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Artists Compete to Make Downtown Brooklyn their Canvas

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Right now in Brooklyn, 100 artists are vying for the chance to use the streets as a blank canvas. It's all part of a public art project that would beautify the district by covering the walls, sidewalks, subway entrances, and just about every flat surface of a 20-block area of downtown Brooklyn. The area marked for attention comprises Schermerhorn and Livingston Streets from Flatbush Avenue down to, and including, Columbus Park.

Abby Hamlin, the chairperson of the committee in charge of the project, says the area will be transformed. "These flat surfaces will draw your attention and make you want to take a walk through this neighborhood to see what you'll discover next," Hamlin says.

The project, "Re-Imagining the Wall," is sponsored by the Court Livingston Schermerhorn Business Improvement District and comes on the heels of another recent initiative that transformed empty Brooklyn storefronts into temporary art galleries. Artists wishing to apply must take into account two locations in every proposal--the facade above the entrance to the Hoyt Schermerhorn subway station, and the facade at the Bond Street parking garage on Livingston Street.

Hamlin says that in order to submit an idea the artist have a special relationship with the borough of Brooklyn which might be personal or professional. “We are creating an asset that exemplifies Brooklyn’s ingenuity and provides greater public access to contemporary art,” says Hamlin.  The art will be installed by next summer and will remain for five years.