Panel Discussion/Talk

2023 Annual Symposium: Transforming Public Art

Friday, June 2, 2023
9 – 12PM

Join Madison Square Conservancy on Friday, June 2 for their annual symposium Transforming Public Art.

Inspired by Shahzia Sikander’s Havah … to breathe, air, life and Sheila Pepe’s My Neighbor’s Garden, this year’s symposium considers the ways contemporary artists and art world leaders are challenging conventions in public art practice by utilizing unexpected materials, vital conceptual constructs, and historic sites hitherto untouched. What are the implications of work that broadens the reach of art–physically and symbolically–in public space? The program will examine vital questions that upend the sanctity of permanent materials in public art and confront the dearth of inclusive representation in civic space.


Shahzia Sikander, whose exhibition Havah…to breathe, air, life is on view through June 4, in conversation with
Tom Finkelpearl, Social Practice Teaching Scholar-in-Residence at The City University of New York and former Commissioner, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs

Sheila Pepe, whose My Neighbor’s Garden opens on June 26 in Madison Square Park, in conversation with Jennie Goldstein, Jennifer Rubio Associate Curator of the Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art

Panel discussion with artists Xenobia Bailey, Zoë Buckman, Ana María Hernando, and Gilbert Vicario, Chief Curator, Pérez Art Museum Miami; moderated by Legacy Russell, Executive Director & Chief Curator, The Kitchen

Presentation by Dr. Karen Lemmey, The Lucy S. Rhame Curator of Sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Performance by singer-songwriter and accordionist
Gregorio Uribe

The program is free and open to all, and will be held at the SVA Theatre (333 West 23rd Street).

Transforming Public Art is made possible by generous support from The Henry Luce Foundation.