Where can artists, construction workers, and developers work simultaneously?
Time Equities, Inc. (TEI), an international real estate firm, has recently announced an artist-in-residency program in conjunction with the construction of a new residential tower, 50 West. The 64-story building is currently under construction in Lower Manhattan, where developers and construction workers are joined by artists Noa Charuvi, Hugo Bastidas, and Paul Anthony Smith. The artists have been commissioned by TEI, through their program Art-in-Buildings to create paintings that document the construction process in exchange for an honorarium and studio space located near the construction site.
Artist Noa Charuvi says, “I’ve never heard of an artist becoming involved in a skyscraper. You do see that [documentation] in photography, but it’s not common to see paintings of it.”
Art-in-Buildings was created in 2003 by TEI as a way to foster emerging and mid-career artists and to create a more interesting environment for its buildings’ occupants, residents, and guests. The program works to expand the arts audience by promoting artists in non-traditional spaces. Art-in-Buildings includes rotating exhibits and permanent art installations throughout New York City, starting with the Maiden Lane Exhibition Space and the West 10th Window. (Photo credit: One of the many paintings by Noa Charuvi during her residency at 50 West; courtesy of Kevin Hagen for The Wall Street Journal.)
TEI is committed to enriching its properties’ value and aesthetic through art, and is active in numerous arts organizations in New York City, such as the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, and of course, Art-in-Buildings. CEO Francis Greenburger is highly passionate about the arts. He founded the Art Omi International Arts Center, a center that hosts artist residencies for visual artists, writers, dancers and musicians, which all three artists at the site are alumni of, as well as a 300-acre public sculpture park in Ghent, New York. Mr.Greenburger also serves on the board of various non-profit organizations, many of which are arts organizations.
The works produced by the artists during their residency will be displayed in the 50 West sales gallery during construction and some will be installed in the lobby for residents to enjoy upon the completion of the building.
"I thought it would be an interesting environment for an artist to work, to be in dialogue with the construction of the building and how that inspires them," Mr. Greenburger noted. "And we also thought we would install some of this work in the building—'before' and 'after' pictures."