Artwork holds the power to spark conversation among unlikely individuals and between those who might otherwise have never spoken to each other. It builds connections between people.
Today, if you stand in one of our art-filled, office-building lobbies long enough, you will hear whispers of art dissertations on people "liking" or "disliking" a given exhibition. Whatever the opinion, the art has created an impression. At 125 Maiden Lane with Grimanesa Amorós' sculpture, which has a lighting sequence that flickers on and off, everyone sees something different: a brain, a deep sea monster, a ride at Coney Island. The pieces gets all sorts of people talking to each other about art. With a work by Nick Hornby that consists of an 8-foot tall marble cone seemingly balanced on a single, tiny point, our tenants have many theories about how it stands.
We have tenants who get excited for a new exhibit, and we have those who are disappointed to see their favorite work go. Regardless of their position on any given piece, people are noticing the art. Sometimes office workers and passersby stop and take photos of the work.
I love that these pieces of art spark dialogue between any and all who pass through our buildings, as well as make an impact on their everyday routines.
Francis Greenburger, in addition to developing 50 West, the much-anticipated condominium tower rising in downtown Manhattan, is the founder of Time Equities' Art-In-Buildings, a program that brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces to promote artists, expand the audience for art and create a more interesting environment for building residents and visitors. Francis, an avid art collector, is also the founder of Omi International Arts Center, a 300-acre complex in Ghent, NY that includes a residency program for artists, writers, dancers and musicians as well as The Fields Sculpture Park, Architecture Omi and Education Omi. In 1986, he started the Francis J. Greenburger Award that honors established artists who have not been fully recognized by the public. Francis is also an active board member in and supporter of various art, education and community organizations including MASS MoCA and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Most recently he founded the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice to advocate for a criminal justice system that focuses on rehabilitation and not only punishment. In addition to starting and serving as CEO of the real estate firm Time Equities Inc., Francis is the owner of the literary agency Greenburger Associates.