Teen artists design benches overlooking East River, 11/29/19
Teen artists design benches overlooking East River

By News12 | web link

A group of teens and young adults based in the Bronx are creating three public works of art overlooking the East River.

After a rigorous application process, the team of five high school and college-aged artists from the Bronx River Art Center's Teen Project Studio + 2.0 program were commissioned by McInnis Cement to design three benches that reflect the different qualities of the Bronx.

Their teachers say the process has already taught them so much about what it means to be a professional artist.

"I think it's really valuable for them to understand that they can actually create something, imagine something and have it made," said Art Jones, program facilitator.

The project is called Comfort in Concrete.

One bench is named the Pebble Bench, using colors from the rocks surrounding this new open space, another is called the Loveseat Bench, which will be the colors of the Bronx flag, and the last one is called the Piano Bench and will pay tribute to the musical contributions of the borough.

The volunteers also learned how to budget their money so they can hire a contractor and make money off the commission too. The executive director of the Bronx River Art Center said they expected to make $21,000 in the project.

Those who participated are between the ages of 14 and 26.

News 12 is told that the team aims to have the benches ready to sit on by spring 2020.

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DIRECTIONS TO CENTER:  By Train: Take #2 or #5 to West Farms Square/East Tremont. Walk one block east to Bronx Street. By Bus: Take #'s B9, 21, 36, 40, 42, or Q44 to East Tremont and Boston Road. By Car: Take Bruckner Expressway to Sheridan Expressway, and exit at East Tremont Ave. Turn left at the traffic light one block down onto East Tremont. Turn left after one block onto Bronx St. (Cross Bronx Expressway) towards Rosedale Ave, then exit. Turn left onto Rosedale Ave, then take a left onto Tremont Ave. Drive four blocks to West Farms Square.

This program is made possible with support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, including Council Members Eric Dinowitz, Althea Stevens, Kristy Marmorato and the Bronx Delegation. Additional support is from Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, the NYS Council on the Arts with support from Governor Kathy Hochul and the NYS Legislature. Foundation support is from Con Edison: The Power of Giving, The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, The Lincoln Fund, and private donors.

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