Set for 6:00 a.m. in Good Shepherd Plaza

Plinth Unveiling Tomorrow Has Greater Meaning

Updated 32 weeks ago
Plinth Awaits Unveiling Tomorrow
Plinth Awaits Unveiling Tomorrow
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

In its past, Roosevelt Island, once the location for New York City's insane asylum, a prison, a smallpox hospital and alms houses, was known as the place for the unfortunate, impaired and discarded. But soon, an association of culture activists in partnership with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation intends to evolve the place into an "Island of Art." A big step takes place tomorrow, June 6th, at 11:00. You're invited.

Plinth Unveils RI’s Commitment to Becoming an Island of Art

With RIOC’s financial and logistical assistance, RIVAA, FDR Four Freedoms Park and others are creating a two-mile-long art trail along the spine of Roosevelt Island.

The Island organizations are pitching in to curate, market and publicize existing mixed-media art, music and poetry programs, public paintings and sculptures.

"The newest stop along that trail, RIOC promises, "the Good Shepherd Plaza Sculpture Plinth, will be unveiled Wednesday, June 6th at 11:30 a.m..

"Based on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, the Island Plinth is part of Streetscape Project that began in 2010 to renovate the plaza and its surrounding areas. Several community engagement sessions were led by RIOC to gather input from active community stakeholders. Those discussions help refine the project’s vision and included plans for a steel pedestal, or plinth, that would showcase sculptures from local artists on a revolving biennial schedule."

The plinth is a six-foot-tall carbon-steel column that can secure large sculptures up to one ton, built by Sultz Fabrication, a New York City boutique fabrication firm and foundry, at a cost of $24,700. The first contributing artist  is Long Island City's Michael Poast. His latest welded steel sculpture “The First Plinth” will be on display atop the column.

“We want to bring many outdoor sculptures to Roosevelt Island,” says RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal.

There are now six outdoor public art sculptures, three art galleries, a major Fall for Arts Festival and a permanent exhibition of WPA art murals at Cornell Tech, the Island’s new graduate technology school campus.

“With these art locations added to our existing restored historical landmarks, which include Blackwell House, the Smallpox Hospital, the Octagon dome, Good Shepherd Chapel, the Lighthouse and the Strecker Laboratory, we are livening the community, attracting visitors and possibly catching the attention of the larger arts community,” she adds.


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