NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program is proud to announce Wendy Klemperer as the 2015 recipient of the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Her work Shadow Migration is a site specific installation of 10 steel animals including deer, fox, bear, wolf and others. The exhibition is on view in Court Square Park, Queens from November 7, 2015 through November 2016. The $10,000 award is granted annually in memory of Clare Weiss, Parks’ Curator of Public Art from 2005 to 2009.
Shadow Migration exhibits animal silhouettes cut from steel plates and installed throughout the park. Klemperer investigates animal populations that were threatened in the 20th century, but are now rebounding and showing up in “our backyard.” Wild animals are finding their way into suburban and urban environments as human populations sprawl into their natural habitats. While many species populations have been destroyed, some are adapting and thriving on the largesse of urban life. Hawks dive from high rise cornices to feast on the rich urban population of pigeons and rats; bears walk through New Jersey neighborhoods; and just several blocks from Court Square Park, a coyote found its way to a rooftop in Long Island City.
Klemperer’s animal silhouettes are shadows, essences of their worldly form that appear fleeting and at times fleeing. Migration is inherent to both humans and animals, as natural and manmade changes force movement to more hospitable regions. The steel forms are punctuated with cutouts in the shape of countries from around the world. Each animal is a melting pot, bearing countries on its body that are also represented in Queens’ population—the most diverse community in the world. The nations represented are a record of where that animal once thrived. Shadow Migration invites contemplation of nature in an urban setting and of the circumstances of natural diversity in a modern world.
View more images in the Outdoor Installations Gallery.