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.

Village Community Boathouse

I spent the Labor Day weekend at the Village Community Boathouse, located on Pier 40 at the diving end of West Houston Street in Lower Manhattan.  That’s where dozens of volunteers build and maintain a variety of small, man-powered boats, including a half-dozen Whitehall Gigs.  These 7-person rowboats — native and perfectly-suited to New York Harbor — are used in a free community rowing program that promotes public ownership of the city’s waterways and carries on New York’s tradition of “maritime hospitality and fellowship.”  It’s a lot of fun, a good workout and a great way to tour the river.

Captain Kid

In 2008 Bill Bahen founded Hudson River Community Sailing, New York City’s first nonprofit community sailing center. This year Bahen and his crew put nearly 5,000 New Yorkers on the water.

“The idea of creating access to the waterways in urban centers is not unique,” says the easygoing Baltimore native, citing Boston’s 80-year-old Community Boating, Inc. as one example among many in America’s major port cities. “But I think that Manhattan failed to engage young people on the water using sailing as a medium.”

The reasons for this range from a historic lack of recreational infrastructure along the river to the long-held belief that the city’s waterways were little more than commercial cesspools. Improved water quality and the subsequent reinvention of the Hudson River waterfront as a public green space have since widened New Yorkers’ perceptions of the river as a valuable resource and set the stage for organizations like HRCS to redefine it’s significance in people’s lives.

“NYC is probably one of the best port towns in the world,” says Bahen. “The idea that these young people don’t know that they’re on an island and they don’t understand that there’s the East River and the Hudson River and the Harlem River and those make up the hard borders of Manhattan, that’s just amazing to me.”

By creating access to sailing Bahen hopes to change the perception of sailing as a sport reserved for affluent New Yorkers and to use it as a means of creating opportunities for the city’s young people.

“If they learn how to sail here and we get them a job at some summer camp or some other community sailing program or some yacht club someplace, those could be game-changers.”

My story about HRCS ran in the May 2011 issue of Sailing Magazine.

River Summer

I spent the better part of the weekend with a group of teachers staying on board the Seawolf, a research vessel docked on the Hudson as part of the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities’ River Summer program. The five-day session was packed with lectures, site visits and research projects. As glad as I am to have squeaked through my last chemistry class years ago, I didn’t mind the science lessons at River Summer. Studying the ecology and development of New York City with the entire Hudson River watershed as a classroom changes everything. The main thing you learn is that, in addition to being a source of wonderful stories, the river is also a great teacher.