Presenting visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces.

Public Art at Hunters Point: A Planning Visit

By Matthew Morowitz

On April 19, 2015 I had the opportunity to join 6 artists and urbanists on a walk around an unclaimed area of Hunters Point in Long Island City. Situated at the tip of the point between a sculpted recreational park, the East River, and Newtown Creek, this is one of the last areas of wild overgrowth in NYC. This site visit was the first as part of the planning stages for a potential public art project to be held on the site. As the NYCEDC has plans to begin construction of housing on the site this summer, artist Catherine Grau is working to obtain permission from them to stage installations and performances in the area before it becomes another continuation of the city landscape.

The site itself, while overgrown, is not so much a reflection of the NYC before the city but a rare slice of natural and non-manicured beauty that also reflects the many different pieces of the city. It is strewn with objects and dilapidated constructs, from bridges to boat anchors and even pieces some historians think were part of the old Penn Station. Walking around is both like taking a pilgrimage through an accidental museum (if you know where to look), as well as an escape from the order and monliths of the city.

Included below are some images from that day; the area itself is fenced off but there are ways around and residents of LIC mostly use the site for walking their dogs.   Also, be sure to read this article by Nathan Kensinger, which gives a brief history on the site and the development plans that are slated for it. Anyone who is interested in learning more about Catherine Grau’s proposed project can contact her at catherine.grau@googlemail.com.

11263023_10153364077301789_8912099932806532766_n

Site as seen from outside the fence.

11143714_10153364077381789_9128567020987178758_n

Site from inside the fence.

1610941_10153364077326789_4876349548695227562_n

Hill that overlooks the East River and Manhattan.

11329774_10153364077026789_8671699328575464483_n

Stone and metal “furniture” and a view of Manhattan.

10687132_10153364076876789_5558430401544147358_n

Old ship anchor, most likely not an original part of the site but dumped there.

11231141_10153364076691789_8299916317210892950_n

Carved stone that historians believe was once part of the old Penn Station.

1517941_10153364076631789_5953381442573674352_n

Old Bridge.

11231912_10153364076416789_3145078773418495426_n

View down old bridge.

10559671_10153364076331789_4877829351261030421_n

Drainage pipe.

11215174_10153364075036789_1649277276764061073_n

“The beach” at low tide.

11252173_10153364076186789_6607162089092796167_n

“The beach,” seen from the other side.

10599461_10153364074836789_8165093042813021666_n

Old brick with identifying information on “the beach.”

10522449_10153364074521789_5990274329600216398_n

Old car.

11295574_10153364074616789_2525695886625173186_n

Stone platform with “swinging” rope.

15596_10153364074336789_3360270254245161794_n

Makeshift living structure.

10996518_10153364074311789_3722022984773776395_n

View of Manhattan and part of Brooklyn from where the Newtown Creek meets the East River.

11295761_10153364074121789_1303002082345681922_n

“The valley.”

SHARE THIS ON:
Share Button

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*