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Visual Art

Shelf Life

Seeding the Next Epoch

Seed libraries can restart agriculture after disasters. But what of useless plants? Two artists save the spontaneous, weedy species that serve no purpose but their own.

The Story of Squats

Why does the history of squatting in New York matter? Artists, historians, documentarians, and writers reflect on a singular passage in the city's story, and what it can offer today.

The Enduring Outlier at Hallet’s Cove

It’s a park, it’s a gallery, it’s a community hub! Daniel Campo explores the unique urban ecology of Socrates Sculpture Park, where temporary art works, hand-me-down plants, and shipping containers have proliferated atop the remains of an East River marine terminal for the last 30 years.

City as Playground

Artist Julia Jacquette and writer James Trainor discuss Jacquette's graphic memoir, Playground of My Mind, digging into the sandbox of their memories and a critical chapter in the history of New York City's public spaces.

Black Radical Weeksville

Jonathan Tarleton explores how the Weeksville Heritage Center is leveraging Crown Heights’ and Bed-Stuy’s storied pasts, local assets, and arts and culture to catalyze a community in the midst of shifting neighborhood dynamics.

Thomas Hirschhorn's Precious and Precarious Bronx

Writer Steven Thomson and photographer Cameron Blaylock respond to Thomas Hirschhorn's Gramsci Monument, a conceptual sculpture commemorating an Italian philosopher installed at a NYCHA complex in the Bronx.

Paths to Pier 42

Hester Street Collaborative's Anne Frederick and Dylan House discuss a temporary pop-up public space on the Lower East Side that creates an asset for the neighborhood while informing and building momentum for the design of a future permanent park.

Young New Yorkers: Restorative Justice Through Public Art

Architect Rachel Barnard describes her new public art program for adolescents in the criminal justice system and reflects on the potential legal, social, and urban significance of an art- and architecture-based approach to restorative justice.

Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts

St. George, Staten Island

In the last of a series of profiles of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts around the five boroughs, Summer Brennan explores the existing cultural community in St. George, Staten Island, and plans to encourage and capitalize on it to create "a high visibility gateway for cultural activity in Staten Island."

15 Years of Photographing Harlem: A Conversation with John Reddick and Albert Vecerka

Architectural photographer Albert Vecerka discusses his photographs of Harlem with historian John Reddick, reflecting on the visual traces of social, economic, and urban change.

Living Lofts: The Evolution of the Cast Iron District

Yukie Ohta looks at the dramatic transformation of SoHo over the past 50 years, from a center for light manufacturing, to a desolate and dangerous wasteland, to one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York.

Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts

Hunts Point, Bronx

In our third of a series of profiles of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts around the five boroughs, Joey de Jesus takes us on a tour of Hunts Point, Bronx, to explore how artists, activists, and educators have turned social and environmental challenges into opportunities.

Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts

Fort Greene, Brooklyn

In the second in a series of profiles of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts, Mercedes Kraus looks at how a cultural community has flourished by leveraging its legacy of artistic production in the face of intensifying real estate pressure and outside influence and interest.

Eco-Visualization: Aesthetics for Sustainability

Juliet Helmke traces the origins and prospects of a genre of art that aims to educate and more effectively influence consumer behavior through the reinterpretation of ecological data.

Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts

Corona, Queens

In the first in a series of profiles of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts, Caitlin Blanchfield reports on how a robust network of community-based groups in Corona, Queens, has put local cultural vitality and institutional partnerships to work in reclaiming a public space for neighborhood use.

The Cultural Organizer as Urbanist: A Conversation with José Serrano-McClain

An artist, community organizer, and social entrepreneur discusses museum-community partnerships, crowdfunding public art, and emerging trends in socially engaged creative projects.

Spaceworks

Paul Parkhill discusses an ambitious initiative to develop affordable workspace for artists, touching on issues of real estate economics, neighborhood stabilization, and the evolving needs of a diverse urban workforce.

Disappearing Histories: A Conversation with Christopher Payne

Christopher Payne -- whose photographs have documented abandoned structures, obsolete industrial processes, and American craftsmanship -- discusses photography's potential to remind us of our disappearing histories.

chashama: Space to Create

Anita Durst and Kim Schnaubert talk about how we can support artists and improve the economic and cultural vitality of our cities by repurposing under-utilized and empty spaces.

A Conversation with Mitch Epstein

From a personal story of industrial decline to a national exploration of energy production, the artist discusses the themes that connect his body of work, including his current exhibition of photographs of some of New York's extraordinary and idiosyncratic trees.