Press Releases

Friday, April 22, 2005
No. 35

Exhibition on view from April 23 though September 23

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce the installation of Well Lit Chess Pieces, an art installation in two parts by Marjorie Kouns, on view in Washington Square Park from April 23 through September 23, 2005.

The project includes 11 oversized chess pieces of welded steel and plastic-chip mesh placed near the park’s chess tables, and 26 multicolored vinyl lampshade covers that will sit atop the park lampposts along the square’s four corner entrances. Luminescent by day and glowing like stained glass at night, the Empire-style shades resemble those of household reading lamps.

"I’m testing the attraction people have with public spaces and how they instinctively desire to make them part of their own property," said Kouns. "In this case I’m producing lamp covers in a reading lamp style that you would use in your living room, making the park part of your very own outdoor living area."

Ms. Kouns has maintained a studio in Greenwich Village, near Washington Square Park, for over 20 years. Her artistic practice focuses on public art, including mural painting and projects in collaboration with children.

Well Lit Chess Pieces is sponsored in part by Starbucks Neighborhood Park Grants Program, Knickerbocker Village NY, Inc., Signature Properties NY, Inc., and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The artist also wishes to thank Materials for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, U.S. Chess Federation, and Community Board 2.

Parks & Recreation’s temporary public art 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 City parks. Committed to the exhibition of art by emerging and established artists, Parks & Recreation has supported projects ranging from international exhibitions in flagship parks to local, community works in neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and traffic islands.


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