Model To Monument 2014, Riverside Park South

"Harbor for Industry" by Lindsay McCosh

“Harbor for Industry” by Lindsay McCosh.

A new crop of sculptures was unveiled along the Hudson in Riverside Park South last week.

Artist Lindsay McCosh used the park’s industrial artifacts, including a defunct train and lifting station, as the inspiration and backdrop for her piece “Harbor for Industry,” an architectural vision of nature in which the four elements are represented by a pair of cement figures, a beacon, a wind turbine, and the Hudson River.

“The Hudson River has a long history of industry and part of it for the park itself is the transfer bridge that was part of a freight train yard that used to go from Manhattan to New Jersey, ” says McCosh, a Detroit native who creates large-scale sculptures using industrial building materials. “They’ve kept a historic relic of the transfer bridge in the park as an icon. I believe it represents strength and industry and a vision of progress for New York,”

Located between West 59th and West 72nd Streets, along the Hudson River shore, Riverside Park South was turned into a public exhibition space for works by artists from the Art Students League four years ago as part of the Model to Monument Program (M2M)  which trains artists to create works for public spaces. This year’s theme, “The Architecture of Nature, ” was rendered by seven female artists: Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Natsuki Takauji, Laura Barmack, Minako Yoshino, Ana-Sofia Marti, Janet Fekete-Bolton and Lindsay McCosh.

Natsuki Takauji
Phyllis Sanfiorenzo
Phyllis Sanfiorenz, Natsuki Takahuchi, Minaco Yoshio, Laura Barmack, Janet Ficket-Bolten, Ana-Sofia Marti and Lindsay McCosh.

Each artist underwent nine months of intensive training to learn to create monumental works that meet the standards of engineering and public safety required by the Parks Department.

The resulting sculptures took the form of McCosh’s homage to urban workers, a functional swing, a tabloid-reading merman, an abstract tangle of metal cords, a nine-foot statue based on two lovers from Japanese mythology, and 150 paint can lids suspended in a flying sombrero-like arrangement.

The sculptures will be in place until May 2015.

Lindsay McCosh studied Graphic Design and Typography at the School of Visual Arts in New York; multimedia sculpture and reliefs in handmade paper at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit; and at the Art Institude of Chicago.

Regarding her M2M piece, she states:

“I am using the visual language that already exists in the park history to express the architecture of nature. Through symbols of the four elements I am creating a monument to the train workers and the industriousness of New York City. My sculpture allows for a place to rest as well as inspires the curiosity of future generations through movement and technology.”

– See more at: http://theartstudentsleague.org/ArtistOpportunities/ModeltoMonument/M2MYearFour.aspx#sthash.CuhV4TxB.dpuf

Lindsay McCosh studied Graphic Design and Typography at the School of Visual Arts in New York; multimedia sculpture and reliefs in handmade paper at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit; and at the Art Institude of Chicago.

Regarding her M2M piece, she states:

“I am using the visual language that already exists in the park history to express the architecture of nature. Through symbols of the four elements I am creating a monument to the train workers and the industriousness of New York City. My sculpture allows for a place to rest as well as inspires the curiosity of future generations through movement and technology.”

– See more at: http://theartstudentsleague.org/ArtistOpportunities/ModeltoMonument/M2MYearFour.aspx#sthash.CuhV4TxB.dpuf

Lindsay McCosh studied Graphic Design and Typography at the School of Visual Arts in New York; multimedia sculpture and reliefs in handmade paper at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit; and at the Art Institude of Chicago.

Regarding her M2M piece, she states:

“I am using the visual language that already exists in the park history to express the architecture of nature. Through symbols of the four elements I am creating a monument to the train workers and the industriousness of New York City. My sculpture allows for a place to rest as well as inspires the curiosity of future generations through movement and technology.”

– See more at: http://theartstudentsleague.org/ArtistOpportunities/ModeltoMonument/M2MYearFour.aspx#sthash.CuhV4TxB.dpuf

Lindsay McCosh studied Graphic Design and Typography at the School of Visual Arts in New York; multimedia sculpture and reliefs in handmade paper at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit; and at the Art Institude of Chicago.

Regarding her M2M piece, she states:

“I am using the visual language that already exists in the park history to express the architecture of nature. Through symbols of the four elements I am creating a monument to the train workers and the industriousness of New York City. My sculpture allows for a place to rest as well as inspires the curiosity of future generations through movement and technology.”

– See more at: http://theartstudentsleague.org/ArtistOpportunities/ModeltoMonument/M2MYearFour.aspx#sthash.CuhV4TxB.dpu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sculptures will be in place until May 2015.

 

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Spanish Galeon Sails Up Hudson, Docks At Pier 84

 

A Spanish galeon sailed up the Hudson River for what may be the first time ever on August 11th and docked near the Intrepid for a little over a week, looking a bit like a Model T parked across from a Cadillac Fleetwood at a Barret Jackson event.

The ship, which is 175 feet long and weighs 470-plus tons, is a replica of the cargo ships used during the 16th and 17th centuries by Spanish traders and explorers like Ponce de León, who is thought to have used a similar vessel to sail from Puerto Rico to Florida in 1513 to search for the fountain of youth.

Constructed and owned by the Nao Victoria Foundation based in Seville, Spain, where it was was built using traditional methods, El Galeon Andalucia sailed to New York City from St. Augustine, Florida, where it docked for several weeks to commemorate Florida’s discovery by Spanish explorers 500 years ago.

While a galeon this size would have had trouble navigating the shallow inlets of Florida in places like St. Augustine, a river as deep and wide and the Hudson would have easily accomodated the ship, even if fully loaded with the sugar, tobacco, fruits, lumber and spices it carried north from the Caribbean as part of it’s trade route.

El Galeon’s 28-member crew work, dine, bathe and sleep in extremely close quarters, much like their seafaring forebears. These days, though, there are women on board — a situation that would have been unheard of back in the day.

“It took us 24 days to cross the Atlantic,” said crew member Lucrecia Moron Sanchez. “Sometimes you wake up and you look around and there is nothing but the ocean and you feel bad.”

But generally, the recent grad, who majored in art history, was enjoying the high seas adventure with the predominantly male crew of volunteers from Andalusia.

By the time they return to their home port in Seville, the crew of El Galeon will cover more than 900 nautical miles, working more than 9,600 square feet of sail like Spanish sailors did half a millennium ago.

David Blaine Electrifies Hudson River Park

Endurance artist David Blaine has been standing atop a 20-foot pedestal on Pier 54 in Lower Manhattan since Friday night (10/5/2012). Surrounded by four active Tesla coils casting a million volts of electricity his way, he looks like Frankenstein’s grandson. Monday night brings Blaine’s finale and, hopefully, his triumphant exit from the giant bug zapper he’s confined to for 72 hours. The event, which recalls the death-defying feats Harry Houdini amazed New Yorkers with nearly a century ago, is being sponsored by Intel to showcase a new laptop computer, but Blaine and the New Yorkers bearing witness to his superhuman stunt, are the real stars of the show.

POSTSCRIPT: 10/9/12 He did it! Congratulations to David Blaine for withstanding 1 million volts and three days of exposure — both elemental and media-driven —  on Pier 54.  It was magical.

Art Rock

When rock sculptures first started cropping up on the banks of the Hudson last winter, I assumed riverside driftwood artist El Ropo was exploring a new theme. Then I happened to pass by while the artist was working and realized this was someone new. Bridget Polk (who bears no relation to the Warhol superstar) has been creating rock sculptures along the river for about a year. They are monumental, precariously placed and yet perfectly suited to the environment. The stones are best viewed at sunset when their weight and inscrutability give them an elemental power. In this three-minute video Polk talks about the art of rock balancing and unwinding by the river.

Postscript 11/28/2010: Dozens of friends and admirers gathered along the Hudson on a recent afternoon to watch Bridget Polkcreate her last riverbank rock sculpture. After 26 years in New York, she is moving to Oregon, where she will be a stone’s throw from the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.