Sculpture Art to ‘Surf’ Down Broadway Malls


Con Ed ball
Passers-by take in “Con Ed Ball.” (Broadway Morey Boogie Instagram)

The Marlborough Chelsea art gallery has teamed up with the city Parks Department and the nonprofit Broadway Mall Association to install 10 sculptures in pedestrian plazas and parks stretching from Columbus Circle to 166th Street along the famous corridor.

SEE ALSO: Arts Charter School Heads to FiDi

The exhibit called the “Broadway Morey Boogie,” which will officially open on Wednesday, will lend art to the street from September until February in a collection the art gallery curated and named after a Piet Mondrian painting that pays tribute “the dynamism and vitality of New York City street life,” according to a release by the museum.

“This exhibition aims to do the same by populating the backbone of Manhattan–surfing down Broadway from 166th Street to Columbus Circle–with a group exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary American artists,” the release says. “The first of its kind on ten highly-varied neighborhood sites, this show spans a variety of mediums and methods employed by artists both emerging and established. The works were selected in an attempt to engage audiences at street level with accessible, thought-provoking artworks of modest to monumental scale.”

Broadway map
The Broadway Mall sculptures. (Marlborough Chelsea gallery)

The sculptures range from a concrete bear to abstract geometric sculptures and powerful historical commentaries, all of which display phone numbers where passers-by can call for information on each piece. Sculptor Lars Fisk’s “Con Ed Ball” at Broadway and West 79th Street resembles a spherical space capsule emblazoned with the familiar logo of the power provider, while the box-shaped, impenetrable “EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED” by Davina Semo at Broadway and West 117th should also turn heads and raise questions.

The exhibition, which is the eighth such show coordinated by the privately-funded organization that maintains the pedestrian plazas and parks along Broadway in Upper Manhattan, will be complete when crews finish installing an 8-foot high colored-glass piece in Dante Park at West 64th Street and an aluminum silhouette sculpture at Broadway and West 72nd Street by next week, said Robyn Bellamy, executive director of the Broadway Mall Association.

“We make sure that we have art that runs all the way up Broadway so that all the neighborhoods can enjoy the artwork,” Ms. Bellamy said. “It’s an opportunity for people to enjoy green space in a new way and perhaps open up a dialogue around green space and public space that otherwise wouldn’t happen.”