New Artwork Drifting Through Lower Manhattan

New Artwork Drifting Through Lower Manhattan

New York, NY (August 30, 2011) – The Alliance for Downtown New York today announced the installation of Rita MacDonald’s Drift, part of the popular Re:Construction program recasting construction sites as public art canvasses.

“Re:Construction is an ongoing opportunity for government, artists, curators, property owners and business people to work together to make something beautiful,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance.

Drift, at 24 John Street, uses patterns from architectural details as a starting point, starting as flat images that stretch, arc and contort in space so that the optical effects of the pattern create illusions of movement and volume that push up against the flatness of the wall's surface. In Drift, the stripe pattern on the scaffolding takes its inspiration from a swatch of awning fabric and turns the stripe on its side to create a gesture of movement and motion that mirrors the movement of the city streets and sidewalks below.

“I am interested,” MacDonald said, “in the connections and associations to place and time that simple patterns can hold.”

MacDonald, of Brooklyn, received her undergraduate degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 1991 and her graduate degree from School of Visual Arts in New York in 2001.  Most recently, her work has been exhibited in solo shows at Wave Hill in the Bronx and at Smack Mellon Gallery in Brooklyn.  Her work is included in several large collections, including the libraries of both the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN and Yale University in New Haven, CT. MacDonald was also recently awarded a commission from The Arts for Transit Program of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City to create two permanent mosaic works for Ave J and Ave M Stations on the Brighton Line in Brooklyn that are scheduled to be installed later this year.

The consultant on the project was Karin Bravin of BravinLee programs. This is the ninth Re:Construction project curated by BravinLee, which currently is consulting on another Re:Con project, at the Corbin Building at Broadway and John Street. BravinLee’s other recent installation was Sour Gum Tree: Seasonal Glory, vivid photographs of six seasonal phases of a sour gum tree. That is up for viewing at Nassau Street between Spruce and Beekman streets and at Fulton Street between Pearl and Cliff streets.

Drift is the 26th Re:Construction installation. Launched in 2007, Re:Construction is produced by the Downtown Alliance, and funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. About half of the 25 earlier temporary installations are still up for viewing in the area.

Previous Re:Construction projects have been installed at:

·         55 Liberty Street: Monk Parakeets with Mourning Doves and Red Wings*

·         Nassau and Fulton Streets: Sour Gum Tree: Seasonal Glory*

·         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*

·         Titanic Park, Fulton and Pearl streets: Water Movements

·         East River Waterfront Esplanade, South Street: Fence Embroidery with Embellishment*

·         99 Church Street: Walking Men 99*

·         56 Leonard Street: Rendering Leonard

·         West Thames Park, Battery Park City: It Takes Time to Turn a Space Around

·         Hudson River Park: Botanizing on the Asphalt*

·         99 Washington Street: Flying Animals*

·         50 Trinity Place: Poster Project at 50 Trinity

·         Louise Nevelson Plaza, Maiden Lane and William Street: Rainbow Conversation

·         AIG building, 175 Water Street: Green Gate, Summer

·         Street reconstruction site at Houston and Broadway: Houston Fence

·         Goldman Sachs headquarters, 200 West Street: Untitled

·         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

* Currently up for viewing

The Downtown Alliance additionally is establishing signage to help assist visitors to Lower Manhattan get where they are going. In the last several weeks, such wayfinding – featuring Downtown Alliance maps – has been installed at 26 Federal Plaza and 50 Trinity Place. The Downtown Alliance previously has installed wayfinding at Broadway and Dey Street, Broadway and Fulton Street.

Re:Construction is just one of the ways the Downtown Alliance is promoting the area. Recently, the non-profit issued the State of Lower Manhattan 2011 report – – to provide a comprehensive review of the district’s remarkable economic and demographic changes, leasing, development, and market trends over the last decade.

Additionally, Lower Manhattan’s extraordinary growth and momentum additionally is being showcased in a new video – – featuring New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. The video highlights Lower Manhattan’s history, heritage and culture while promoting top area businesses and unparalleled neighborhood amenities.   

The mission of the Alliance for Downtown New York is to be the principal organization that provides Lower Manhattan’s historic financial district with a premier physical and economic environment, advocates for businesses and property owners and promotes the area as a world-class destination for companies, workers, residents and visitors.  The Downtown Alliance manages the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District (BID), serving an area roughly from City Hall to the Battery, from the East River to West Street.