Wednesday, July 13, 2011

“Chance Meeting” by Linda Hesh, Art in Odd Places 2010 artist, wins award from the "Americans for the Arts Public Art Network "

One of the projects featured at last year's Art in Odd Places 2010  was a winner of the  Public Art Network (PAN) awards. Since its inception in 2000, the Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review program "continually recognizes outstanding public art projects through an open call submission and juror selection process." For its 2011 "Year in Review", the organization selected Linda Hesh as one of the recipients of the award for her work called "Chance Meeting" that appeared in our 2010 festival exploring the theme of 'chance'. Linda's interactive public intervention was selected in the category of Community Engagement and Social Activism by this year's jurors, Gail Goldman, Kendal Henry and Richard Turner, and announced at the Americans for the Arts Convention recently in San Diego. A record number of 430 submissions were received and 47 final projects were selected.

According to the description by the curators: "In recent decades, members of the community have been increasing encouraged to participate in the creation of the artwork itself. They sometimes become the artwork. The recent evolution of this trend has seen a number of pieces that go beyond celebration of community values to critique of environment or societal problems. A number of this year's entries have been artworks used as vehicles for inspiring community activism. In doing so, they have challenged conventional notions of art, intentionally confusing the distinctions between permanent and temporary, audience and performer, formal qualities and function."

The AiOP team is very proud and honored to have Linda  representing Art in Odd Places. 

Linda Hesh (Photo provided by the artist)
Linda was kind enough to share what she wrote to PAN:
“Chance Meeting Doorknob Hangers” is a temporary public art installation created for the Art In Odd Places exhibit that took place October 1-10 in New York, NY. White paper doorknob hangers, the type that advertisers use, were hung along all of 14th Street from 10th Ave. to Avenue C. They were printed in bold black type with eight different statements that capture a chance encounter: Is it really you?- It's been a long time - I was just thinking of you - How have you been? - What's new with you? - It's great to see you - Give me a call - Let's meet again soon. 
Photo provided by Linda Hesh

Imagine purposely walking down the city street, destination in mind, distractions on the brain. Suddenly a message appears on a door, seemingly speaking to you. This project is innovative in the unexpected location of a doorknob. Public art is usually in a park, raised up on a dais, not in a pedestrian doorway. 

It's also on a more personal scale than most public art, promoting a private moment between artist and viewer. Each hanger is small, but when the whole street is installed, the work exists across the width of Manhattan. It takes 500 hangers to cover both sides of the length of 14th. For Art in Odd Places, a total of approximately 2000 were installed.
I know this work was successful because I saw pedestrian's reactions. And the day after an installation, all but 2 or 3 of the 500 would be left, finding new homes with happy viewers. They created a moment of desire and then a satisfying realization that one could simply take the piece home.  This project is temporary in the amount of time it spends outdoors, but lasting in the private experience it gives.    

Congratulations again, Linda!  We hope to hear more great things from you. 

Read more about Linda Hesh and her experience during the 2010 AiOP Festival. You can also visit her website ( to get to know her better. 

Find more about the rest of the Public Art Network "Year in Review" honorees here.

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