Plywood boards used to protect New York establishments are repurposed into captivating sculptures – Archinect

Posted: May 27, 2021 at 8:08 am

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In Honor of Black Lives Matter by KaN Landscape Design and Caroline Mardok, one of five plywood-based installations as part of the Plywood Protection Project. All Photos: worthless studios

Across New York Citys five boroughs, five new public art installations are on display, each made from salvaged plywood boards that were used for a much different purpose a year ago.

The sculptural pieces were created as part of New York art nonprofit worthless studios Plywood Protection Project. The initiative sought and repurposed discarded plywood boards that were formerly used to seal and protect New York City storefronts closed due to the pandemic and last summers protests calling for justice and reform regarding systemic racism and police brutality towards Black Americans. worthless studios notes that during peak protest months across the city, prices skyrocketed to above $90 for a single 4 x 8 AC plywood board, and supply rapidly depleted.

Rather than let these valuable materials go to waste following last years events, worthless studios, through the Plywood Protection Project, collected over 200 boards and put out an open call to artists for plywood-based installation proposals. Over 200 applications later, five artists were selected by a jury and were provided studio space, tools, fabrication and installation assistance, a $500 material budget, and a $2,000 artist stipend.

As explained by worthless studios founder Neil Hamamoto in a piece by the New York Times, the projects aim was to create safe, outdoor destinations for New Yorkers during the pandemic while prompting emotionally and politically complex questions around pain, anger, protest, property, and memory.

This month, one sculpture was installed in each of New York Citys five boroughs. In Manhattan, Be Heard by Behin Ha Design Studio will be placed in Thomas Paine Park; In Honor of Black Lives Matter by KaN Landscape Design and Caroline Mardok will be in Poe Park in the Bronx; Miguelito by Michael Zelehoski will go up in McCarren Park in Brooklyn; Open Stage by Tony DiBernardo will lie at the Alice Austen House in Staten Island; and RockIt Black by Tanda Francis will be located in Queensbridge Park in Queens. The installations will remain on view until November 1, 2021.

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Plywood boards used to protect New York establishments are repurposed into captivating sculptures - Archinect

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