Art in a Time of Crisis: Reflections on Healing, Recovery, and Rebuilding

Monday, August 24, 2020, 5 - 6pm

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Sharon Madanes, Pulse, 2020, Broadway and W. 170th St, The Bronx, Courtesy the artist; Photo by Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.

Sharon Madanes, Pulse, 2020, Broadway and W. 170th St, The Bronx, Courtesy the artist; Photo by Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY.

Artists Arielle Bobb-Willis, Nate Lewis, and Sharon Madanes will virtually join Public Art Fund Assistant Curator Katerina Stathopoulou to discuss the theme of healing through the lens of their newly commissioned works for Art on the Grid. This past spring, Public Art Fund invited 50 emerging New York-based artists to participate in this citywide exhibition by reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic and parallel epidemic of systemic racism as a way to help our communities process the challenges we face together. The artists were prompted to respond to the broad themes of reconnection and renewal and to interpret them through their own perspectives and artistic styles. The resulting artworks include reflections on a number of themes, among them loss, healing, rebuilding, and the revelation of the hurdles we face as we care for our physical and mental well-being. Beginning with a discussion of Bobb-Willis, Lewis, and Madanes’ new commissions, the conversation will also consider the role of public art in the pandemic and its ability to serve as a vital tool in our creative and spiritual recovery.

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).

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.