Upcycling to Utopia

By Peggy Roalf   Thursday February 25, 2021

The transformation of the Fresh Kills landfill, on the south coast of Staten Island, to Freshkills Park, has seemed, for years, primarily a figment of my imagination—until recently, when it was announced that the 24-acre North Park will open in Spring 2021. The world’s largest landfill, at 2,200 acres, has already attracted several bird species never before seen in New York City. The island’s remoteness, and the park’s distance from connecting bridges, has created an environment unlike any other in the five boroughs—and one that flyway word-of-mouth has evidently broadcast. Photo above © and courtesy of Jade Doskow

“Recycling” seems an inept term when the totality of change is considered: from 20-story-high mounds of noxious garbage and city trash to rolling mounds covered with soft, inviting native grasses, and expanded freshwater ponds hosting great white herons that I saw a few years ago. 


The gradual opening of perimeter features, such as soccer fields, playgrounds, and an art gallery, has been carefully orchestrated to keep the new, rarely accessible park, in the public’s imagination. Information about the opening of North Park remains to be announced, but stay tuned: DART readers will be among the first to know. Photo above courtesy of Jade Doskow

For now, I include information about the Freshkills Park artist residency and research programs, which sponsors several artists per year, based on proposals considered on a rolling basis. Info For the interactive map and virtual tour, go here Read the NYTimes feature on Jade Doskow, Artistic Partner in Photography at Freshkills Park here Previous Artists in Residence working with upcycled materials, Info 


More Artist Opportunities 
Real Art Awards. Deadline: March 31
Real Art Ways is now accepting submissions for the 2021 Real Art Awards. This competition is open to emerging artists living and working in New England, New Jersey, or New York. Apply online: Six chosen artists will receive a $2,500 cash prize, solo exhibition, professional documentation and catalogue essay, curatorial assistance, and more. There is no charge to participate.  Info

Guttenberg Green Urban Art Mural Contest. Deadline: April 15
NR Living, in partnership with Guttenberg Arts, is inviting local artists of New Jersey’s Guttenberg and Hudson County area to participate in the Guttenberg Green Urban Art Mural Contest; deadline: Thursday, April 15, 2021. Info

Ad Art Show 2021, Deadline March 7
The AD ART SHOW features artworks by artists from around the world who work—or have roots— in the world of Advertising, Marketing, Commercial Design, Media and Brands.

Launched by Sotheby’s in 2017, it is now presented in the Oculus at the Westfield World Trade Center. It was designed by noted architect Santiago Calatrava and is one of the most famous landmarks in New York City. AD ART SHOW offers artists exposure to the art world, art lovers, collectors, and the general public. Info

New York City Artwalk Deadline: March 14

Have an image of your work featured during our art walk coming up in the spring, 2021. The artwalk will feature artists, both local and from around the world, on the storefronts and sidewalk fences of cafes and restaurants in Long Island City and Astoria, Queens and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Info

Virtual Artist Opportunities
Upcycling Detritus. Deadline: Sunday, February 28
This open call from Sculptors Alliance invites artists from around the world to present their work made with materials that would have been discarded otherwise. That the power of art in shaping cultures derives from the intense engagement of its creators with matter will be demonstrated in the online exhibition, curated by Vernita Nemec. Info

What Are You Looking Forward to in 2021? Deadline: March 5
An Artist a Day invites visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians, performance artists, architects and designers to submit multimedia such as Vimeo or YouTube link, drawings, a line of writing or anything you like to response to this question. Info PRinterview