Fourteen oversized sculptures with raised hands are providing a warm welcome to New Yorkers and visitors as they enter the heart of Midtown Manhattan in the Garment District, as part of the Garment District Alliance’s (GDA) latest public art exhibit, Here, created by artist Santi Flores.
Located on Broadway in the Garment District between 38th and 41st Streets, Here symbolizes unity, diversity and individuality, and is dedicated to all New Yorkers and visitors passing through the neighborhood. Crafted from steel, concrete and enamel paint, Flores’ sculptures vary in size, with the largest of the series towering over the streets of Midtown Manhattan at 14-feet-tall.
The installation – which is free and will be available to the public through August 29 – is part of Garment District Art on the Plazas, a year-round public art program made possible through Arterventions, a subpart of the New York City Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Art Program. The Garment District Alliance and DOT work closely to coordinate and install exhibits and individual pieces, which enhance public plazas and make them even more welcoming to New Yorkers.
“Santi’s installation poses a powerful message about the importance of diversity and unity, which are elements that make New York one of the greatest cities in the world,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “We are proud to showcase these wonderful sculptures in the heart of Midtown in the Garment District, and we encourage all to visit the exhibition, snap photos, and take in its inspiring meaning.”
Flores is dedicating Here to local New Yorkers and visitors in the Garment District, and created the series of sculptures to instill hope as the New York City community looks toward the future. Each sculpture features the same raised hand gesture, but is unique in color and markings on their “skin” – representing the diversity and individuality of the people of New York City, while sending a message of unity. To further develop his artistic language, Flores produces his works based on his surroundings, including people, feelings, and relationships.
Flores is a plastic and visual artist and musician from Albacete, Spain. He has exhibited his work extensively at museums and galleries in New York and across the world including several cities in Spain, Italy and Germany. Flores received his superior degree from the School of Crafts of Albacete, and taught at the Albacete City Council School of Crafts.
The Garment District is home to diverse business sectors from technology to hospitality and includes thousands of people working in the creative economy, including fine and performing artists, designers, architects, photographers and more than a hundred theaters, galleries, performance spaces and studios.
The Garment District Alliance (www.garmentdistrictnyc.com) is a not-for-profit corporation established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Garment District. Through programs in the areas of streetscape improvements, sanitation and public safety, marketing and promotions, economic development, and community service, the Garment District Alliance supports the neighborhood’s transformation into a modern, 24/7 destination for dining, nightlife, hotels and unique office space. For more information on the Garment District Alliance’s many art initiatives, please visit https://garmentdistrict.nyc/
The New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art) partners with community-based, nonprofit organizations and professional artists to present temporary public art on NYC DOT property throughout the five boroughs for up to eleven months. Artists transform streets with colorful murals, dynamic projections and eye-catching sculptures. Sidewalks, fences, triangles, medians, bridges, jersey barriers, step streets, public plazas and pedestrianized spaces serve as canvases and foundations for temporary art. Over the past 12 years, DOT Art has produced over 300 temporary artworks citywide. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dotart @nyc_DOT, @nyc_DOTArt