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Nine large-scale sculptures installed in Riverside Park South in Manhattan
A installation piece "Preservation: Parts 1+2" by artist Anna Kuchel Rabinowitz at the Art Students League of New York sculpture unveiling at Riverpark on June 19, 2013 in New York City. Rob Kim/Getty Images/AFP.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Art Students League of New York, one of America’s premier art schools, announced the third year of “Model to Monument” (M2M), a partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. This year’s M2M sculptures include a Riverside Park bench tethered to a bouy, a bather on stilts near a life raft and briefcase, and a 15-foot swirl of birds in flight.

M2M trains a group of seven international sculptors in the public art process and installs their works in Riverside Park South in Manhattan and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Flock, a collaborative piece using birds to represent the diversity of the Bronx, was unveiled in an opening ceremony May 14. Eight works in Riverside Park South were celebrated in a public ceremony June 19.

“The Model to Monument program is a shining example of the Art Students League’s commitment to those intent on having a career in the fine arts,” says Ira Goldberg, executive director of the Art Students League. “The rigorous ‘boot camp’ experience the sculptors go through yields results that not only prepare them for a professional life, but enliven the community with an array of highly creative, well-constructed monumental sculpture designed to serve the public.”

M2M sculptors create public works in tune with their site-specific installation environments. This year the group worked under the theme:“The Public Square: The Role and Responsibility of the Artist.” The resulting work is powerful and diverse.

• Beñat Iglesias Lopez’s Bathers evokes Seurat, and draws on historical photos of people in swimsuits along the Hudson River. It includes a bather on 15-foot stilts, and mixes common but disparate elements to unsettle the viewer.

• Anna Kuchel Rabinowitz’s two Preservation pieces, including the park bench tethered to a buoy, provoke viewers to consider the probability of rising tides. Quotes from people she has interviewed in and around the park are inscribed on the buoy piece, Preservation: A Wonderful Life.

• Anne Stanner’s Wave references the striped bass. Concern over threats to the fish’s Hudson River habitat helped derail the Westway highway project, essentially allowing Riverside Park South to come into existence.

The other M2M sculptors are Sherwin Banfield, John N. Erianne, Reina Kubota, and Morito Yasumitsu.

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