Fort Greene

Iconic public artworks planned at BAM through $3.5M gift

June 17, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The BAM Robert W. Wilson Public Art initiative will utilize four outdoor locations, including the arched façade windows of the Peter Jay Sharp Building (shown above). Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

Robert W. Wilson Public Art Initiative to Define and Unify Four BAM Locations

The Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust has made a generous $3.5 million gift to BAM to implement the BAM Robert W. Wilson Public Art Initiative. The art will serve to define and connect four separate sites on the BAM campus. An advisory committee comprising cultural partners and respected curators will nominate artists for the commission of three long-term, site-specific works.

One existing work of art, Leo Villareal’s LED installation, “Stars” — currently in the arched windows of the Peter Jay Sharp Building — will be included in the initiative. Plans call for three new large-scale public artworks to be commissioned this fall.

“By 2018, BAM will offer programs and services to the public from four separate locations in the Brooklyn Cultural District,” BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins said. “We have been looking for a powerful concept to ‘connect’ this growing campus and through this initiative that connection will be made brilliantly and with creativity. We will unite our buildings through art — large, impressive public art pieces that will support BAM’s mission, enhance the audience experience, and bring new works of art to our neighborhood.”

Richard G. Schneidman, head of the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, said, “We are proud to continue the legacy of philanthropist Robert W. Wilson, a supporter of BAM’s adventurous programming for more than 35 years. This gift, which reflects Robert W. Wilson’s deep love of art, provides BAM with a unique opportunity to galvanize the energy of the Brooklyn cultural district through resonant public artworks. We are thrilled to make this possible.”

The BAM Robert W. Wilson Public Art initiative will utilize the following four outdoor locations: the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Lafayette Avenue, beneath the vertical BAM sign; the BAM Harvey Theater site on Fulton St; the rear wall of the Howard Gilman Opera House facing the BAM Fisher building on Ashland Place; and the arched façade windows of the Peter Jay Sharp Building.