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Artist to Plant Fake Botanical Signs in Village Park

 An art installation by Kenneth Pietrobono will place more than 30 mock-botanical signs in the pocket park at Eighth Avenue and West 13th Street.
Jackson Square Public Art Installation
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WEST VILLAGE — Signs of change are coming to Eighth Avenue.

In a public art exhibition that will be on display all summer, city artist Kenneth Pietrobono will install more than 30 small, mock botanical signs in front of plants in Jackson Square, the triangular park at Eighth Avenue and West 13th Street.

With words and phrases including "re-development," "displacement," "class barrier," "pleasure" and "joy" printed in English and Latin, the signs are intended "to rename the existing landscape" and point out cultural dynamics of the West Village, Meatpacking District and Chelsea, the artist explained.

"The attempt is really to try to give an accurate representation of the environment," Pietrobono said.

The installation, called "Selections From the Modern Landscape (Jackson Square)," is the first public art project supported by the Jackson Square Alliance, a neighborhood group that beautifies the green space, which the JSA touts is one of the oldest parks in the city, founded in 1811.

Pietrobono's installation is also one of 17 public art projects in Manhattan that are currently backed by the Parks Department's Art in the Parks program.

The artist, who is currently a fellow at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, said pairing the signs with plant life encouraged calm contemplation of difficult topics.

“Aligning 'market growth' and 'comfort' with a tree or flower helps to present abstract notions in a neutral way," he said, "as a fact of our current surroundings."

"Selections From the Modern Landscape (Jackson Square)" will be display in the park June 4 through September 2.