Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

AiOP 2015: RECALL Artists: Leah Harper “Complimentary”

Art in Odd Places (AiOP) 2015: RECALL is our 11th year and all about looking back at the artists and projects that made these festivals possible over the years. For RECALL, AiOP has invited back over forty artists to either present their original work or produce a completely new one that explore artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations. As we gear up for the festival next month, here is a preview of some of the works people can expect to see along 14th Street in October.



Leah Harper





A gumball machine doles out free compliments on 14th Street.  Photo courtesy of Lindsay Curran.


Past AiOP blog feature


What was the first AiOP festival that you participated in?

2014 AiOP FREE


How do you feel about returning to AiOP to participate in this anniversary festival?

I’m looking forward to another AiOP festival, and it’s an honor to be brought back for RECALL.


Why is 14th Street a compelling site for creative response?

Fourteenth street is a major corridor in the city, with a lot of pedestrians and a lot of activity at Union Square. This offers a large audience for a creative response.


Are you presenting the same project as last time? If so, how has it changed or evolved? 

At AiOP FREE, some people were standoffish if they thought they had to pay for what was in the compliment machine. The message to pass the compliment along to someone else also got lost. This year, I’m going to emphasize both these things with clear signage, and include a duplicate compliment in each capsule to encourage sharing. I also want to highlight the fact that all compliments were publicly submitted.


How does your prior experience with AiOP influence your approach to this year’s festival? 

I think I understand more about what draws people in to view public art.


What reactions did you get the last time you staged your work on 14th Street?

I got a lot of positive reactions, and some initial confusion.


What reactions are you hoping to draw from the public this time? 

I’d like people to be happy they stumbled upon my project, and happy to received a random compliment.

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