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Ten Striking Art Commissions by New York Artists Turn a Bridge into a Major Public Art Destination

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Josefa Paganuzzi
Thompson & Bender
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Ten Striking Art Commissions by New York Artists Turn a Bridge into a Major Public Art Destination

WHITE PLAINS (June 17, 2020) —Spectacular artwork by eight New York State artists is featured on the shared bicycle and pedestrian path that opened this week on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which has already become a magnet for art-starved day-trippers.

The bridge’s 3.6-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span crossing connecting Rockland and Westchester counties opened June 15 and it is bookended with monumental sculptures by Brooklyn artist Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong and Long Island City artist Ilan Averbuch. The path is expected to become a regional attraction like the High Line in Chelsea or the Walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie. To accommodate visitors from New York City, a free shuttle is running from the Metro-North Tarrytown Station on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. through September 13.

“As New Yorkers are allowed to venture outdoors with the easing of New York State on Pause restrictions, the open-air gallery along the bridge path is a safe, socially distant outdoor activity for anyone who craves some fresh public art,” said ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam, whose organization partnered with the New York Thruway Authority on the public art program. “This unique art walk represents a remarkable collaboration between state government and cultural groups that helped select the artists through a grassroots competitive process that has given some of the featured artists their first major commissions.”

Artists commissioned for the ten public artworks including sculptures, bike racks and mural include:

  • Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, Brooklyn: Current
    • Composed of 12 illuminated steel arches, Current celebrates transformation. Referencing currents – of rivers, of light, of time – this dynamic sculpture is under continual activation. By day, its shadows and colored light refractions are ever-changing. In the evening, it creates a shared spatial experience through light animations that respond to movements of passers-by.
  • Ilan Averbuch, Long Island City: Tappan Zee
    • Tappan Zee consists of seven abstracted figures carrying a canoe in a metaphorical shared journey. This sculpture pays homage to the Native American Lenape and their history along the Hudson River, while also symbolizing the value of collaboration in crossing rivers, building communities, and reaching new horizons.
  • Chris Soria, Nyack: The Flux of Being
    • Combining layers of abstract geometry with silhouettes of subjects from the natural environment, this mural celebrates the rich biodiversity of the Hudson River Valley.
  • Wendy Klemperer, Brooklyn: Leaping Sturgeon
    • The 14-foot Leaping Sturgeon is made from rebar and other salvaged steel and celebrates the ancient and majestic fish that is part of the region’s history as well as the state’s on-going population recovery efforts of this endangered species.
  • Fitzhugh Karol, Brooklyn: Approach
    • This sculpture incorporates steel from both the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and its predecessor, the Tappan Zee. The piece evokes a sense of uplift, progress and momentum, visually anchoring the beginning of the bridge path in Rockland County.
  • Thomas Lendvai, Ronkonkoma: Untitled, For Imre Lendvai
    • Slightly askew, concentric octagonal forms mimic ripples on the river’s surface and frame the iconic towers of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Made from steel reclaimed from the Tappan Zee Bridge, this sculpture is a tribute to the artist’s father.
  • Christopher Flick, Bronx: Converging Vistas
    • The dynamic form of this bike rack references the Palisades and the New York City skyline, two views that converge while crossing the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
  • David Greenberg, Brooklyn
    • The design of this bike rack is informed by marine mooring bollards and alludes to the historic importance of the Hudson River as a commercial transportation artery. The oval openings accommodate the “mooring” of a bicycle, offering cyclists a rest on their cross-river journey. The design will be used in two locations on the path, one in Rockland and one in Westchester.
    • On a second bike rack by Greenberg, monolithic granite posts recall the stone quarrying industry of Rockland County and evoke the common hitching post.

Representatives from ArtsWestchester, Arts Council of Rockland and the Thruway Authority reviewed more than 100 artist applications, which included artist statements, work samples, and a project vision statement.

For detailed information on the path, visit mariomcuomobridge.ny.gov

For more information on ArtsWestchester, visit artswestchester.org


ArtsWestchester

ArtsWestchester began in 1965 as a conversation among arts advocates and volunteers in a living room and has grown into is New York State’s largest private, not-for-profit cultural service organization. Its mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support to ensure the availability, accessibility and diversity of the arts in Westchester County. Its programs and services enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. ArtsWestchester helps fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; brings artists into schools and community centers; advocates for the arts; and builds arts audiences through diverse marketing initiatives.

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