Public Art

LEAP’s Public Art Program empowers young people to have a voice in their communities and express themselves on social issues through the creation and public exhibition of art—culminating in the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC parks and the first to span the five boroughs. This program instills social responsibility and civic engagement, imparts artistic skills, and fosters peer leadership, self-confidence, and team building.

By using a lunchroom table as a canvas, LEAP’s Public Art Program figuratively and literally gives students a seat at the table – a place from which they can speak out about their concerns by creating an art piece directly on the tabletop. The exhibition, titled A View from the Lunchroom: Students Bringing Issues to the Table, will be on display at 10 parks throughout the five boroughs until September.
During the residency, students have a unique opportunity to meet with world-renowned artists at their studio, gallery, or museum exhibition. This year’s Guest Artists included: George Boorujy, Christo, Nancy Chunn, Daze, Julie Heffernan, Maia Cruz Palileo, Stephen Powers, RIsa Puno, Andre Rubin, and Federico Solmi.

LEAP teaching artists work with New York City school students to:

- Explore social issues in their communities—from racism, gun violence, and gender equality to drug abuse, religious intolerance, and pollution

- Study the history, practice, and power of public art and create collaborative works that express their views on vital community issues

LEAP’s Public Art Program culminates in a historic citywide exhibition, developed in cooperation with NYC Parks. At a kick-off event, student artists unveil their work to the public and speak about their focus on specific community issues.

“Students of all ages should talk freely about how they feel about [political] situations, because we have feelings and emotions just like adults do.”
-Public Art Student