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Neighborhood Walking Tour Delves into LES Mural Project

By Lisha Arino | August 13, 2015 4:40pm

LOWER EAST SIDE — A new walking tour is set to delve into a public project that transforms metal rolling gates into works of art that appear after businesses have closed for the day.

The Municipal Art Society of New York — which gives dozens of tours that explore the history and built environment of neighborhoods across the city — has partnered with the Lower East Side Business Improvement District for its newest offering, “Art After Dark: 100 Gates Project on the Lower East Side.”

The new tour will discuss the project, which launched last year with the goal of turning the Lower East Side into an “open-air gallery” by commissioning artists to paint murals on metal gates. To date, dozens of artists have collaborated with small businesses and completed more than 30 pieces, according to the BID.

Alana Farkas, the director of the Municipal Art Society’s tours program and a Lower East Side resident, came up with the tour after noticing the works pop up throughout the neighborhood.

“Gates aren’t always the most beautiful part of the streetscape so I couldn’t help but notice,” she said.

“Art After Dark” will focus on a selection of completed murals, sharing their backstories as well as contextual information about art in the neighborhood. The 90-minute tour is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m., rain or shine, Farkas said.

Tickets are $30, with a $10 discount for society members, and are available online or by phone.