What invigorates public art today and how do we value it? These are the questions that will be explored in the context of very real, current threats to governmental and public funding for art in our time with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in a salon conversation with artist Leonardo Drew, public art historian Dr. Michele Bogart, and Director of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program, Kendal Henry, to be held in the Nevelson Chapel at Saint Peter’s Church on Monday, December 16, 2019.
Although Louise Nevelson’s 1977 commission for Saint Peter’s Church and the former Citibank Center was conceived, and is being maintained as public art, it was not funded by the government or a corporation, but by a private donor. In fact, the Chapel’s presence in a religious institution, which has continued to ensure its ongoing public access, raises issues and concerns about how to position it to continue to provide that access for the future. As Nevelson’s masterwork is renewed today, how do questions of value and invigoration of public art in today’s environment affect the present and future of this unique art environment and the idea of public art as a whole?
Here are the people who will lay out the issues and facts to leave the public with some answers.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney is the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District. Among her several appointments is the House Financial Services Committee, House Committee on Oversight and Reform and is Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee.
Artist Leonardo Drew crafts environments made of “brand new stuff” intentionally subjected to weather, burning, oxidation and decay. His work explores memory by employing a wide range of material to evoke common elements of the human experience and of our diverse histories — his own, of childhood surroundings in Bridgeport, CT from the housing project where he lived to the adjacent landfill.
Dr. Michele Bogart, Stony Brook University Professor Emerita, is a scholar of social history of public art, urban design and commercial culture in the United States. Her most recent volume is Sculpture in Gotham: Art and Urban Renewal in New York City.
Kendal Henry is Director of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program. The inheritor of various forms of vibrant municipal/municipal-private engagement with the arts, Kendal expands public awareness of both legacy artists and new artists.
The event, Public Art: Should We Value It? will be held on Monday, December 16, 2019 from 7:00-8:30pm in Nevelson Chapel at Saint Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, NYC. The event will be moderated by Pastor Jared R. Stahler. This is a Free Event with RSVP.