Welcome to the New York Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city.

Art for New York: The Making of a Public Art Collection

20 November 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Organized by: The Fine Arts Federation of New York
Venue: Smack Mellon
92 Plymouth Street

New York City’s vast collection of public art dates to the dawn of the 1800s, and spans a remarkable array of works installed in and among parks, plazas, libraries, court buildings, fire stations, and other civic sites. Encompassing sculpture, painting, lighting, mosaic, glass, textiles, and more, the collection amounts to a five-borough museum with dazzling reach and impact.


Rarely considered as a whole, this body of work gives rise to questions about the value of public art, its evolution over time, and its relevance to an ever-evolving city. How can an urban art collection grow and change? Should we expect public artworks to endure forever? What special considerations are needed for art that’s integrated into infrastructure and architecture? How do we maintain works of wide-ranging materials and methods? And how can we ensure an equitable public art process that reflects a diverse city?



Please join us for this insightful conversation on the role of art in the public realm.



Keri Butler, Deputy Executive Director, NYC Public Design Commission

Melissa Calderón, Artist

Kendal Henry, Director, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program

Jonathan Kuhn, Director, Art & Antiquities, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation



Philip E. Aarons, Lay Member, NYC Public Design Commission, and Partner, Millennium Partners 

Mary A. Valverde, Sculptor Member, NYC Public Design Commission, and Interdisciplinary Artist


A reception with wine and light fare will precede the program.