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Friends of the High Line Newsletter

September 16, 2009

High Line Art Debuts this Thursday with Specials!

This week marks the launch of High Line Art, a new Friends of the High Line program. Through High Line Art, Friends of the High Line will commission works from contemporary artists, and partnership with other arts organizations to create works on, around, and inspired by the High Line.

Read More About High Line Art

Photo courtesy the artists.

High Line Art will debut this Thursday with Specials, a collaboration between artists Lisa Sigal and Paul Ramírez Jonas. For this ongoing, roving art project, the artists have constructed a mobile unit composed of vendor carts and a 10 x 4 foot wall. On one side of the wall, they hang artwork by a wide range of artists; on the flip side, they serve homemade tacos, free of charge.

Each time Specials is presented, the artwork and the type of taco change, in the manner of restaurants' daily menu specials or art galleries' changing exhibition schedules. This project deliberately blurs the boundaries between visual art, performance, social gathering space, and festive event. As the artists have stated, "Specials will continue to evolve following a desire to go beyond tired dichotomies of inside/outside, art audience/non art audience, viewer versus participant. It is not This or That; it is This and That."

Specials will be presented in the 14th Street Passage, just south of the 14th Street stair to the High Line, as follows (subject to change):

Thursday, September 17, 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Featuring works by Fiona Tan and Regina Silveira, and a potato and corn croquette with red cabbage and avocado taco.

Thursday, October 1, 4:00 - 8:00 PM
Featuring artists who participated in the 1993 Whitney Biennial, including Janine Antoni, Byron Kim, Simon Leung, Glenn Ligon, Suzanne McClelland, Kiki Smith and Fred Wilson, and a squash, mushroom, and homemade hot sauce taco.

Read More about Specials

High Line Art is overseen by Lauren Ross, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator & Director of Arts Programs.

Of the program, Ms. Ross says, "High Line Art is marked by newness and freshness, with an emphasis on site-specific pieces that respond to the uniqueness of the High Line in form, structure, and concept. Our core goals are to provide and facilitate opportunities to artists to showcase their work in a public venue where they can reach wide audiences; to further enhance the excitement and uniqueness of the High Line; and to reinforce New York City, and in particular, the neighborhood around the High Line, as a vital cultural center."

Ms. Ross brings to Friends of the High Line over fifteen years of experience in New York City as a curator, writer, and arts administrator. Before joining Friends of the High Line, her most recent position was Interim Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, for which she curated Reflections on the Electric Mirror: New Feminist Video, and Patricia Cronin: Harriet Hosmer, Lost and Found, both of which garnered excellent reviews from The New York Times and Time Out New York. From 2001 to 2004 she served as Director/Chief Curator of White Columns, one of New York's oldest and most highly-respected alternative arts spaces. There she curated over a dozen group exhibitions and approximately 30 solo project room shows. Her prior employment includes positions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Barbara Gladstone Gallery. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Whitney Museum and holds a M.A. in Art History from Hunter College.

Ms. Ross's position is made possible by a gift from Donald R. Mullen, Jr., a supporter of Friends of the High Line and an avid art enthusiast. It was Mr. Mullen's intent to create the first full-time staff position devoted to establishing and growing an ongoing art program on and around the High Line. Ms. Ross's work will build upon and codify the relationship with the art world, which has long been central to the High Line project's identity.

Become a Member

The High Line needs you! Your membership will provide critical operating support to ensure that the High Line lives up to the high standards we all hold for this innovative new park. Support from our members allows us to hire gardeners to keep the park's flowers and trees in peak condition, and maintenance crews to ensure the High Line is safe for its visitors.

Don't miss out on this historic opportunity to be a part of the High Line's first season as a public park.

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