In the NYTimes today Lisa Foderaro contributed an interesting story to the Region section about the new Painter-in-Residence progarm at Bryant Park, a lovely park located behind the Beaux-Arts landmark building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street that is considered the main branch of the New York Public Library.
Bryant Park’s pristine lawn, lush hydrangeas and movable bistro tables have been well documented in photographs and videos, but not so much in paint. This summer, to correct that situation, the Bryant Park Management Corporation, [a not-for-profit private management company] which operates the park, chose four artists to be painters in residence: each is being paid $2,000, in addition to the cost of materials, to spend two weeks depicting life in the park.
“The public loves to watch painters, and we thought that if we spent $10,000 on a full summer of painting that it would be well worth the money,” said Daniel A. Biederman, president of the management corporation. It also infuses the park with an ineffable charm.
It is unclear what will become of the paintings by the four artists in residence...“We’re debating among three or four possibilities,” Mr. Biederman said. One idea is to collect business cards from park visitors and then hold a drawing with the paintings as prizes.
Does this arrangement strike anyone else as strange? The guidelines clearly state the work becomes the property of the BPMC, but shouldn't a limit be established as to how many paintings the artists have to turn over to the corporation?But the park corporation could also decide to sell the canvases, or keep them. “We could have our own display up in our offices,” Mr. Biederman said, referring to the corporation’s headquarters on Avenue of the Americas, across from the park. “Or maybe even in the park’s restroom, which has classical music and beautiful flower displays. But it’s never had artwork.”
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