Art in the Windows Program Activates Downtown Streetscape by Highlighting Available Storefronts and Showcasing Designs by Local Artists
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Syracuse, NY – A new program led by the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. showcases available storefronts as retail business opportunities by spotlighting the talents of local artists. The installations featured in Art in the Windows are bringing new eyes and attention to three street-level storefronts:
- The Flagship Securities Building, located at 118 East Genesee Street;
- Pike Block, located at 320-326 South Salina Street and 308-312 South Salina Street;
- The Chimes Building, located at 500 South Salina Street
The mixed media pieces (descriptions of which are provided below for your reference) are designed by local artists, and (with the exception of the display in the Chimes Building, which will be complete by the end of the week) were installed late last week. Passersby will find the pieces displayed in the ground-floor windows of each of the aforementioned buildings. The temporary installations were selected by a jury, and will remain in place through mid-April. The Downtown Committee matched the artwork with downtown properties whose owners expressed interest in participating in the program that enlivens vacant storefront space(s).
“The Art in the Windows program presents new opportunities to recharge Downtown’s streetscape and add new vibrancy to our neighborhood,” said Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee. “One of our organization’s goals is to increase connectivity and accessibility to deliver a positive experience to all who live, work and visit Downtown Syracuse. The artwork serves as a catalyst to a conversation about these available spaces and their potential to attract new businesses, such as retailers to complement the existing variety of merchants located throughout Downtown’s 82 blocks.”
Funding for Art in the Windows is provided by a grant through the Central New York Community Foundation.
"The Community Foundation is pleased to support efforts that encourage the vibrancy and beautification of our city," said Frank Ridzi, Vice President of Community Investment at the Central New York Community Foundation. "This collaboration, which highlights both the work of local artists and the potential of available retail space, creates an aesthetically pleasing experience for everyone visiting Downtown Syracuse."
Artists Maya Alam and Daniele Profeta have created “STREET|SCAPE” displayed in the ground-floor windows of the Flagship Securities Building and in the Pike Block (320-326 S. Salina St). The artists – who both teach at the Syracuse University School of Architecture – describe their design as a “reflection on the contemporary image of Downtown Syracuse and a catalyst for transformation.” The pieces depict composite two- and three-dimensional images of the Downtown streetscape, printed on chrome vinyl film sheets.
“We are very excited to participate in this revitalization program for Downtown Syracuse,” said Profeta. “With our piece, we are attempting to establish and multiply relationships between the transforming image of Downtown Syracuse, vacant retail space and passersby. We wanted to reflect on its past and its future, energizing the possibilities of what might become. It is the way in which we like to think about our work, as speculations on social dreaming and experimental preservation in the developing landscape of our cities, in consideration of new media and its effects on our perception.
Each of these vacant spaces is available for commercial use. There is 1,640 – 3,450 square feet of commercial space available (across two floors) in the Flagship Securities Building. Meanwhile, this section of the Pike Block (320-326 S. Salina St) features 1,983 - 9,208 square feet (including rear courtyard-level space).
Displayed in the ground-floor windows of the Pike Block (308-312 S. Salina St.), Sean Hunter Horan’s work is a showcase of colorful, abstract multimedia digital images. His pieces juxtapose abstractions of objects from everyday life with bright colors, with the intention to inspire and spark conversation(s) about the perception of reality.
“I believe that with faith and hope, together we can bring additional value to our community by simply creating a colorful environment. The intent of this series of collages is to demonstrate by continually making organic progress; day by day and breath by breath, dreams are achievable,” said Horan. “These elementary style paintings are enhanced with digital elements and designed to inspire children of Syracuse to enjoy the entire experience of creation and exploration.”
Horan will install three additional images at the Chimes Building later this week. The Chimes Building has up to 7,500 square feet of commercial ground-floor space available for lease, including space with a loading dock, former sound studio and offices. This section of the Pike Block (308-310 S. Salina St.) features 1,611 square feet to 11,755 square feet of available retail space.
Designs produced by the Syracuse Poster Project are also displayed in the U.S. Post Office, located at 444 South Salina Street, as part of the Art in the Windows program. Each image from the Poster Project’s archives was selected for its relevance to the Downtown Syracuse community.
The Downtown Committee is actively recruiting artists and property owners to participate in the next round of Art in the Windows installations. Interested property owners, local artists and/or non-profit art galleries are encouraged to contact the Downtown Committee’s Economic Development Program Manager Heather Schroeder at 315-422-1958 (or via email at email@example.com) to get involved.
Above (left): STREET|SCAPE as shown in Flagship Securities Building, produced by Maya Alam and Daniele Profeta;
Above (right): Sean Hunter Horan's work as displayed in the Pike Block
About the Central New York Community Foundation
Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of permanent charitable endowments for the betterment of the region. The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of nearly $193 million. It awarded $11 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, it has invested nearly $150 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of more than 700 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen local nonprofits and address the region’s most pressing challenges. For more information, visit the Central New York Community Foundation's website.