Downtown Alliance’s Re:Construction Art Project Gives Liberty Street Sidewalk an Imaginative Makeover

Downtown Alliance’s Re:Construction Art Project Gives Liberty Street Sidewalk an Imaginative Makeover

The Alliance for Downtown New York today announced the newest addition to the popular Re:Construction public art program, which enhances Downtown construction sites with temporary artwork. Designed by artist Karen Ingram, this latest installation is affixed atop a sidewalk shed flanking 55 Liberty Street and features a fanciful floral and avian design.

“Our newest member of the Re:Construction family brings a wonderful splash of whimsy and color to the corner of Liberty and Nassau Streets,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance. “The transformation of Downtown construction sites into urban canvasses provides a fantastic opportunity to bring innovation and creativity to the workers and residents of our growing Lower Manhattan community.”

Lisa Shimamura of Colab Projects served as curator and consultant for this newest installation, titled “Monk Parakeets with Mourning Doves and Red Wings”. This piece intends to celebrate and contrast vibrant elements from nature against the backdrop of the city, presenting a landscape of heightened realism amidst the busy streets.

The artist, who lives in Brooklyn, explores the harmonies between animals and humans, emotions and nature. Organic and scientific subject matter such as the birds and flowers across 55 Liberty are core to her work.

"This piece is inspired by some types of birds found in the New York area,” said Ingram. "Birds are a favorite subject matter of mine. Each species is so unique, not only in plumage, but in its behavior. The monk parakeet is the first bird that I took real note of – it’s been a muse of sorts, ever since. Birds display a wide array of social behaviors and I like to use them as metaphors for how humans relate to one another."


Ingram’s work has been profiled in publications, including: Computer Arts Magazine, Digital Artist, and STEP inside design, and various titles from Die Gestalten, Friends of Ed, and Lawrence King. Her work has adorned Japanese t-shirts, Australian wallets, and soon it will appear in French bookstores. She's taught art in Israel, via the World Scholar Athlete Games, and created live art in Austin, TX at SXSW.

She is on the board of the SXSW Interactive Festival and has judged the web awards since 2001. Most recently she created the Art of Science Meetup at SXSW 2011. She has presented her interactive work at events such as "Flash in the Can" and at the AIGA. As a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, Ingram is a judge for the Webby Awards. Ingram also assists in PopTech's “Own Your Future” initiative which teaches Brooklyn high school kids on how to prepare for the digital creative economy.

Ingram’s most prized art acknowledgement was the People's Choice award in the Paducah Art Show for the piece "A Nice Day with a Mouse and a Cherry Tree" when she was six. The award was a box of candy canes that she shared with her sister. Her work can be seen at

The Downtown Alliance’s Re:Construction program began in 2007 and has since produced 23 pieces, 11 of which are up for viewing. Re:Construction is produced by the Downtown Alliance and funded by a $1.5 million grant from the LMDC. Engaging, thoughtful and inspired, the temporary artworks create colorful landmarks and brightened streetscapes as they help mitigate the impact of Lower Manhattan’s numerous building projects.

Previous Re:Construction projects have been installed at:

● Hubert Street between Washington and Hudson Street: Aquatic Dream
● Grand and Lafayette streets: Downtown Dogs*
● 50 West Street: Life, Actually*
● Hudson Street between Franklin Street and Ericsson Place: Star Sun Burst*
● W Hotel New York – Downtown: Hours of the Day*
● Chambers Street: Secret Gardens*
● Fiterman Hall: Restore the View*
● 99 Church Street: Walking Men 99*
● 56 Leonard Street: Rendering Leonard
● Hudson River Park: Botanizing on the Asphalt*
● 50 Trinity Place: Poster Project at 50 Trinity*
● 99 Washington Street: Flying Animals*
● East River Waterfront Esplanade, South Street:
● Fence Embroidery with Embellishment*
● Titanic Park, Fulton and Pearl streets: Water Movements
● West Thames Park, Battery Park City: It Takes Time to Turn a Space Around
● The Fulton Street Transit Center, John Street at Broadway: Best Pedestrian Route
● Fulton Street reconstruction site, between Broadway and Nassau: Fulton Fence
● Fulton Street Transit Center, Broadway between Ann and John streets:
Concrete Jungle
● Goldman Sachs headquarters, 200 West Street: Untitled
● AIG building, 175 Water Street: Green Gate, Summer
● Street reconstruction site at Houston and Broadway: Houston Fence
● Louise Nevelson Plaza, Maiden Lane and William Street: Rainbow Conversation

* Currently up for viewing

For more information on the Re:Construction program, click here.