‘Big Apple Fest’ promises fruitful summer/fall

‘Big Apple Fest’ promises fruitful summer/fall

Jenny Sherman

NEW YORK–A lively crowd clustered in Plaid, a New York bar, for the June 16 kickoff reception promoting “Big Apple Fest,” a public-art initiative that aims to seed New York City’s public spaces with hundreds of 4-foot-tall apple art sculptures and other artworks from Aug. 15 to Oct. 15.

Apple martinis and, of course, polished McIntosh apples were available for attendees, who had come to celebrate the start of the event, as well as witness the unveiling of two core apple designs: one Statue-of-Liberty-themed fruit by artist Debbie Brooks and another by artist Charles Fazzino. Jonathan Tisch, chairman of NYC & Company, attended the kickoff as a co-host, and was flanked by pop artists Fazzino, Marco and Brooks, as well as fashion designer Nicole Miller and New York Giants player Tiki Barber. Festivities culminated with general mingling and a bluesy band.

Officially announced on NBC’s “Today Show” on June 10, Big Apple Fest is a collaborative effort between private organizers, the City of New York and NYC & Company. It seeks to promote New York City and raise funds for charities, such as City Harvest, the Police Athletic League and the NYC & Company Foundation.

“This will be a springboard to creating exciting arts programs in future years,” says Jonathan Clay, the Big Apple Fest’s co-founder and managing director. Other event developers include veteran curator and gallerist Renee Riccardo, who has been appointed Big Apple Fest curator, Noguchi Museum director Jenny Dixon and artist Ned Smyth, both of whom will assist Riccardo on the Big Apple Fest fine-art committee.

Artists such as Cindy Sherman, Dennis Oppenheim, Ellen Harvey, David Humphrey and Ryan McGinness will craft about 300 giant apples and other pieces. Artwork will be displayed at the New York Mercantile Exchange Charitable Foundation, which is sponsoring a public painting space, and the Big Apple Fest Seaport Orchard, located at 192 Front Street in space donated by the South Street Seaport Marketplace. The Big Apple Fest Midtown Orchard, a venue housed in retail space at 529 Fifth Avenue and donated by World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, lets visitors watch artists create their apples.

Silverstein Properties and other New York City landlords will place finished apple artwork on the plazas around their buildings. Apples will be on display until they are “harvested” in October and sold at auction by Sotheby’s, with proceeds going to charity.

Silverstein will also serve on the program’s fine-art committee and oversee the selection and design of the oversized potatoes. Acrylic apples are cast for artists to create three-dimensional works inside, and fiberglass fruits are formed for artists interested in altering the exterior. Businesses and organizations can sponsor an apple, later sold at auction, for $8,500 or pay $12,500 to sponsor and keep their apple art. Larger sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, go to www.bigapplefest.org.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Pfingsten Publishing, LLC

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group