10-Foot-Tall Pod Sculpture Could Be Installed in Inwood

By Nigel Chiwaya on March 5, 2014 9:49am 

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 The Department of Transportation is looking to bring the seed-shaped sculpture to Inwood this spring.
Pod Sculpture Is Inwood-Bound
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INWOOD — "Pod" will be planting itself in Inwood this spring if the Washington Heights Business Improvement District gets its wish.

The BID and the city Department of Transportation are seeking approval from Manhattan Community Board 12 to install a 10-foot-tall, seed-shaped sculpture on the Dyckman Street, Broadway and Riverside Drive triangle for a yearlong stay.

The sculpture, by Harlem artists Pedro Villalta and Montserrat Daubón, is a 3-foot-wide, 1,900-pound steel and bronze creation that attracted attention when it was installed at Lenox Avenue and West 124th Street in June 2012. While some residents likened it to a spaceship, Villalta said at the time that it was inspired by nature.

"It's a pod, a seed that symbolizes growth," he said.

Villalta told DNAinfo that he was driven to create the piece by the lack of public art in Harlem. He and Daubón raised more than $8,500 on Kickstarter to finance the project. The piece is part of the DOT's rotating art collection, and the BID was told that it was available when they inquired about adding art uptown.

DOT officials and BID director Angelia Ramirez made proposals to Community Board 12's transportation and parks committees in an effort to get the board's blessing to place the art near the Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden.

The BID is willing to pay for maintenance and insurance of the installation during its stay in the neighborhood, Ramirez said.

Both committees appeared to be in favor of the installation and are preparing to write a resolution in support.

If approved by the community board, the sculpture would be in Inwood for 12 months, beginning in April or May.

“I support beautifying our open spaces with art in order to enhance and activate an area that is otherwise not utilized and thank DOT and the Washington Heights BID for their work in moving this project along,” CB12 transportation committee chairman Yosef Kalinsky said.

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