NYC PARKS AND THE ALLIANCE FOR FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK ANNOUNCE ARTISTS TO RECEIVE PUBLIC ART GRANT
NYC Parks and the Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park are pleased to reveal the two artists chosen as recipients of the 2019 Art in the Parks: Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park Grant. In its inaugural year, the grant will support the creation of two site-specific, temporary public artworks by Queens-based artists Yvonne Shortt and Karl Orozco.
Addressing the theme “Flushing Meadows Corona Park: A Park for the Future”, the artworks will be placed at the 111th Street and 49th Avenue park entrance, and David Dinkins Circle. The exhibitions will draw community members and visitors to the vast park’s perimeter entrances and lesser known areas. Generously funded by the Alliance, each grantee will receive an award of $5,000 to create their proposed artwork.
Grant recipients were selected through an open application process and chosen by a committee of arts professionals and Queens community members, as well as NYC Parks and Alliance representatives. Proposals were judged according to artistic and creative merit, response to the theme and surrounding community, and suitability to the site.
Hospicio Cabañas (Playable Stage for Thunder Hawk) by Karl Orozco is an interpretation of the oldest hospital complex and orphanage in the Americas located in Guadalajara, Mexico. Hospicio Cabañas was a playable stage in the arcade hit Super Street Fighter II and served as home court for Thunder Hawk, the first Mexican video game character. Using colorful dried corn kernels, Orozco will create a pixelated mosaic of Thunder Hawk’s stage on a large column at the entrance on 111th Street. He will inject the character’s backstory with greater historical and cultural relevance that is lost in the video game’s culturally insensitive depiction. Instead Orozco draws inspiration from Danza de la Pluma (a traditional dance originating in Oaxaca, Mexico that reinterprets the Spanish conquest of the Zapotec people) and today’s elote vendors along the park.
An unveiling and performance for Hospicio Cabañas will take place on Sunday, June 30th from 3pm to 4:30pm. For the sculpture’s unveiling, Orozco has partnered with New York and New Jersey based Mexican indigenous performance group Tonalxochitl Danzo Mexica to celebrate histories of colonial resistance. Tonalxochitl Danza Mexica is a community organization founded by Cecilia Ortega dedicated to preserving Mexican indigenous ways through music, dance, performance, and ceremony.
Yvonne Shortt’s Pavilion Landing tells the story a group of intergalactic children whose spaceship has landed in the park, after a long journey seeking a ray of hope generated by the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. Shortt will spend several days in the park working collaboratively with park visitors to build four 16”-tall sculptures of children out of clay. She will then make molds from the clay forms, which will be used to cast sixteen concrete sculptures placed at David Dinkins Circle. Their spacecraft, inspired by the Tent of Tomorrow’s iconic suspension roof, will be fabricated in concrete and aluminum with a clear plastic top that enables visitors to see the ship’s control center with several children at the helm.
Art in the Parks
For over 50 years, NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program celebrated 50 years of bringing contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. The agency has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 public artworks by 1,300 notable and emerging artists in over 200 parks. For more information about the program visit www.nyc.gov/parks/art.