What weighs more than 100 tons and took up more than three-quarters of a mile along one of Manhattan's busiest streets? If you said Paley on Park Avenue, then you've either visited New York City recently or have been following this breaking public art story on Art Southwest Florida/Examiner.com. But now you can tune in tomorrow night at 8 p.m. to watch the live web-streaming of Paley on Park Avenue: New York City at http://interactive.wxxi.org/paleyncy/live.
The WXXI production follows the world-renowned sculptor as he creates the 13 original sculptures that graced the median of Park Avenue for the past six months. WXXI-TV was granted unprecedented access to Paley and his studios to document the creation of these pieces for a one-hour documentary that shares Paley's incredible journey.
Not only does Paley on Park Avenue: New York City follow the project from conception to installation, it also shares personal stories about the sculptor, his work and the Park Avenue project from Paley, his wife, Frances, his staff and community leaders.
Southwest Florida is home to four of Paley's monumental works. Completed in 2009, Naiad graces the entrance of the St. Tropez and Beau Rivage condominium complexes. Installed pursuant to the City of Fort Myers’ public art program, the sculpture was originally commissioned by Riviera Development Group, which opted to install its own public artwork rather than make a cash donation to the city’s public art fund. The metal sculpture stands on a stuccoed, raised circular pedestal set in the center of a bricked turnabout at the front entrance of the St. Tropez, which is located at 2745 First Street. Naiad’s color scheme matches and complements the yellow over-and-white over salmon of the condominiums that tower high above it.
Cross Currents stands at the entrance to Florida Gulf Coast University’s interior courtyard between Howard and McTarnaghan Halls. Cross Currents was installed in 2001 as part of the Florida Art in Public Buildings program, an initiative started in 1979 pursuant to section 255.043 of the Florida Statutes, which earmarks one-half of one percent of the amount the legislature appropriates for the construction of state buildings for the acquisition of public artworks.
At the gray marble entry to the Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art stand The Paley Gates, an exceptional example of the unique portals, passageways and thresholds long associated with the art of Albert Paley. The gates are 16 feet tall by 10 feet wide, although only the bottom half swing open to admit visitors into the courtyard leading to the museum. Endowed by Michael and Deborah Stephens, the steel, bronze and stainless steel gates were installed in 2000.
Paley also created ornate handles for the lobby doors of the Philharmonic Center for the Arts. Known for his inventive and novel approach to both metalsmithing and jewelry design, Paley cut the Phil’s door handles in the form of a bronze ribbon that both commemorates events at the Center and suggests an experience in time. A fallen piece of ribbon or banner is a recurring theme in the sculptures Paley crafts to serve as rites of passages for visitors entering a building.
Paley will be in Florida in January to receive the ArtPalmBeachVisionary Lifetime Achievement Award for his innovative use of forging metals in monumental sculptures. The Visionary Award is presented annually to an individual whose career has made an outstanding contribution to enriching the international art world. ArtPalmBeach Celebrates its 17th anniversary at the Palm Beach County Convention Center from January 24-27, 2014.
At ArtPalmBeach, Paley will present a lecture presentation on his new public sculpture works and his current exhibition on New York City’s prestigious Park Avenue. The Award Reception will include a special viewing of the premiere episode of season five of Craft in America, entitled “Forge,” a PBS series that also features the 13 monumental sculptures that were included in New York City's "Paley on Park Avenue" exhibition.
The WXXI-TV piece airs Thursday, December 12 at 8 p.m.