"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. We are thrilled to have LeAp as a partner in our efforts to enhance arts education in the schools.” Dennis M. Walcott, NYC Schools Chancellor
Public Art Program
Now in its sixth year, LeAp’s Public Art Program empowers young people to have a voice in their communities and express themselves on important social issues through the creation and public exhibition of art in NYC parks—culminating in the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC parks and the first to span the five boroughs, developed in cooperation with NYC Parks & Recreation.
LeAp teaching artists work with two classes of middle school students in 10 New York City public schools (two per borough) to:
- explore social issues in their communities—from gangs, drugs, and violence to the economy, religious tolerance, and the environment
- study the history, practice, and power of public art
- create collaborative works of art that express their views on vital community issues, using a school lunchroom table as a canvas—a symbol of student ideas and conversations. Artworks consist of painted, collaged, or mosaic murals.
VISITS WITH INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED GUEST ARTISTS
As part of each residency, students have a unique opportunity to meet with world-renowned artists, either at the artist’s studio, in the school, or at the site of the artist’s work. Guest artists have included Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close, Vito Acconci, Dennis Oppenheim, Audrey Flack, Tom Otterness, Alice Aycock, Kenny Scharf, Tim Rollins, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Leo Villareal, Betty Woodman, Keith Sonnier, Emma Amos, Julie Heffernan, Mary Miss, Ned Smyth, James de la Vega, Marina Gutierrez, and George Woodman.
CITYWIDE PARKS EXHIBITION
LeAp’s Public Art Program culminates with a citywide exhibition entitled, A VIEW FROM THE LUNCHROOM: Students Bringing Issues to the Table—the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC parks and the first to span the five boroughs, developed in cooperation with NYC Parks & Recreation. The general public, guest artists, school communities, and press are invited to a large-scale exhibition opening event at Union Square at which student artists from all 10 schools present their art tables and speak about the community social issues they addressed. Dignitaries and distinguished Guest Artists attend the event and honor the student artists. They have included Dennis M. Walcott (Schools Chancellor, NYC Dept. of Education), Kate Levin (Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs), Adrian Benepe (Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation), and Guest Artists Chuck Close, Audrey Flack and Tom Otterness.
Click here to see Student Tables from 2008-2011
Following the exhibition opening event, the 10 art tables are installed in 10 parks (two per borough) near the 10 schools, and the students present their art table at each park site.
- View CBS EYE ON NY: Feature on LeAp’s Public Art Exhibition with Student Artist Ramon Hernandez of 188M and Alexandra Leff, Director of LeAp’s Public Art Program with host Dana Tyler
- View the Public Art Program Documentary Here
- View NY 1 News: Students from IS 51 in Staten Island
- View NY Daily News: Students from IS 219 in the Bronx
- View CBS News New York: Christo with students of IS 347 in Brooklyn
- View Queens Chronicle: Students from P9 in Queens
- View NY 1 News: Students from P9 in Queens