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Three 'astonishing' works of art are inside the new Moynihan Train Hall – Time Out New York

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In true New York style, the new Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station, which opens Friday, has been decked out with incredible art.

Penn Station’s $1.6 billion Moynihan Train Hall features a spacious, light-filled atrium with a 92-foot-high glass skylight and soaring ceilings honoring the design of the original Penn Station, but as with any new transit hub, whether it’s a new subway station, airport terminal or a passenger hall like this one, New York calls on its amazing artists to decorate the walls, halls and floors and inspire travelers passing by.

On Wednesday, the Public Art Fund announced that Stan Douglas, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, and Kehinde Wiley were commissioned to create works for Moynihan that would offer a fresh perspective on the history and grandeur
of the original Penn Station and James A. Farley Post Office and “a sense of wonder and humanity” that would evoke civic pride and delight for generations to come.

“Nothing could be more fitting for a great metropolitan transit hub than three astonishing works of art that stop us in our tracks,” said Nicholas Baume, Director & Chief Curator of Public Art Fund. “Each one dazzles with its sheer beauty, epic scale, and technical mastery. Collectively, they also remind us that great art comes from great ideas. Each artist has thought deeply about the history, context, significance, and future of this newly transformed place, creating brilliantly innovative works of art that allow us to see ourselves—past, present, and future—in a truly civic space.”

Below are the three artworks you’ll see inside Moynihan.

RECOMMENDED: See inside Penn Station’s spacious new passenger hall

Penn Station’s Half Century by Stan Douglas

Photograph: ©Stan Douglas. Courtesy of the artist, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner. Photo: Nicholas Knight, courtesy Empire State Development and Public Art Fund, NY

Inside the ticketed waiting room, there is a series of nine photographic panels of “remarkable but forgotten” moments of history from the original Penn Station, including singer and comedian Bert Williams doing an impromptu vaudeville show during the epic snowstorm of 1914; outlaw and folk hero Celia Cooney meeting crowds at Penn Station in 1924 after being arrested; thousands of Communist party members and supporters gathering to greet Angelo Herndon, a persecuted labor organizer and champion of racial justice in 1934; three scenes depicting design interventions in the original station’s waiting room; the final moments between soldiers and their loved ones before deployment during World War II; and the soundstage from director Vincente Minnelli’s 1944 love story The Clock, starring Judy Garland.

Douglas photographed live actors in period costumes and combined them with digitally recreated interiors of the demolished station. “The cinematic quality of each scene revives these historic moments in uncanny detail, revealing the architectural landmark as a grand theater for the millions of human dramas that animate civic spaces and imbue them with memory and meaning,” the Public Art Fund says.

Go by Kehinde Wiley

Moynihan Train Hall Kehinde Wiley art
© Kehinde Wiley. Photographer: Nicholas Knight. Image courtesy of the Artist, Sean Kelly, New York, Empire State Development and Public Art Fund, NY

On view on the 33rd Street midblock entryway ceiling, Wiley’s vivid, handpainted artwork is a backlit, stained-glass triptych that’s inspired by Renaissance and Baroque paintings. It’s a modern take on Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s 18th-century ceiling frescoes, but features young, Black New Yorkers in poses inspired by breakdance. The subjects inhabit the sky alongside clouds, pigeons, and a jet plane, using the urban setting of New York City to “create a surrealist dreamscape that advances a narrative of buoyancy, possibility, and survival,” the Public Art Fund says.

The Hive by Elmgreen & Dragset (Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset)

Moynihan Train Hall Elmgreen & Dragset art
Photograph: Courtesy Elmgreen & Dragset, Photo: Nicholas Knight, courtesy Empire State Development and Public Art Fund, NY

On view on the 31st Street midblock entryway ceiling, Elmgreen & Dragset’s has placed an upside-down cityscape with 91 small buildings mounted on the ceiling like glowing, 9-foot-tall stalactites, or like a hive of buildings that pay homage to the cities we live in. In total, they weigh more than 30,000 pounds and are lit by 72,000 LEDs. “As visitors pause on entering the train hall, The Hive celebrates the new perspectives and interconnectedness that cities and travel provide,” the Public Art Fund says.

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Visit the city's tiniest art gallery: Five things to do in Saskatoon this weekend – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E.

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Whether you’re interested in art, a virtual party, some outdoor activities or cleaning up around the house, there’s a little bit of something for everyone this weekend in Saskatoon.

1. Visit the Free Little Art Gallery

In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E. Designed in the style of community libraries and kitchen boxes, visitors to the gallery can take a piece of art, leave a piece of art, or do both. You can check out some of the artwork on Instagram @Freelittleartgalleryyxe.

Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood.
Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

2. Hit up The Bassment’s virtual party

Featuring the music and talents of eight Saskatoon bands, The Bassment presents InTune 2021 — a free online party playing from 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shows will be streamed live through the Bassment’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

3. Check out local performers

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Watch as some of Saskatoon’s performing artists share their work in Episode 1 of Persephone Theatre’s Open Stage, which was published earlier this month. The episode is available to watch whenever you want at persephonetheatre.org and features Peace Akintade, Kathie Cram, Amanda Trapp, Sketchy Bandits, Carla Orosz and Ellen Froese.

4. Have some family fun

The Fuddruckers Family Fun Centre (2910 8th St. E) is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, weather permitting. Families can practice their skills on the 18-hole Putt N’ Bounce miniature golf course, reach new heights on The Rock climbing wall or take a swing at the Grand Slam batting cages. More information is available at fudds.ca or by calling 306-477-0808.

5. Drop off your hazardous waste

The City of Saskatoon is holding its first Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off of the year on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Civic Operations Centre (57 Valley Rd.). The drop off is open to Saskatoon residents from residential properties only. Products eligible for drop off include aerosols, automotive fluids, batteries, cleaners, light bulbs, yard chemicals and more. Learn more at saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste.

  1. Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring

    Little art gallery brings colour, connection to Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood

  2. Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon

    Persephone Theatre brings in community co-leads for new Artists’ Working Group

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

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YK ARCC celebrates 10 years by pushing for NWT art gallery – Cabin Radio

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Its trailer doubles as one of the NWT’s only art galleries. Now, the Yellowknife Artist-Run Community Centre is turning 10 years old.

The group, YK ARCC for short, formed in 2011 in a downtown Yellowknife church scheduled for demolition. “There was always something going on,” recalled Métis artist Rosalind Mercredi, owner of the city’s Down to Earth Gallery, who was YK ARCC’s first president.

“I think it was so good to be able to have a space where people wanted to work on stuff and, if they had bigger projects they wanted to do, there was a space to do it. It was pretty vibrant times, I would say, for art.”

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Though the organization stayed in the church for less than a year, it has brought art and shows to Yellowknife since. Temporary homes have included an apartment above a Vietnamese restaurant and empty spaces in the Centre Square Mall.

Casey Koyczan, a Tłı̨chǫ artist from Yellowknife pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Manitoba, held some of his first shows with YK ARCC’s help.

“It really helped to be able to show work within an environment that was conducive to more of a fine arts aesthetic as opposed to … a coffee shop, or a pub, or something like that,” said Koyczan, who was on YK ARCC’s board.

“YK ARCC felt like it was getting to more of a formal-exhibit kind of feel.”

‘We need a territorial gallery’

The group made headlines shortly after opening a mobile art gallery in a trailer. At the beginning of the pandemic, the team took art to residents by accepting reservations through Facebook then driving the gallery to make house calls in different neighbourhoods.

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“Because it’s so small, we might be the only gallery in Canada that didn’t have to close,” said longtime board member Sarah Swan. “It has a limited capacity. We knew we could still operate it safely.”

YK ARCC’s first home is pictured in 2011. Photo: Submitted
Casey Koyczan stands in front of a painting at a YK ARCC show in 2014. Photo: Submitted

Yet the trailer’s success simultaneously illuminated what YK ARCC’s members believe is a glaring deficiency in the NWT: the absence of a territorial gallery.

The cost of rent makes it difficult for the non-profit to hold on to one space for any length of time. Many of the spaces that are available in Yellowknife don’t work well for art shows.

“We need a territorial gallery,” former board member Dan Korver said.

That doesn’t mean a commercial gallery geared toward profit, he clarified. Instead, Korver wants a space where artists can show their work and engage with an audience “for art’s sake.”

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is the only large-scale, non-commercial, gallery fitting that bill in the NWT. It hosts two fine art exhibits a year.

“It’s just simply not enough,” said Swan. “There are so many more artists and so much more work out there to show, so many more ideas.”

“We created the mobile gallery in the first place to feel that exhibition gap, but also, we created it to be a piece of agitation in itself. That’s why we called it the Art Gallery of the Northwest Territories.

“It’s really pathetic that our territorial gallery is a trailer. We all joke that if there ever is a real gallery of the Northwest Territories that’s not in a trailer, we’ll happily give the name back.”

YK ARCC debuted its mobile gallery in the summer of 2019. Pictured are board member Brian McCutcheon and artist Terry Pamplin. Photo: Submitted
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Art by Shelley Vanderbyl is displayed in Yellowknife’s mobile gallery in May 2020. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
A YK ARCC show in 2018, called Social Fabric, was held inside a former bank in the Centre Square Mall. Thirty-two artists were featured and 800 people attended. Photo: Submitted

Koyczan described obstacles in establishing his career that stemmed directly from the lack of a territorial art gallery.

“Back when I was showing at YK ARCC, it wasn’t recognized by the Canada Arts Council,” he said. “Therefore, when you go to apply for grants and funding … and you provide your CV saying that you showed work at YK ARCC, they check their records and say the show basically didn’t exist because they don’t recognize it as a legitimate gallery.

“I’ve had to work really hard on exporting myself and making artwork that is impactful so that, regardless of where I was located, it would be recognized by people in the south, or around North America, or internationally.

“The NWT needs a contemporary gallery. It’s just holding us back, not having that space.”

‘No GNWT mandate’ for a gallery

In a written statement to Cabin Radio, the territorial Department of Education, Culture, and Employment said it has no plan to create a territorial gallery.

The department said it “does not have a mandate to create physical infrastructure for the arts.”

“However,” the response continued, “the GNWT would be happy to work with regional organizations to see how the GNWT can support their plans.”

Korver believes government involvement in creating an artist-run centre or non-commercial gallery should be limited to provision of funding, so any gallery can remain community-driven and independent.

“We need that physical space, but how do you run it?” he wondered. “Is it better to just provide a grassroots organization – or organizations, maybe there shouldn’t just be one – with stable funding so they can provide those spaces and run those spaces?”

More spaces that can host art are on the way.

Makerspace YK moved into the old After 8 pub this January and is planning workshops and exhibits. The City of Yellowknife expects to open a visitor centre in the Centre Square Mall that would include art displays.

Meanwhile, the territorial government is set to release its updated NWT Arts Strategy this June. The previous territorial arts strategy, released in 2004, had identified a need for more arts spaces.

As a gallery owner, Mercredi said she is curious to see how the strategy is implemented.

YK ARCC staged an outdoor installation in 2017. Photo: Submitted
Rosalind Mercredi, first president of YK ARCC, at the mobile gallery. Photo: Submitted

“You can make a strategy but if the plan doesn’t have an implementation idea behind it, then really just sits,” she said. “How do you implement it when most of the arts organizations don’t have enough infrastructure or people to put those things together?”

Swan said YK ARCC will continue to run its mobile gallery while celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Members have applied for funding to run a series of “emerging curator workshops.”

“Art is our passion,” Swan said. “I think there’s just this drive to share.

“Because we know how good art can be, or how amazing and fully developed it can be, we want to fight for that. We want to try to grow the art community in Yellowknife.”

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