Portal, a new fair featuring approximately 40 artists, will open to the public on May 4 at historic Federal Hall National Memorial at 26 Wall Street. Developed by 4heads, Inc.—the nonprofit behind Governors Island Art Fair (GIAF)—the fair builds on the organization’s mission to provide new platforms for emerging artists, from across the U.S. and abroad, to engage with the public, arts professionals, and collectors, while highlighting historically significant landmarks across the city. Following the success of the eighth edition of GIAF in September 2015, 4heads, Inc. decided to create a new fair that will leverage art world activity in New York City in early May to support the work of young and emerging artists.
Federal Hall National Memorial, which opened in 1842 as the United States Customs House, was designed by American sculptor John Frazee. Featured artists will install their work across three floors of the building, including the grand entrance rotunda, second floor galleries and balconies, and the lower-level rotunda, allowing visitors to rediscover the monumental architecture through a diverse range of artistic perspectives.
Portal marks the second major collaboration between 4heads, Inc. and the National Park Service, following the successful exhibition of artist installations in Fort Jay at Governors Island National Monument last fall, and coincides with the centennial celebrations of the National Park Service throughout this year. As part of the National Park Service’s ongoing support for new artistic endeavors, Federal Hall will open to the public over the weekend, May 7-8, to encourage audience engagement with both the fair and the site.
“Our guiding vision is to level the playing field for emerging artists, providing them with the opportunity to showcase their work in spaces that highlight the significance of contemporary art within the context of history. In a week so filled with arts activity, we want to bring a sense of the fresh and experimental,” said Antony Zito, 4heads, Inc. co-founder. “When we visited Federal Hall, we were so inspired by the architecture. We saw a tremendous opportunity for artists to engage and connect with this magnificent space that was designed by a famous early American sculptor. We are grateful to the National Park Service for sharing our vision, and inviting us to launch Portal in this amazing location that deserves greater attention and understanding.”
“As the National Trust for Historic Preservation recently recognized,” noted Superintendent Shirley McKinney, “Federal Hall is a national treasure. In the original structure on this site, George Washington took the oath of office. The Bill of Rights was approved and sent to the states for ratification to the Constitution. Finally, the building that stands here today is one of the true architectural treasures of New York City. It is a wonderful setting for today’s artists to inspire us, especially during this year’s National Park Service Centennial.”
Artists for Portal will be selected through an invitational process. 4heads, Inc. leadership will invite a selection of artists, many of whom have presented work across the eight editions of GIAF, and request proposals for engaging with specific areas of Federal Hall National Memorial. The vision is to provide individuals with a new opportunity to develop and present their work, building on their successes at GIAF and nurturing continued support for their practices. Final selections for participants will be made in April.
As with GIAF, featured artists exhibit for free, and no admission to the fair will be charged, to encourage a wide array of individuals to participate as either exhibitor or viewer. Portal provides a new opportunity to experience the work of 40 artists in a week teeming with activity, and to reignite interest in the city’s architecture and history.
- Laetitia Soulier, The Square Roots 1/3 - From The Fractal Architectures Series
- Will Kurtz, NYPD