Art For Change Stages a Pop-Up Show at Grand Army Plaza

As the 136 year-old Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch undergoes a much-needed renovation, Art For Change treats denizens to eye candy care of its “Park of Dreams” exhibition, with a shoppable print collection in suppor the site's steward: the Prospect Park Alliance.

Credit (all images): Javier Romero. Courtesy of Art For Change.

Frederick Law Olmsted reigns supreme as New York City’s dreamiest landscape architect to date. Together, he and Calvin Vaux rose to prominence as the minds behind the urban sanctuaries of Central Park, Fort Greene Park, and possibly their most successful commission, Prospect Park. It’s fitting, then, that the latter’s partner nonprofit, the Prospect Park Alliance, is the beneficiary of Art For Change’s latest collection, aptly titled Park of Dreams

The collection features the works of 12 artists whose contributions explore verdant visions of leisure: Marcus Brutus, Kelly Beeman, Alyssa Klauer, Danielle Orchard, Cydne Coleby, Jules De Balincourt, Amy Lincoln, Bianca Nemelc, Maria Calandra, Jon Key, Kirsten Deirup, and Na’ye Perez, whose prints make fitting addition to the art holdings of anyone impassioned about urban greenspace. A particularly captivating print, Park Bench by Beeman delivers a “portrait of a lady”-style twist by subverting predictable patterns of still lifes and landscapes with a romantic study of a be-gowned woman seated on one of the park’s distinctly green benches.  

Left: "Park Bench" by Kelly Beeman. Right: Na’ye Perez pictured with "Higher, Thy Will/ Peace of Mind."

What’s more, the 12 artists’ works are on view at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch: a Civil War memorial that abuts the park and was built by Olmsted, Vaux, and Gilded Age architect Stanford White from a design created by Grants Tomb architect John Hemenway Duncan. Late last year, Brooklynites looked on as the beloved arch was enveloped in scaffolding. The site summarily skipped out on its annual Christmas tree lighting in preparation for a sweeping restoration effort to reinvigorate the 136 year-old structure. It’s much-needed: in recent years, the monument has become more of a focal point for the trees sprouting from its roof than its largesse of neoclassical splendor. A funding allocation of $25,000 from Brooklyn Assembly member Brian Cunningham and from the Masel Foundation made the “Park of Dreams” exhibition possible, which Art For Change founder Jeanne Masel sees as one of the organization’s “most exciting projects to date.” 

Left: Artist Marcus Brutus pictured with "Li Dous Konsa'." Right: Artist Jon Key pictured with "Man in the Violet Dreamscape No. 5."
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