New artworks by Jenny Holzer, Mel Chin and Xaviera Simmons join ongoing citywide campaign

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New artworks by Jenny Holzer, Mel Chin and Xaviera Simmons join ongoing citywide campaign
PSA by Jenny Holzer. Photo: Maria Baranova. 20 Times Square.

NEW YORK, NY.- As New York City has reached a promising new milestone — the first 24-hour period in four months with zero new COVID-19 deaths — digital messages of gratitude, pride, and solidarity continue to radiate throughout Times Square and New York City to commemorate the efforts of the city’s essential workers over the past few months.

The public art campaign, which began back in April, is the result of a partnership between Times Square Arts, Poster House, and For Freedoms featuring artworks by contemporary artists and graphic designers such as G.O.N.G. with Mel Chin, Jenny Holzer, Maira Kalman, Pedro Reyes, Edel Rodriguez, Carrie Mae Weems, and Christine Wong Yap.

The project serves as an ongoing gesture that honors the essential workers — doctors and nurses, public transportation personnel, Times Square’s and all of NYC’s sanitation and safety workers, grocery store employees, delivery staff, restaurant workers, and more — whose work is sustaining New York City as it faces both a global pandemic and political unrest. In keeping the positive momentum, the digital PSA’s aim to encourage a sense of community and pride among New Yorkers, and give artists the opportunity to express their gratitude and optimism through the power of art.

The continuous public art campaign launched in April with over 20 digital PSAs by graphic designers and has expanded — both throughout NYC and on JCDecaux screens in Boston and Chicago — to include original works by contemporary artists. This new rotation of artworks includes WAVE, a site specific work in Times Square by G.O.N.G. with Mel Chin, who translated poetry into cymatic (visible sound) imagery, expanding the message of gratitude beyond the limitation of written language through the convergence of art and science. Christine Wong Yap’s digital PSA Thank You for Your Courage / Thank You for Your Commitment highlights the dedication of two real life FDNY paramedics who fell ill with COVID-19 in the spring. These works reflect how each one of us, individually and collectively, are deeply indebted to the sacrifices being made by those on the frontlines.

Participating contemporary artists include Alixa Garcia, Carrie Mae Weems, Christine Sun Kim, Christine Wong Yap, Duke Riley, Jenny Holzer, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, G.O.N.G. with Mel Chin, Nekisha Durrett, Paula Crown, Pedro Reyes, and Xaviera Simmons. Graphic designers, organized by Poster House and PRINT Magazine include Ola Baldych, Seymour Chwast, Pablo Delcan, Matt Dorfman, Milton Glaser, Jessica Hische, Joe Hollier, Mirko Ilić, Maira Kalman, Ross MacDonald, Bobby Martin and Jennifer Kinon, Richard McGuire, Debbie Millman, Emily Oberman, Gemma O’Brien, Edel Rodriguez, Paul Sahre, Paula Scher, Klaas Verplancke, Strick&Williams, and Zipeng Zhu.

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