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Lower East Side Residents Urged to 'Like' 200-Foot Art Submissions

By Serena Solomon | May 1, 2013 1:44pm | Updated on May 1, 2013 3:33pm

LOWER EAST SIDE — With the deadline closing Wednesday for artists to present their proposal for a public 200-foot canvas, the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LES BID) is seeking the community's feedback on works already submitted.

The winning piece of art will cover a chain-link fence on the south end of Delancey Street at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge and could be viewed by an estimated 200,000 eyes each day. So far, the BID has received 14 submissions. A board of judges is likely to choose a winner by mid-May with artwork completed over the summer.

"I want people to stop in their daily routines and almost experience wonderment — 'Wow. That is a painting on a huge scale,'" said artist Joseph Meloy, a fourth-generation Lower East Sider who has submitted artwork for the fence covering.

He described his style as "abstract expression through a filter of post-graffiti" and recently completed commissions for the inside walls of Stanton Street bar Arlene’s Grocery and on the roller doors of the Classic Coffee shop on Hester Street.

"It is pretty much going to be free-form lines and chopped up lines of the city," said Meloy, of his proposed art piece for the fence. "It is a reflection of the energy of the city."

Meloy's concept is one of the submissions that can be voted for by clicking "like" on the projects page on Art There, according to Natalie Raben, the marketing and communications manager for the BID.

"We're delighted by the enthusiasm this opportunity has already received by the current selection of applicants and cannot wait to see the actual project come to life this summer," wrote Raben in an email to DNAinfo New York.

The LES BID selected community leaders and artists such as Dan Barasch, a co-founder of The LowLine, and Lesley Heller from Lesley Heller Workspace, to judge the submissions in May.

The 8-foot-high fence surrounds two parking lots that are overseen by the BID and will eventually be developed as part of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. The winning artwork will also provide the backdrop for the newly created pedestrian plazas on the strip, created after the death of 12-year-old Dashane Santana, who was killed by a car there in January 2012.

Each day, 140,000 motorists, 92,000 transit riders, 600 bikers and 500 pedestrians use the bridge, according the city's Department of Transportation.

To vote on a submission go to the project's webpage on Art There.