Manhattan’s cutting-edge art space The Shed has debuted a new lineup of events and sculptures celebrating the summer season.
The cultural hub of the multibillion-dollar Hudson Yards development, which opened in March, enters its first summer with a stacked lineup of screenings, exhibits and more. Highlights include "Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise," a Kung-Fu musical featuring songs by Sia running June 22 through July 27, and the screening of a documentary celebrating Colombian artist Beatriz Gonzalez (July 31 — Aug. 25).
With a mission to support local artists’ work and keep New York City at the forefront of the creative scene, The Shed’s summer offerings also include more than 20 new sculptures and installations, now available for viewing.
“When you’re an artist, you don’t really have a choice. You have to find a way to make," says Emma Enderby, The Shed’s senior curator. "But it’s not just about [artists] making their work, but also being able to support them to be able to live and work in New York City.”
Answering the call to support local artists is the Open Call program, which commissions works by emerging, NYC-based creators. Through Aug. 25, original work from 22 artists selected for the program will be on display in the Level 2 Gallery space.
One of these Open Call works is a lotus flower sculpture made from material used to create suicide-prevention netting in China, by artist Tahir Carl Karmali, 32, of Greenpoint.
“This is the first project that I’ve done in a while that hinges on basically the need of money to be able to put it together,” Karmali says. “It’s a pretty big deal to work in this way, because as an emerging artist, you don’t necessarily have those opportunities to work with institutions to create these large sculptures."
Through the commissioning program, The Shed secures an exclusive array of art built specifically for New Yorkers’ eyes.
Fifteen artists involved in the program will have work featured in the new open-air Plaza, an outdoor space that’s open to the public even when there is no programming scheduled. The Plaza programming will begin on Aug. 9.
“I think [the plaza is] going to be a real highlight for us and New Yorkers because it’s going to be this open, free format for people to come sit experience the work or just kind of hang out on our plaza this summer,” Enderby, of the Lower East Side, says.
The Shed’s 200,000-square-foot arts center at West 30th street also touts high-tech indoor spaces to accommodate every form of digital, performance, installation or sculptural creation, including a museum, theater and coworking hall.
“Artists have always worked with and used the tools that are available to them to create art and whenever something new enters the world or new kinds of forms of making it always appears within artistic practice,” Enderby, 35, says. “This is the time of the rise of technology, of it being really embedded in our lives, and if art is about reflecting society and our contemporary situation, of course, it’s going to use those mediums to think about it.”