Madison Square Park Conservancy and School of Visual Arts Plan Symposium on Public Art

Joshia McElheny, proposal for Prismatic Park, 2016.©JOSIAH MCELHENY/COLLECTION OF THE ARTIST

Joshia McElheny, proposal for Prismatic Park, 2016.


For the third year in a row, New York’s Madison Square Park Conservancy and the School of Visual Arts will co-present a symposium about public art. The event will be held at SVA Theater on June 2 and is aptly titled “Accessing Public Art.”

Josiah McElheny, the artist behind a new commission for Madison Square Park, will give the keynote speech with poet and scholar Joshua Bennett. After that, writer Nancy Princenthal will hold a panel with Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts director Brooke Davis Anderson, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden director Melissa Chiu, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Socrates Sculpture Park executive director John Hatfield, and Los Angeles Nomadic Division director and curator Shamim Momin. Artists Simone Leigh, Iván Navarro, and Erwin Redl will also be on hand to discuss their recent public artworks.

“It goes without saying that public art and access are synonymous,” Brooke Kamin Rapaport, the director of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, said in a phone interview. “That’s the very premise of artists realizing outdoor work. But there are questions for artists and the public,” and the symposium is intended to address how everyday viewers can interact with and learn from artworks in parks and on streets around the world. “It should be especially powerful because we have people [coming to speak] from across the country.”

Correction 5/1/17, 11:26 a.m.: An earlier version of this article misstated the location of the symposium. It will be held at SVA Theater, not in Madison Square Park. The post has been updated to reflect this.

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