LEAP LAUNCHES 10-PARK STUDENT EXHIBITION (see dates and times of local events)


NEW YORK—LeAp’s student citywide public art exhibition kick-off at Union Square on May 19th was a huge success! Our top city officials and guest artists were there to honor LeAp students—School Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, Commissioners Adrian Benepe and Kate Levin and Christo! Students in ten New York City public middle schools from all five boroughs presented their public art pieces—school lunchroom tables transformed into colorful works of art that address important social issues in their communities and the world—comprising the largest student art exhibition in the history of NYC parks, created by Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp) in cooperation with NYC Parks & Recreation.

Three of the student art tables

The tables will be showcased as part of “A View from the Lunchroom: Students Bringing Issues to the Table,” an citywide to be installed in ten community parks citywide (two in each boroughs) and will be on display through August.

9:00am – Claremont Park with students of 219X (top of park near gazebo - Teller Ave at Morris Ave (off of East Mount Eden Ave)
10:30am – Crotona Park with students of Accion Academy (at tennis house along Crotona Ave between Claremont Parkway & Crotona Park North)

10:00am – Sunset Park with students of 53K (in front of recreation center on 7th Ave at 43rd St)
12:00pm – Fort Greene Park with students of 369K (picnic area – entrance on Myrtle Ave between St. Edwards St and North Portland Ave)

10:00am – Snug Harbor with students of 373R (near greenhouse– entrance Richmond Terrace at Tysen St)
12:00pm – Silver Lake Park with students of 25R (behind dog run – entrance on Victory Blvd at Eddy St)

10:00am – Forest Park with students of 75Q
(in Jackson Pond Playground corner of Myrtle Ave and Park Lane South)
12:00pm – Juniper Valley Park with students of 9Q
(near flagpole – entrance at Juniper Boulevard South at 78th Street)

10:00am – Sara D. Roosevelt Park with students of 188M
(on Houston Street between Chrystie Street and Forsyth Street)
1:00pm – Central Park with students of 169M
(at basketball courts by Great Lawn – entrance at 85th Street and Fifth Avenue)

Developed by LeAp’s Public Art Program, this fourth-annual citywide exhibition seeks to empower young people to have a voice in their communities to speak out on issues such as gangs, violence, homelessness, drug abuse, healthcare, and cultural diversity, among others—and become catalysts for social change through their art. Lunchroom tables are used as a canvas for this project as a symbol of student ideas and conversations.

LeAp teaching artists worked with students in ten schools to explore community issues, study the history and practice of public art, and ultimately create beautiful works of art on the surfaces of the lunchroom tables for public display. In addition, internationally-renowned Guest Artists Christo, Julian Schnabel, Milton Glaser, Audrey Flack, Tom Otterness, Vito Acconci, Christopher Wool, Emma Amos, Julie Heffernan, Will Ryman and Seth Wulsin met with students to discuss their work and the power and impact of public art.

Students at The Island School 188 in Manhattan addressed the issue of domestic violence through creating a game board mural about choices you make in life and their consequences. PS/IS 25R’s Staten Island students took on the problem of bullying in their vibrantly colored artwork, while students in Queens at PS 9Q examined the need for good health and nutrition. Manhattan’s students from 169M explored the issue of homelessness and Brooklyn students of 53K examined the good and bad attributes of their community and the need to maintain a positive outlook in life to overcome adversity, depicted in a dynamic and powerful work of art.

“LeAp’s Public Art Program gives our students a citywide platform to showcase their artistic talents and generate awareness for important issues facing their communities,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “We are thrilled to have LeAp as a partner in our efforts to enhance arts education in the schools.”

“Once again New York City’s schoolchildren will become the city’s youngest public artists this summer, thanks to the efforts of LeAp,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “There is no better place to kick off this annual, socially-minded exhibit than in Union Square Park, where New Yorkers have been broadcasting their ideas for over a century. The students’ thought provoking artwork is sure to enliven the city’s parks and raise awareness on the issues that are most important to them.”

LeAp’s Public Art Program exhibition was developed in cooperation with NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and supported by HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Hot Topic Foundation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Keith Haring Foundation, Kinder Morgan Foundation, Mariano Brothers Specialty Moving, Cher Lewis and Daughters, Astoria Federal Savings, Richmond County Savings Foundation, The Compleat Sculptor, Zabar’s, Custom Metal Products and KADKO.
Over the past 35 years, LeAp’s professional artists, dancers, musicians, actors and writers have provided arts-based education programs to over two million children in grades K-12 throughout New York City. For more information, visit www.leapnyc.org.