The museums may be closed, but that doesn’t mean New York City’s art cred is on pause.

By Paul Brady
Updated August 03, 2020
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Left: Rafael Domenech, Peripheral poem 68 (countermonument pavilion), 2020. Scanned laser-print on paper, tape. Right: Chase Hall, A Great Day in Harlem, 2020. Acrylic and coffee on cotton canvas.
Courtesy of Rafael Domenech; Courtesy of Chase Hall Studio

This week, the nonprofit Public Art Fund unveiled a new citywide exhibition called Art on the Grid, which will display work from more than 50 emerging artists on hundreds of bus shelters and other public infrastructure through the rest of the summer.

At a time when galleries are closed and social distancing is the norm, it’s the perfect way for New Yorkers to get their art fix, organizers said.

“This exhibition presents an opportunity to get New Yorkers reacquainted with the city they love, as it transforms into an open-air public art gallery this summer,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, which partnered with Public Art Fund on the project, in a statement.

A wide range of artists are participating in the project; see the complete list of those showing work below. The public exhibition will roll out in two phases, the first of which hit the streets on June 29. A bigger batch of art will premiere on July 27.

Left: Andre D. Wagner, Old School, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn NY 2020, 2020. Gelatin silver print. Right: Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Sound of the Rain, 2020. Digital photograph
Courtesy of Andre D. Wagner; Courtesy of Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York

“Public art, with its broad accessibility and immediacy, has a special role to play in returning the experience of art to our lives as we reflect on both our individual and collective experience during this tumultuous period,” said Nicholas Baume, the director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund, in a statement. “The exhibition was conceived in the context of emerging from the medical emergency, and as it developed the parallel pandemic of systemic racism came into sharp and painful focus. Both crises now set the backdrop for the exhibition and make its twin aspirations to reconnection and renewal feel even more urgent.” Working with Baume on the project were Public Art Fund curator Daniel S. Palmer and Public Art Fund assistant curator Katerina Stathopoulou.

The show’s 50 works will be on view on bus shelters as well as on New York City’s many public internet access points, formally known as LinkNYC kiosks. The Public Art Fund has released an interactive map showing the location of all 500 of the bus shelters that will display the pieces at publicartfund.org/artonthegrid; the city’s more than 1,700 LinkNYC kiosks will have an ever-rotating selection of pieces on view.

“In times of crisis we often look to art for comfort, solidarity, inspiration and escape,” said Baume. “Art on the Grid is an expression of that indomitable New York spirit of generosity and partnership.”

Artists involved in the Art on the Grid show, organized by the Public Art Fund, in partnership with NYC & Company and JCDecaux, which maintains the infrastructure on which the art is displayed:

  • Nina Chanel Abney
  • Tunji Adeniyi-Jones
  • Kamrooz Aram
  • Leilah Babirye
  • Firelei Báez
  • Chloë Bass
  • Maria Berrio
  • Elizabeth Bick
  • Arielle Bobb-Willis
  • Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.
  • Zach Bruder
  • Jordan Casteel
  • Sara Cwynar
  • Jeremy Dennis
  • Rafael Domenech
  • Marley Freeman
  • Ivan Forde
  • Chitra Ganesh
  • Oto Gillen
  • Baris Gokturk
  • Chase Hall
  • Lucia Hierro
  • Esteban Jefferson
  • Yifan Jiang
  • Cheyenne Julien
  • Adam Khalil
  • Baseera Khan
  • Andrew Kuo
  • Sophie Larrimore
  • Doron Langberg
  • Nate Lewis
  • Sharon Madanes
  • Joiri Minaya
  • Willa Nasatir
  • Jordan Nassar
  • Madhini Nirmal
  • Stephen Obisanya
  • Danielle Orchard
  • Anna Ostoya
  • Anna Park
  • GaHee Park
  • Jamaal Peterman
  • Kameelah Janan Rasheed
  • Emily Mae Smith
  • Cynthia Talmadge
  • Adrienne Elise Tarver
  • Salman Toor
  • Andre D. Wagner
  • D'Angelo Lovell Williams
  • Wong Kit Yi