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Seaport Exhibit Asks Visitors to Say 'Thanks' as Sandy Recovery Continues

By Irene Plagianos | January 11, 2014 12:53pm
 The Catch & Release Exhibition, dedicated to healing after Hurricane Sandy, will stand at John St., under the FDR, through February 2014.
Catch & Relase Exhibition
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LOWER MANHATTAN — A new project will give residents and visitors a chance to celebrate the South Seaport Seaport's resiliency after Hurricane Sandy — by saying thank you. 

The New York chapter of AIGA, a nonprofit organization of graphic designers, has created “Catch & Release,” a temporary installation under the FDR Drive at John Street, to serve as a space to "catch" messages of gratitude about the neighborhood's recovery.

Visitors to the small pop-up space, which opened Jan. 11, are invited to write their thoughts about the devastating storm and its aftermath on small note cards that will hang from a system of maritime-inspired white ropes and pulleys.

The project's goal is to encourage a community-driven, positive vision of the Seaport’s future, as it continues to rebuild, said Laetitia Wolff, an AIGA program director.

“The community was brought together in a time of crisis,” Wolff said. “And we want to help encourage a continued sense of unity, especially as so many changes are underway in the area.”

The designers will use the messages gathered in the Catch & Release space to build a larger, more complex installation that will open in the Seaport later in the spring.

AIGA's Design/Relief program is also doing a similar project in Red Hook and the Rockaways. The organization has not yet started gathering messages in those neighborhoods.

"We're engaging with these communities, hoping to shape a longer-term dialogue and helping to imagine the Seaport, as well as Red Hook and the Rockaways, as places with a vibrant future," Wolff said.

The design teams hope to "catch" the communities' messages of hope and "release" their thoughts through their second phase with an exhibit, they said.

The Catch & Release project will run at John Street and the FDR Drive from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, starting Jan. 11.