Times Square Art Square 2012: Reclaiming Times Square w/ Art
We're working to transform the world's largest advertising space into the world's largest exhibition space.
UPDATE: We have decided to suspend our Kickstarter campaign in order to turn our full attention to helping our local New York arts community recover from Hurricane Sandy. We are so grateful to those who pledged their generous support and remain committed to fulfilling the rewards many of you were excited to receive. To continue your support of Art Square and receive your reward as planned, please visit our donation page. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter in order to keep current with TSAS progress. And don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, ideas or offers to help volunteer with Sandy relief and upcoming Art Square events. We thank you for your interest in our project, as well as your understanding during this difficult time for New York.
Simply put, Times Square Art Square (TSAS) is looking to stage the world's largest public art exhibition inside the world's most popular tourist destination. Our ultimate goal is to establish a sustainable event in which billboard advertising throughout Times Square is replaced with dedicated art installations for one whole month each year. Ambitious? Sure. Possible? Absolutely.
"But why art?" Well, art has the power to inspire. It gets people to think, fosters creation and development, and makes for happier and more peaceful communities. It makes the world around us a more beautiful and interesting place.
"So why art in Times Square?" Art remains intimidating and inaccessible for a great many people. We mean for Art Square to be open to everyone, a high art event devoid of pretension, one in which people can feel free to question, interact with, interpret and criticize art inside a welcoming, public space. There is an incredible legacy of public art in Times Square on which we intend to build.
"But Times Square is so..." We get it, but we're not accepting it. Consider New Yorkers and our will and ability to shape a better city. It was the sustained effort of local residents that transformed a decaying, elevated railway into the urban oasis that is The Highline. Meanwhile, the visionaries behind The Lowline are working to convert an abandoned, underground trolley station into a subterranean, sunlit park. And those totally awesome guys at +Pool are about to reclaim a river for New Yorkers and create a community pool full of clean, filtered water. They're going to reclaim a river!
In much the same spirit from which these projects were born (and successfully backed here on Kickstarter!), we view Times Square Art Square as an incredible opportunity to restore a little bit of New York to our city's most iconic landmark. Imagine actually wanting to go to Times Square instead of going out of your way to avoid it. It could happen. In fact, it WILL happen.
Confirming that our concept is both viable and appealing, initial supporters stand aligned with TSAS to help us succeed.
The Brooklyn Brothers responded to our humble request for advice this summer on how to make a solid Kickstarter video by creating the amazing little piece of cinema you see above. Yes, that's right. One of the most highly sought after advertising agencies in all the world sees so much potential in our little project, they decided to make us a video to promote it as a most generous gift.
The extremely high level of artistic integrity we are committed to at TSAS is ensured with our first curatorial appointment. Renowned critic and writer, Hrag Vartanian, will serve as Chief Curator for our debut exhibition. He has selected Dutch-Brazilian artist Rafaël Rozendaal as the first to display his work on billboards during Art Square 2013.
At this stage, we turn to Kickstarter to raise money and awareness for our project. Our Dutch sister organization got the ball rolling with $10K in early 2011. Any/all money raised through this current campaign will go directly towards commissioned art, city permits, infrastructure, insurance, administration and security for the multi-day, proof of concept event we wish to stage in early 2013. This debut event will introduce Art Square to the public, confirming our intentions and artistic priorities for the New Yorkers and visitors we hope to benefit, as well as the commercial and political interests in Times Square whose eventual support we intend to gain in writing the next chapter in the colorful story of "The Crossroads of the World." And if you're worried we're going to blow a ton of cash on billboards, don't. We have conceived a legitimate program through which advertisers and billboard owners will realize improved ROI in donating portions of their ad schedules to our program. Truly, it's a win/win.
In addition to the money we are looking to raise here on Kickstarter, we need like-minded individuals to join our cause and help us in creating a strong and unified movement.
For more information on TSAS, please visit our website FAQ.
ART REWARDS (note: images shown are merely examples of the artists' work and NOT those created/donated in limited edition for TSAS backers)
- Acknowledged by Al Hirschfeld as "one of the most talented young artists I've ever met," Michael Arthur's uncanny ability to capture singular moments in time with his pen as though using a camera results in deeply intricate drawings layered with nuance and lyricism.
- An award-winning and internationally exhibited photographer, Bernie DeChant's work captures both the beauty of complex urban landscapes and the quiet cinematic moments of everyday life.
- Ward Roberts is an Australian photographer who has exhibited internationally and received numerous awards. Repetition of color and lines lend an ethereal quality to the architectural themes celebrated in his photographs.
- Montreal based artist Emmanuel Laflamme began posting art online in 2007 under the nickname Quartertofour. Since then, his work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States and Europe. Laflamme's work juxtaposes irreverent criticism with sincere adoration around pop-culture, religious and historical themes.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE REWARDS
HOLSTEE HOUSE DINNER by STERLING AFFAIR
- When Fabian Pfortmüller and brothers Mike & Dave Radparvar founded Holstee in 2009, they didn't just create a company with a conscience. They established a live/work manifesto which has inspired millions to do what they love and affect positive change in the world around them. Their dinner parties are legendary for playing host to fascinating guests and giving birth to great new ideas over laughter and great conversation. And since any great dinner party requires delicious eats, we've turned to a company that exhibits consistent commitment to exquisite food, impeccable service and community support. Led by Executive Chef Sebastian Gumowski, Sterling Affair will prepare and serve a 5-course dinner with wine pairings.
COWORKING at ALLEY NYC
- It takes a village to raise a successful Kickstarter campaign. Alley NYC is the coworking space near Times Square that we've called home for the last two months. With startups ranging from security software developers to theater troupes, everyday in the Alley is a good one.
STARTUP BOOTCAMP w/ ANDY ELLWOOD
- In-demand speaker and consultant, Chief Strategy Officer at goodpenny and former Director of Business Development at Gowalla, Andy Ellwood has counseled numerous start-ups from development through funding all the way to acquisition.
- One of the very boards that TSAS has secured for Art Square 2013 has been generously DONATED for our use on Thanksgiving Day 2012 in order to pass our extreme gratitude on to you and keep the good karma flowing! For those who back us at $25 and higher, this spectacular, digital display will simply say "Thank You [your name or business name here]!" We'll even be able to tell you when your name will appear and provide you an image of the occasion.
- Written and Produced by The Brooklyn Brothers
- Directed by Noah David Smith of humble
- Edited by Rhys Stover
- All backers giving $10 or more will receive gift letters so that their donations may be fully tax deductible.
Risks and challenges
Times Square is one of the most politically charged spaces in all of New York with a multitude of stakeholders. Developing a sustainable model that considers a variety of interests and values is key to our success. We intend to work with city agencies and art organizations in order to fully reveal the untapped potential of Times Square. The more our community (that's you) stands behind us, the greater our chances of achieving operational sustainability and changing the future of Times Square. Consider your Kickstarter pledge to us a vote in support of a new New York. Let's transform Times Square into Art Square together.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)