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Third Round of Art in the Windows Installations Invites Interaction; Check Out Day & Evening Displays Along East Water Street

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Syracuse, NY – The third round of artwork featured in the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc.’s Art in the Windows program is enlivening East Water Street in Downtown Syracuse, and one of the displays – a largescale interactive visual artwork - even “comes to life” when passersby interact with it! The Art in the Windows program, funded through the Central New York Community Foundation, Inc., showcases available ground-floor storefronts. The program strives to activate the streetscape, provide a new audience for local artists, and highlight the potential of vacant spaces.

The new pieces (described below) were recently unveiled in the ground-floor windows of the Renaud Wicks Building (252 East Water Street) and The Falker Building (246-248 East Water Street). Both properties are owned by the Urban Realty Group, and are available for commercial use. There is 1,500 square feet of ground-floor space available in the Renaud Wicks Building, and 2,250 square feet at the Falker Building.

“The Art in the Windows program increases connectivity and pedestrian movement throughout Downtown Syracuse by presenting new engaging experiences,” said Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee. “We hope that this artwork will be a conversation-starter about development opportunities along East Water Street. Hopefully, folks will check out the displays in the daytime and evening hours to maximize the experience. Ideally, the positive interactions will raise the visibility of the available spaces, and ultimately attract new business to complement the existing variety of Downtown’s merchants.” 

Nine photographs displayed in the Renaud Wicks Building depict dramatic, dynamic images of performers connected to Syracuse. The artist, Marc Safran, says the photos highlight the richness of the community.

"I'm always interested in capturing people with interesting faces, talents and stories,” Safran says. “They make our city the gem that it is.”

Safran, who has a studio in the Delavan Center, often draws inspiration from the people in Syracuse. An ophthalmologist and experienced photographer, Safran is also a veteran Art in the Windows participant. Recently, his photographs drew new eyes to the Syracuse Building on Harrison Street during the second installation of the Art in the Windows program (unveiled last summer during ArtsWeek). Additional information about Safran and a portfolio of his work may be found at http://marcsafran.com.

Located just steps away, The Falker Building features two large interactive visuals that – in the words of the artist, Lorne Covington of NOIRFLUX – “turns the street into a shared social creative play space.” The optimal viewing time for the displays is after dark.

In the ground-floor windows of 248 East Water Street, passersby literally become one with the artwork as the sidewalk becomes their performance space. Their actions – whether it’s a movement of the arm, or a side-step – create a “never-repeating collage of dancing colors in real-time,” according to the artist. Please visit http://noirflux.com for a sample of the experience.

Meanwhile, on the second-floor, two bay windows have been transformed into moving eyes. “I'll be updating the content and eyes graphics periodically to try new things and keep it fresh, so stay tuned,” Covington said. Covington adjusts the interactivity of the piece based on data obtained from the people using it. “That's really where the magic is,” he said.

Covington specializes in interactive work that promotes exploration, creation and play. His work has appeared at the Kennedy Center, International Performance Art Week in Venice and the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester. The Syracuse Art in the Windows piece serves as a pilot for a new, large-scale project this Spring at Times Square in New York City. This piece will be the largest interactive art in Manhattan. Content for that project, done in collaboration with video artists Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duvenger, will be previewed first here in Syracuse.

The Art in the Windows program, led by the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, matches available retail storefronts with artists and non-profit art galleries to create memorable and engaging streetscapes. Urban Realty Group, which owns both properties participating in this round of Art in the Windows, has already made significant contributions to the Water Street corridor: Led by Luke Esposito, Urban Realty Group established The Lofts at 235 (featured on the 2017 Downtown Living Tour) and plans to open a wood-fired bagel shop – and additional loft units – at 239 East Water Street later this year.  

“We were delighted to participate in this third installment of Art in the Windows, which offers great opportunity to share the talent of our local artists with the Downtown community,” Esposito said. “Seeing the reactions of people as they walk by creates a welcoming buzz on the block.” 

The Downtown Committee is actively recruiting artists and property owners to participate in the next round of Art in the Windows, thanks to support from Tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Today (TNT) – Downtown. 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 315-470-1958 to get involved. For more information on available commercial space and storefronts throughout the central business district, please email hschroeder@downtownsyracuse.com or visit this link on the Downtown Committee website (choose the drop-down menu option, "Investment Opportunities"). In addition, more information about Art in the Windows may be found here

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