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Public Art Will Spruce Up 2-Year-Long Meatpacking Construction Project

By Danielle Tcholakian | November 10, 2015 3:37pm
 A public art installation in the Meatpacking District is being used to cover up a construction site.
A public art installation in the Meatpacking District is being used to cover up a construction site.
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Meatpacking Improvement Association

MEATPACKING DISTRICT — A shipping container at a 13th Street and Ninth Avenue construction site is getting a makeover with a public art installation.

The container is expected to be at the corner, holding equipment and supplies, for the entire two-year duration of a city-mandated construction project on the street and underground infrastructure along Ninth Avenue and Gansevoort Plaza.

The display is set up to interact with the lens of the human eye in such a way that different pieces of it seem magnified or transformed from different angles.

“With this project, we are transforming what is otherwise an eyesore into part of the striking, yet also complimentary, landscape of contrasts that define the Meatpacking District,” said Lauren Danziger, executive director of the local business improvement district, the Meatpacking Improvement Association, or MPIA.

The association is coordinating the installation, which will feature a new artist every two or three months, MPIA said.

The first artist is Mr. Kiji, whose real name is Kiji McCafferty.

Raised in New York and educated at the Rhode Island School of Design, McCafferty is an "industrial designer" formally trained in the Tibetan Buddhist Thangka painting style, MPIA said.

Future installations will be curated by Ivy Brown, a longtime Meatpacking District resident and gallery owner. Brown plans to work with the High Line and the Whitney Museum to solicit interested artists throughout the duration of the two-year project with an ongoing "open call."

MPIA wants the installation to be a "community project," they said, and are hoping to get input from the businesses and residents in the neighborhood.

They see the installation as part of the Meatpacking District's transformation from a nightlife haven to a more diverse neighborhood, home to arts and cultural organizations, fashion designers, technology companies and startups, and restaurants.

“Throughout its long history, this neighborhood has reinvented itself many times over," Danziger said. "We are proud to use the construction on Ninth Avenue as opportunity to bring more art to the area for New Yorkers to enjoy.”