Public Art Fund: Podcast



Public Art Works: Podcast

Season 1

In this six-part podcast series, artists and cultural leaders explore topical subjects like activism, representation, feminism, and even street food through the lens of public art in New York City.

Written and directed by SandenWolff Creative Director Rachel Wolff, the series was hosted and performed by actor Jeffrey Wright and featured conversations among diverse voices including artists Ai Weiwei, Sue de Beer, Kate Gilmore, Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, Lawrence Weiner, and Erwin Wurm; activists Paola Mendoza and Ariana Gil; chef & restauranteur Danny Meyer; Ford Foundation President Darren Walker; Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Bitta Mostafi; food writer Joe DiStefano; Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and former Director of Public Art Fund, Tom Eccles; former Project Specialist at Con Edison, Lisa Frigand; Public Art Fund’s own Nicholas Baume and Susan K. Freedman; and everyday New Yorkers!

Episodes are available to the right and on iTunesSpotifyGoogle and Alexa.


Public Art Works

Actor Jeffrey Wright performs the script for the inaugural season of the Public Art Fund podcast: Public Art Works

Public Art Works was written and directed by Rachel Wolff

Special Preview 1

Episode 1: Monumental

To kick off season one, we break down the past, present, and future of a very particular kind of public art: the permanent monument. At the core of this episode is a conversation between Public Art Fund artist and Board Member Hank Willis Thomas and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker.

Episode 2: Food for Thought—and Art

What do public art and street food have in common? More than you’d think… Join famed restaurateur Danny Meyer and Public Art Fund president Susan K. Freedman as they unpack the little-known, public-art-fueled story behind the global street food phenomenon: Shake Shack

Episode 3: Public Art/Public Action

Public art is not necessarily static, nor is it necessarily sculptural. Performance is a kind of public art, and one that brings with it a host of other concerns and associations regarding the body and the ways in which a public is engaged. For Public Art Fund artists Kate Gilmore and Xaviera Simmons, performance is inherent to much of the work they do.

Episode 4: In Direct Line

In the year 2000, Public Art Fund installed 19 functional manhole covers in Lower Manhattan, conceived and designed by the renowned conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner. We brought Lawrence and former Public Art Fund Director Tom Eccles back together to discuss the project and process, which included working in close collaboration with Con Edison.

Episode 5: The Art of the Ad

For artist Sue de Beer, Times Square represents the apex of advertising and messaging in New York City and was influential to the development of her “Commerical Break” work. It featured a young activist named Arianna Gil whose feminist skate crew, Brujas, is rethinking the intersection between commerce, education, and politics. We brought Sue and Arianna together to discuss their collaboration and respective practices. We also asked New Yorkers who they would like to see on a billboard in Times Square.

Episode 6: Art for Change

In our season one finale, we question and explore the ways in which artists wield their work as an activist tool by revisiting Ai Weiwei’s 2017 citywide blockbuster exhibition, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”. Weiwei joins Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume for a conversation about the project and his own history here in New York City.

Public Art FundJonathan Sanden