Is This Art? Public Art in New York City

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Taught by Elizabeth Abbarno

Elizabeth Abbarno is a creative professional currently working at a major museum in New York City. A native Texan, Elizabeth came to New York to pursue a master’s degree in Museum Studies at New York University. Her research interests include public arts initiatives, post-war American art, mid-century modern design, and fashion history.  In her spare time, she is an avid bargain hunter, voracious eater, and college football fanatic. 

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Art is everywhere. As cliché as it sounds, looking around in New York City it certainly seems true.  From Tony Rosenthal's Alamo in Astor Place and the mosaics throughout the Subway system, to various initiatives curated by Creative Time and The Andy Monument by Rob Pruitt in Union Square, whether we realize it or not, public art makes an indelible mark on our collective daily existence.

This single-session class will provide a basic public art primer, recounting the rise of public arts programming as well as discussing the recent surge of high profile public arts initiatives around the city.

Key questions will include: In your opinion, what makes something art? What can be learned from public art? What, if anything, does it accomplish? Bring your inquisitive mind, along with plenty of opinions and questions. Ideally, public art is about bringing people together and this class will seek to do the same. 

If you can muster, please bring a photo (it can be on your phone!) of a work of public art you have seen recently in or around New York. We will be creating an interactive map of public art in New York that you can use to explore on your own, so the more you participate the better!  

Cancellation policy