Centre-fuge Public Art Project
Cycle 6 Installation w/ Cre8tive YouTH*ink
What Is Centre-fuge? What do we do?
Centre-fuge Public Art Project explores the re-purposing of transitional space in New York City, facilitating public artwork with local communities and artists. Centre-fuge's goal is to open eyes and minds around the five boroughs while beautifying and empowering.
Centre-fuge Public Art Project started as a rotating outdoor gallery at First Street and First Avenue in downtown Manhattan, turning the exterior of a Houston Street Restoration office trailer into a show place for murals and wheatpastes. With ever-present construction cluttering neighborhood streets with garbage containers, pop-up offices, and scaffolding, Centre-fuge takes otherwise drab structures and brings artists together to transform an imposition and eyesore into a community focal point.
Centre-fuge has worked with myriad, amazing artists from the local area to transplants from far across the sea. These artists have ranged from at home doodlers and art school students to widely recognized graffiti and street artists all of whom display incredible skill, talent and individual point of view. Anyone can propose an idea for work on the trailer by submitting a sketch and proposal.
The varied styles of work and walks of life of past artists are a testament to the man Centre-fuge is dedicated to, our friend, neighbor and partner in art making, Mike Hamm. Mike was a charming, smart, talented and vibrant person who transmitted all of those qualities to his art and to anyone who saw his work. Mike loved New York and his dedication to life, love, laughter and art was infectious. When Mike passed away in January of 2012, he saved the lives of 6 people through organ donation and his memory now keeps art alive on the streets of a city he loved so much. Anyone who has the itch to can make art, should be able to share it and enrich the lives of others while doing it.
E1st St. Trailer before Centre-fuge
E1st St. Trailer, Cycle 2: Claw Money, Kenny Rodriguez and Yuri Velez, March 2012
Why Now? Why Transitional Spaces?
The art scene in New York is more competitive than ever and with rents sky rocketing across the city, the artists' climate here can seem daunting and frustrating. How to express and call out to the public when opportunities can seem harder and harder to come by? The only abundant space that exists across all five boroughs is construction related or in some state of transition, in need of some TLC and calling out for a purpose. It is free and with permission granted, a legal canvas for all the expression and color one could hope for.
The added attention afforded to an otherwise innocuous structure has cleaned up a large section of 1st Street and will help to clean and brighten up the streets throughout all of New York City. Before the project on 1st Street began, the trailer was used to stash drug paraphernalia and weapons, and homeless men repeatedly slept and defecated on the trailer's steps. The poorly buffed out and then re-appearing tags, urine and excrement, all added to the feelings of imposition and anxiety the community experienced.
Now, the same homeless men walk by and share their thoughts on the new installments. Neighbors come together alongside and in front of the trailer to catch up or have a bite. Cleaning the structure every 8 weeks benefits the public morale but also sweeping away litter & leaves alleviates the imposed stress on the construction workers and allows them to focus on the job at hand rather than community affairs.
Centre-fuge has fostered strong relationships with neighbors who are now happier each day, to walk out of their buildings or look out their windows and see art instead of trash. Parents who take their children to the playground next to the trailer now talk to them about art and art making. One of the youngest residents on the block pointed at an artist detailing a small, low to the ground section and simply cried out "Art class!" To which her mother happily responded, "Yes, you do it too, in art class."
Why Do We Need Your Help?
2013 is the year of expansion. By the end of the year, Centre-fuge hopes to have at least 1 to 2 more rotating mural locations and as many permanent murals as possible. This means fundraising!
In the next year, Centre-fuge hopes to facilitate numerous murals in more locations, hire employees, supply artist stipends for materials, publish a photobook from the inaugural year, make t-shirts and other cool collectables and memorabilia and even open a pop-up store.
In May, Centre-fuge is participating in the New Museum's "Ideas City" festival, with a project in collaboration with Cre8tive YouTH*ink called "Influx In Flux," installing over 300+ feet of murals along 2 blocks of 1st Street. We would like to be able to continue participating in art fairs and festivals on a more consistent basis.
Art has the ability to create conversation where there isn't any, the ability to bring people from different walks of life together despite not sharing the same language or beliefs. Centre-fuge wants to spread this message and your donation will make our goals attainable.
The Impact Your Donation Makes
Funds raised from this campaign will go to furthering the Centre-fuge Public Art Project and solidifying it as a New York City street staple.
Your donation will be directly linked to the expansion of Centre-fuge beyond E. 1st Street. You will help us gather the proper team of people who are dedicated to the Centre-fuge ideals. You will make it possible for us to create merchandise and collectibles. Your donation will bring amazing artwork to a a child, a grown-up, a family, a block, a neighborhood, a city that is getting more expensive, more congested and has limited affordable access to the arts.
Cycle 6, December 2012 - February 2013, (top clockwise) Cram Concepts, Chris RWK, Mastro, Never, Samuel Jojo Ashford, Icy & Sot, BEAU, Adam Kidder, Noid One and Veng
Cycle 3, May-July 2012, Danielle Mastrion, Bishop 203 and Fumero
Cycle 4, July-September 2012, Sheryo & The Yok in action