The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation’s Art in the Parks program announced that Katherine Daniels is the 2012 recipient of the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Ornamental Paths, a site-specific weaving installation inspired by the signature Art Deco residential buildings that line the Grand Concourse, will border the central and northern pathways in Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx. This vibrant take on the Bronx’s historical architecture will be on view through June 2013. The $7,000 award is granted annually in memory of Clare Weiss, Parks’ Curator of Public Art from 2005 to 2009.
“Clare Weiss will long be remembered for her dedication to bringing beautiful works of art to New York City’s public parks,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “We are thrilled to bring Katherine Daniels’ vibrant weavings to Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx as a Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award’s exhibition. The display will act as a fitting tribute to Clare, who left an unparalleled creative legacy within the City’s green spaces.”
Joyce Kilmer Park will be the site of twelve large-scale weavings called Ornamental Paths, created by artist Katherine Daniels. Installed on the Grand Concourse between 161st and 164th Streets in the Bronx, the pieces, while constructed from everyday objects and materials, take on elaborately woven ornamental forms. Says Daniels, "The placement of the weavings defines the inner triangular shapes at the heart of Joyce Kilmer Park and creates a place where people can enter a spatial drawing. It celebrates the grand architectural details of the historic Concourse neighborhood and enhances the path through the park."
Ornamental Paths interprets the brick and mosaic Art Deco patterns along the century-old Grand Concourse through interlaced geometric forms, horizontal stripes and vertical bands. Made from plastic ribbons woven into wire fencing attached to the park's permanent 3-foot high railings, Daniels’ installation reflects the designs seen on 1150 Grand Concourse, known as the Fish building, the Park Plaza at 1005 Jerome Avenue, and 3173 Grand Concourse, among others. Last October, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission officially designated the Grand Concourse Historic District, comprising 78 buildings along and off the Concourse, with landmark status, noting the historical and architectural importance of these buildings built in the 1930s and 40s.
Ornamental Paths was created by Daniels in Chashama, Inc. studio in Harlem. Chashama, Inc. is a non-profit organization that supports communities by transforming temporarily vacant properties into spaces where artists can flourish. She has also been awarded Artists in the Market
Place participation at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Community Grants; a PS.122 Project Studio; an Artist-in-Residency at the Henry Street Settlement; a Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation ‘The Space Program’ grant; and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting. She holds a B.F.A. in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design and a M.F.A. in Painting from Johnson State College. Born in 1969 in Germany and raised in Huntington, West Virginia she now lives and works in New York City.
Clare Weiss (1966-2010) was the former Public Art Curator for Parks. During her tenure she curated more than 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city and organized complex, thought-provoking, and visually compelling thematic exhibitions for the Arsenal Gallery. Clare’s passion, humanity, energy, courage, and collaborative zeal were valued by all who knew her. The Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award will be granted annually to one emerging artist. The location will change annually, and will be determined based on the site’s visibility and location within a neighborhood historically underserved by public art.
This year’s exhibition was made possible through generous support by the friends of Clare Weiss. Additional organizational support was provided by the 161st Street BID and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Daniel’s work was selected from 39 entries by a jury comprised of curator and art critic Karen Wilkin, sculptor Willard Boepple, and Parks’ Public Art Coordinator Jennifer Lantzas. To help sustain the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Fund, please contact the Office of Public Art at (212) 360-8163 for information on contributing.
Katherine Daniels’ installation is the latest in a growing list of temporary public art exhibitions in Joyce Kilmer Park including George Sanchez-Calderon’s Plinth, Monument, Stoop (2007), Katie Holten’s Tree Museum (2009/2010), and Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos (2010 and 2011). Parks’ Art in the Parks program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks.