Sing for hope pianos, NYC
We strongly believe that art needs to be accessible to all and so we’re proud to partner with non-profit arts organization, Sing for Hope, on their 2019 NYC piano programme. Intended to break down barriers and bringing art to the people, 50 artist-designed pianos will appear in parks and community spaces in the five boroughs, each created using Liquitex acrylics.
50 pianos mean 50 artists, each selected as the result of an open application process which started in 2018. With themes of joy, hope, inspiration and togetherness, the varied designs were all painted in a huge communal studio stocked with a full range of Liquitex paints, tools and mediums. Our team ran technical workshops and shared skills to help the piano artists achieve their designs. From sketch portraits applied with direct transfer mediums, to layering, experimental graphic effects and varnishing for the great outdoors, Liquitex versatility has been put to the test on these unconventional three-dimensional canvases.
The annual Sing for Hope piano program takes place for three weeks every summer, by placing the pianos in parks and public spaces throughout New York City and creating artistic hotspots. For many young people it’s their first interaction with a real piano. “As soon as someone sits down and plays, everyone stops and gathers around, and you have this immediate, temporary moment of community.” After a few weeks in the open air, each piano finds a home in a school, hospital, veteran center or community hub, to be enjoyed for many years. It’s a symbol of self-worth, an outlet for creativity, a way to challenge stereotypes and to bring people together. We’re extremely proud to be part of it. If you’re interested in applying to be a piano artist or volunteer, find out more here
Ian Davenport, Dallas Contemporary
We are delighted to have supported longtime Liquitex user and Turner Prize nominee Ian Davenport’s exhibition at Dallas Contemporary, ‘Horizons’, open from Autumn 2018 until Spring 2019. ‘Horizons’ provides a rare chance to see the range of Ian’s work across decades (including ‘Colourfall’ from the Venice Biennale) and the opportunity to walk amongst so many of these immersive, massive works in the industrial space of Dallas Contemporary, curated by museum director Peter Doroshenko. The exhibition begins with an early work from his student days at Goldsmiths in London, up to recent work made specifically for the museum space.
Hospital Rooms is our current adopted charity. Founded by artist Tim A Shaw and curator Niamh White, Hospital Rooms commissions extraordinary art and art workshops for secure and locked mental health units. The charity aims to disrupt the barriers that limit access to art and culture for people using these in-patient services and works with a wide range of emerging and established artists, including Anish Kapoor, Nick Knight and Julian Opie. Liquitex are proud to support the charity’s activities with professional materials for the artists and patients to use. See artist Sutapa Biswas below, working on the Women's Lounge at Highgate's Garnet Ward in the UK, and Rebecca Byrne's 136 Suite in Ipswich, UK. To find out more, take a look at the Hospital Rooms website.
CHINA TOWN MURAL, NYC
In 2018 we linked up with ArtBridge to help artist Chen Dongfan transform NY Chinatown's Doyers Street into a vivid walkway of color. The artist used Liquitex materials on an asphalt canvas of 4,800 square foot, leading from Pell Street to Bowery, to paint mural ‘The Song of Dragon and Flowers’. In place for three months, the work aimed to capture the soul and spirit of the dragon, while flowers were used as a symbol of peace in response to the history of the neighborhood.
The mural was commissioned by ArtBridge, a New York based non-profit charity which empowers emerging artists to transform urban spaces. Chen currently lives and works between New York and Hangzho. He describes his work as "not about dreams, but rather a kind of reality, a kind of memory, a mental world, the intersection between sensation and illusion, which requires time to find a way in." He is interested in how images are transmitted over time and what are the information and the sensations people receive through transmission, while still paying special attention to the materialistic aspect of paintings, experimenting with texture through layers of paint and welcoming the diverse outcomes of it. Chen used a range of Liquitex Professional acrylic materials for the Doyers Street piece, including Soft Body Acrylic and Spray Paint. The durable, lightfast nature of our formulas has contributed to our long history of mural collaboration, which dates back to 1955.
BRONX STEP UP MURALS, NYC
In 2016 we supported Step Up: Bronx in Motion, the creation of two large-scale murals on steps in the West Bronx, New York. Step streets are public, open-air staircases that provide pedestrian shortcuts across the Bronx’s hilly topography, and were painted by Bronx-based artists Laura Alvarez and Clark Fly ID.
The project was initiated by ArtBridge, in collaboration with the NYC Department of Transportation and the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, using materials from our professional range Laura’s design, Cross-Street Stitches, reflects the neighborhood’s history of manual labor. “I vividly remember the older women in my family working at home taking care of the families but also sewing - creating those beautiful dresses for the children and adding embroidery,” she said. “I want to beautify the neighborhood by adding that touch, creating a cross-stitch pattern along the stairs remembering the old traditions, the hand-made artisanal design in an era of technology and plastic.”
Clark Fly ID’s design, “I Love the Bronx”, riffs on the Bronx’s history as the center of the graffiti art movement. Clark Fly ID is a life-long Bronx resident who has played a prominent role in the borough’s history of street art. “This mural is a colorful reminder of our devotion to the Bronx,” he said. “I find inspiration from the city.” The overarching goal of Step Up: Bronx in Motion is to rethink the intersection of public art, public health and public space.