Art in a Time of Crisis: Excavating the Past, Confronting the Present, Imagining the Future

Monday, September 21, 2020, 5 - 6pm

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D’Angelo Lovell Williams, "Undetectable," 2020. Fulton St and Jay St, Brooklyn. Courtesy the artist and Higher Pictures Generation/Janice Guy. Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.

D’Angelo Lovell Williams, "Undetectable," 2020. Fulton St and Jay St, Brooklyn. Courtesy the artist and Higher Pictures Generation/Janice Guy. Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.

Artists Firelei Báez, a 2004 alumna of The Cooper Union School of Art, and D’Angelo Lovell Williams will virtually join Public Art Fund (PAF) Director and Chief Curator Nicholas Baume for a conversation about the exhibition, Art on the Grid. Reflecting on their themes and methods, the artists will discuss ways they mine different histories and genres of iconography and representation to generate dialogues that both acknowledge and look beyond the limits of our dysfunctional present. During the spring, PAF commissioned 50 New York-based artists to create new works in response to the current moment for the citywide exhibition, Art on the Grid. Our lives have been transformed by the devastation of a global pandemic and the rise of one of the largest social justice movements in modern history triggered by the brutal killing of George Floyd and countless other members of the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. 

Registration is required for this online event.

This talk accompanies Public Art Fund’s exhibition Art on the Grid, 50 artists’ reflections on the pandemic on 500 JCDecaux bus shelters and 1700 LinkNYC kiosks across the city (on view through September 20, 2020).

The third artist who was scheduled to participate in this conversation, Adam Khalil, is unable to join the conversation due to a personal matter.

About the Talks

Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.

Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.