The Art Students League of New York in partnership with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program and the Riverside Park Conservancy is proud to announce two new large-scale artworks by League artists Sophie Kahn and Marco Palli as part of the 2023 Works in Public program. The sculptures will be unveiled in a public ceremony at Riverside Park in Manhattan on November 9 and remain on view through August 2024. The 2023 Works in Public program also includes two works by League artists Helen Draves and Susan Markowitz Meredith, unveiled in July and now on view at Riverside Park South through July 2024. The unveiling ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 9, 3–4pm at 145th Street and Riverside.
Works in Public, formerly known as Model to Monument, is a professional development program founded in 2010 in partnership with NYC Parks to guide League students through the process of creating large-scale sculpture for outdoor public spaces within the context of one-year and two-year programs at the Art Students League of New York. Under the guidance of Works in Public alumni Haksul Lee and Natsuki Takauji, alongside instructors at the League, the program supports artist-participants in every phase of the conception, creation, and installation of site-specific public sculpture, culminating in a one-year public exhibition at Riverside Park and Riverside Park South.
Michael Hall, Artistic & Executive Director, The Art Students League: “We are thrilled to present the Works in Public 2023 season after an unexpected three-year hiatus. This year’s projects represent the exceptional work of League artists and address timely themes for our contemporary world including migration and belonging, technology and the human body, and the healing power of hope. NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks and the Riverside Park Conservancy are the perfect partners for the League with our shared missions to remove barriers to access, both in arts education and in public spaces.”
“After its three-year hiatus, I’m so excited to welcome back the Works in Public program, which enhances our public greenspaces while also nurturing the artistic talent that makes New York the cultural capital of the world,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “I’m grateful to the Art Students League for their partnership on this program, and I look forward to seeing these beautiful large-scale sculptures rise in Riverside Park and Riverside Park South for all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy.”
Whitney Dearden, Director of Public Programming, Riverside Park Conservancy said: “Public art has always been an essential part of our programmatic offerings, and the Riverside Park Conservancy is thrilled to welcome back the Art Students League and Works in Public to Riverside Park. As part of our commitment to activating public greenspace, we invite parkgoers to visit these sculptures over the next year and experience a familiar park in a new and exciting way.”
Sophie Kahn, Portrait of t., 2023, On view November 2023 through August 2024, Riverside Park at 145th Street
Sophie Kahn (b. Melbourne, Australia) lives in Brooklyn, NY. A sculptor and digital artist, Kahn utilizes technology—in its successes and failures—to analyze the complexity and poetics of capturing the human body in the digital age. Working from a 3D scan of musician and artist tiger west, Portrait of t. brings the digital, private realm into the public through a glitched body scan cast in bronze. In conversation with the veteran and war monuments already extant at Riverside Park, Kahn highlights the importance of celebrating anonymous lives in the public sphere.
Marco Palli, Our Gates, 2023 ~ On view November 2023 through August 2024, Riverside Park at 145th Street
Marco Palli (b. Venezuela) lives in New York, NY. Palli uses material to question his daily processes and how they engage with his identity. Expanding beyond the personal, Palli’s sculpture presents an opportunity for audiences to engage with the narratives of local versus foreign and the sense of belonging within the United States. Our Gates is a celebration of New York City and its diverse communities, utilizing interlocking arches to both welcome visitors into the community and to encourage them to pass through into a symbolic space of participation, experimentation, and intrepid opportunity.
The Works in Public (WiP) program, formerly known as Model to Monument, is a professional development program that was begun in 2010 in partnership with NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program. WiP trains a diverse, international group of League students in the process of creating large-scale sculpture for outdoor public spaces. Forty-six artists have completed this program and have had their sculptures installed in year-long public exhibitions at Riverside Park South between 59th and 72nd Street and Riverside Park at 145th Street.
Alumni artists of the program include Sequoyah Aono, John Balsamo, Sheila Berger, Sherwin Banfield, Tanda Francis, Roberto Franzone, Damon Hamm, Akihiro Ito, Sarah Thompson Moore, Yasumitsu Morito, and Minako Yoshino.
The Art Students League of New York was founded in 1875 by students breaking away from the National Academy of Design. That independent spirit remains at the League today, where students pursue their work unconstrained by dogma, politics, or burdensome tuition. We educate students in the language and process of making art in an environment where anyone who wishes to pursue arts education can realize his or her full potential. The League fulfills this mission by offering affordable, high-quality education and instruction in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and assemblage. Artists who have studied at The League include Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Lewis, Robert Rauschenberg, Emilio Sanchez, Yayoi Kusama, and Ai-Weiwei, among others. @ASLNYC #ASLNYC #WorksinPublic
NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks Program
For nearly 60 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce more than 3,000 public artworks by 1,500 notable and emerging artists in more than 200 parks. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/parks/art.
From 59th Street to 181st Street, from riverfront to city-side, Riverside Park Conservancy cares for and enhances six miles of parkland for present and future generations. Working together with the New York City Parks Department, the Conservancy makes improvements as diverse as the park itself and the city it serves.