by Ariston Anderson
Figurative sculptor Joan Benefiel decided to further beautify one of Hudson River's scenic piers with a new installation of sculptures to be mounted atop abandoned pilings. The Hudson River Park, stretching five miles up Manhattanâs Westside from Battery Place to 59th Street, is a classic New York park, combining both the old (ancient piers from a maritime past) and the new (a renovated bikeway/walkway and marine sanctuary). It's the perfect place in New York to get away from it all, surrounded by green, water, recreation and, now, art.
"I have long been enamored of the pilings; the submerged logs that once supported the Hudson's busy piers," Benefield says. "Along the recreation path on the west side of Manhattan, many of the piers have long since vanished, leaving the old, time and weather-worn logs jutting up out of the water." After passing the pilings one day, the artist realized they would make the perfect pedestals for her sculptures.
She designed and created a series of 10-foot tall figures to be cast in translucent orange resin, which will draw attention to the pier but also fit in with the landscape, mirroring the scattered height of the New Jersey skyline in the background. Engineered to catch the light, each sculpture will reflect their orange glow across the water.
This Thursday, Benefield's inviting guests to preview the sculptures against the sunset on the waterfront at Pier 42, at Hudson River Park, where they will be installed later this year. It's the perfect excuse to check out the latest public arts collaboration from the Hudson River Park Trust.
Hudson River Piling Project Preview
Hudson River Park's Pier 40 Picnic House
11 June 2009, 6:30â9pm
RSVP required: info [at] hudsonriverpilingsproject [dot] com
353 West Street
New York, NY 10014 map
The venue is located on the water at the end of the finger pier behind the Pier 40 building (where West Houston Street ends at the Hudson River Park, west side of Manhattan).
See another image after the jump.