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Bronx Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, June 4, 2002

PARKS A WINNER AT THE 20th ANNUAL ART COMMISSION DESIGN AWARDS


On May 30, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg presented a Special Recognition Award to the City Parks Foundation (CPF) Monuments Conservation Program at the 20th Annual Art Commission Awards for Excellence in Design. The Design Awards recognize outstanding work and encourage city agencies, designers, artists and architects to strive for artistic excellence. Deputy Mayor for Administration Patricia E. Harris, Metropolitan Museum of Art President David McKinney, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Art Commission President Jean Parker Phifer and Art Commission Executive Director Deborah Bershad were all on hand at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the ceremony. Director of Art & Antiquities Jonathan Kuhn and the Chief Conservator Mark Rabinowitz, the architects of the program, accepted the award on behalf of the Monuments Conservation Program. The project team for the Special Recognition Award included Ellen Sayers, Elizabeth Short, Karen Lemmey, Martha Seelenberger, John Cole, and Robin Gerstad.

With the most extensive municipal collection of public art and monuments in the nation in its custody, Parks maintains more than 300 items of sculptural significance. Many are works of the premier American masters of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1997, the CPF Monuments Conservation Program was launched with two initial goals: to augment through private investment the City’s care of its public art collection and to train the next generation of conservators. In its first five years, the program has conserved 39 sculptural pieces, and maintained (often on an annual basis) 66 additional sculptures. Thirty-four graduate-level interns from the United States and abroad have received training in the methods and precepts of outdoor sculpture conservation. Major funders have included the Florence Gould Foundation, the Laurence Rockefeller Foundation, the David Schwartz Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the American Express Company, and the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Jonathan Kuhn commented on his vision for the future saying, "We seek to treat the collection as an outdoor museum. Many of the artworks are by the premier American masters of the 19th and 20th centuries. The commemorative monuments honor the heights of human achievement and depths of human sacrifice; they are permanent reminders of the people and events that shaped our city, the nation and the world. We now wish, with additional private investment, to broaden the Program’s mission to include education and public programming."

Commissioner Benepe expressed his appreciation to the staff of the Monuments Conservation Program, and he hoped that more Parkies might claim Design Awards next year. Deputy Commissioner for Capital Projects Amy Freitag commented, "The Art Commission Awards provide incentive for our designers to produce high quality and innovative designs. In the next year, we hope that our creative innovators will prove to be among the best of their peers in other city agencies and in the private sector."

Written by Jennifer Keeney

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT

(Tuesday, June 13, 1989)

OWL RESCUE IN THE BRONX

Bronx Seasonal Park Supervisor Robert Stokes staged a daring rescue when he saved an innocent victim from being pecked to death. Stokes was supervising a Whitestone Bridge construction crew in Ferry Point on May 24 when he noticed a group of crows swooping down on a young owl.

Stokes routed the attackers by scaring off the mischievous crows and then whisked the injured bird to the office of Bronx Parks Commissioner James Ryan, who immediately phoned Tony Emerrich, Natural Resources Management Advisor for Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Parks. Emmerich identified the bird as a common barn owl, a variety named on the New York State list of Species of Special Concern.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"Patience, persistence and perspiration
make an unbeatable combination for success."

Napolean Hill

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