NYCEDC, working in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, the NYC Department of Transportation, elected officials, and local communities, is engaged in planning for the East Midtown Waterfront Project to improve access to the East River, enhance bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, and create waterfront amenities for public use and enjoyment in accordance with Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and OneNYC. The new waterfront esplanade would stretch for 22 blocks and fill a major gap in the 32-mile Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.
The selected design team is led by Stantec and design commenced in October 2017. It is anticipated that the construction of the Greenway will be complete in 2022. NYCEDC, working in partnership with NYC Parks and NYCDOT, has selected an artist to serve on the design team for the East Midtown Greenway. Brian Tolle was selected through a selection process designed by Via Partnership working with Stantec. The design team assembled an artist selection committee with representatives from City agencies and the community, with members possessing visual art expertise, knowledge of living artists and artistic production, and support for project vision. An advisory panel comprised of representatives from the design team and an appointed representative from Community Boards 6 and 8 was also integral to the selection process.
Forty-seven local, national, and international artists recommended by the public art consultant, the design team, and the community, were invited to participate in the invitational competition. Tolle was selected based upon his qualifications and interviews with the design team, artist selection committee, advisory panel and the community. Selection criteria included:
- Artistic excellence as demonstrated by past work and submitted materials
- Experience working on projects requiring collaborative skills
- Demonstrated understanding of the requirements for creating work for public space
- Demonstrated appreciation of architecture and public space use and engagement
- Demonstrated ability to work within budgets and meet project deadlines
- Ability to engage a wide audience
The selection process included a qualifications review meeting on January 30. This meeting was open to the public. The three finalists selected at this meeting attended a project orientation and design workshop. The final selection was made at a public meeting on February 28. Each of the finalists gave a presentation and answered questions from community members.
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