit to Kennedy Airport during the week of January 14, 2019, and display throughout the JFK AirTrain system.

Let’s take a look back at when it first arrived in NYC in 2018…….

The Garment District Alliance ushers in its Winter art installation with  a parade of nine-foot-tall ‘Candy’ sculptures. The exhibit, Candy Nations, will honor New York City’s status as a global capital, and will include twenty colorful candy-shaped sculptures that will extend along the Broadway pedestrian plaza between 36th Street and 39th Street along with their 15th Annual Garment District Arts Festival from October 18-20!

Flag Candy, Africa

Created by prominent French sculptor Laurence Jenkel, each unique polyester resin sculpture in the Candy Nations series weighs 1,450 pounds, and represents a piece of candy wrapped in the national colors of one of twenty countries ~ along with the artists optimistic message of unity that lies beneath our external differences. Signage affixed to the base of the sculptures provides information about each featured nation.

Candy Nations near 38th Street
Candy Nations by artist Laurence Jenkel, near 38th Street

“No city in the world matches New York City’s power as an international magnet for culture creativity, design and the arts,” said Barbara A. Blair President of the Garment District Alliance. “Through her remarkable exhibit, Laurence Jenkel leverages both simple and universal imagery to remind New Yorkers of our global character, right at a moment when such reminders are so timely and valuable.”

Candy Nations ~ between 39th and 38th Streets, including Turkey and Brazil in the background

Candy Nations was originally created for display at the G20 Summit in Cannes, France in 2011. The installation on Broadway will include sculptures representing Japan, Mexico, USA, Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Argentina, South Africa, European Union, Germany, France, Great Britain, India, Italy, Indonesia, China, Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and will complement a wide range of public programming created by the Garment District Alliance throughout the year, including the Garment District Alliance’s 15th Annual Arts Festival and the Garment District Alliance Space for Public Art Program which includes three artists featuring canvas and fabric in three separate locations.

Candy Nations ~ Germany and India

Candy Nations will be on view October 3 to December 9, 2018, and is a free installation made possible through Arterventions, a subpart of the New York City Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Art Program, and The Garment District Alliance.


Beginning the 1st of the year (2019) you can find Laurence Jenkell’s Candy Nation at the World Trade Center Campus, Observatory/West Plaza, Liberty Park, Oculus Plaza, the West Concourse until the end of February, 2019.

We would be remiss if we didn’t also include an article written by Davis Richardson for the Observer about the sculpture celebrating Saudi Arabia’s place in the G20 Summit, now on the grounds of the World Trade Center (January 2019).

Candy Nations by artist Laurence Jenkel

As we walked in and around each of the Candy Nations Flag Sculptures, we couldn’t help but notice the New Yorkers, themselves a plethora of ethnicities, sitting among the new works ~ each totally engaged the way New Yorkers are, in their daily morning routine, completely unaware that the unveiling of Candy Nations was taking place on the Garment District Mall.

Candy Nations

The latest in The Garment District Alliance Space for Public Art Program showcases three artists who infuse the Garment District with luminous canvas and fabric. “These exhibits’ diversity is emblematic of the multi-faceted creativity embedded within the Garment District’s own character and history,” said Barbara A. Blair, President of the GarmentDistrict Alliance. “We invite both locals and visitors to visit these three installations and experience the diversity of cultural offerings throughout the district.”

Artist, Margaret Zox Brown in the Kaufman Arcade. Image courtesy Garment District Alliance

So let’s take a walk.  First up ~ Margaret Zox Brown who offers a series of nine expressionist oil paintings titled Color and Life at the Kaufman Arcade building, 132 West 36th Street. Brown works from a studio in the Garment District and studied with the prominent oil painter Brian Rutenberg. Her exhibit runs through November 2nd.

Artist, Kohrou Kawata at Garment District Space for Public Art

Japanese-born Kohrou Kawata, one of the world’s leading dye artists, is presenting SŌME, a display at the Garment District Space for Public Art at 215 West 38th Street. SŌME, the Japanese word for dye, is being shown in conjunction with a full exhibit of the artist’s work at the Medialia Gallery until October 27th.

Tapping ancient dying methods to soak ink into carious materials, Kawata then uses wax or paste glue as blocking agents to keep the dye from coloring unwanted portions of the fabric. “The final formats are wearable, wall hangings, and other forms of decorative art,” said Kawata. “Artistically, the challenge remains to connect to new directions while working through internal conflict.”

Artist, Arleen Joseph ‘Sea Wind’ at the Staybridge Hotel

Arleen Joseph presents a series of “ethereal,” abstract oil landscapes names Journeys at the Staybridge Hotel at 340 West 40th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Her exhibit ends on November 1st. It is interesting to note that Joseph was an internationally successful dress designer for twenty-years when she turned to oil painting to continue her artistic expression.

It’s party time!

The Garment District Alliance is proud to present the 15th Annual Garment District Arts Festival, a district-wide celebration of the artists, performers, galleries and theaters that contribute to the creative energy that fuels this neighborhood. 

To get this three-day art party started right, there will be for a very special Festival Kick-Off Reception at 10 Times Square, a plaza performance by artist Davis Henry, a photo booth by light and graffiti artist Vicki DaSilva in front of the SL Gallery and open studio receptions throughout the district

The Garment District Arts Festival takes place October 18-20. Visit the 2018 Arts Festival Website garmentdistrict.nyc/arts/arts-festival for the most up to date festival information.

Make a behind the scenes visit to artists’ studios, view a unique installation (like our district-wide Art Elevated), enjoy the creative talents of crafters and artisans in our Makers Wayexhibit on Broadway, or tour our numerous galleries. It’s all part of the 2018 Garment District Arts Festival.

While you’re there, don’t forget to look up ~ at Art Elevated, on view to October 31, 2018.

Art Elevated Map ~ Don’t forget to look up!

Go hungry and #EatUrban

Broadway at 40th Street ~ part of the Garment District Alliance