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Public Art Comes to Riverside Park South

By Leslie Albrecht

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — Some art students dream of showing their work at museums and galleries, but in June, seven student sculptors will get a chance to unveil their art in front of the entire city.

Students from the Art Students League of New York are now putting the finishing touches on sculptures that will be displayed as public art in Riverside Park South for a year. The park runs south along the Hudson River starting at West 72nd Street.

"This is a golden opportunity to enhance our education program for our students and to do good works for the city," said Art Students League executive director Ira Goldberg.

Seven students were selected to participate in a nine-month program called Model To Monument. It was led by sculptor Greg Wyatt, the sculptor-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John The Divine who created the cathedral's peace fountain.

Students learned how to create a piece of public art from start to finish. First they visited the park to get a sense of the surroundings where their work would be displayed, then they created smaller-scale models of the sculptures they planned to create.

Works include "abstractions conjuring New York City's past and future" and a life-size bronze of a girl and her dog looking out on the Hudson River, according to a statement from the Art Students League.

Goldberg said the works were designed to complement their riverfront surroundings and enhance the park-going experience for the public.

"Rich, poor, young, old everyone is there to have equal opportunity to enjoy every aspect of it," Goldberg said. "Public art really speaks to a community aesthetic...and makes people feel good about their environment."