New York Non-Profit Turns Construction Site Scaffolding Into Canvases for Emerging Artists

Chelsea-based non-profit ArtBridge strives to adorn as many feet of New York City’s countless miles of construction site fencing as possible in contemporary art. The pop-up public art displays brighten the drab blue walls speckled throughout the city, whether it’s Aleksandar Maćašev‘s bold “ChromaTweet” in DUMBO or the group show “ab2″ in East Flatbush (pictured).

“We strive to show the kind of art one might expect to find in a gallery or contemporary museum,” ArtBridge director and curator Jordana Zeldin recently told the AP. The next ArtBridge pop-up scaffolding show will open at an as yet undisclosed New York location in October. Meanwhile founder Rodney Durso is in talks to mount ArtBridge projects in earthquake-stricken, scaffolding-wrapped cities in Italy and New Zealand.

“Our goal is to get up-and-coming artists exposure for their work,” Durso said. There will be a half-dozen installations on view around New York by next year. Each one costs between $5,000 and $30,000, depending on size and complexity. Artists selected by ArtBridge’s advisers — who have included curators from the Guggenheim and Brooklyn Museum — receive small stipends of up to $100.

When construction at ArtBridge sites is completed and exhibitions end, homeless or unemployed women fashion the vinyl artworks into tote bags. Proceeds from their sales going to the women and the non-profit, which puts the money towards its next exhibition.

— Benjamin Sutton