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DANEHY PARK

Artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles first got involved in the 55-acre former dumpsite, now Danehy Park, in 1990. Entitled "Turnaround/Surround," her multi-faceted project encompasses a half-mile long 'glassphalt' path that traverses the central mound in the park, providing access to the top, and a planting plan for the mound. The work currently in progress consists of two celebratory circular spaces made of recycled rubber at the top of the mound. One of these rubber discs is a flat urban dance floor for dancers on foot or in wheelchairs, with an image of a galaxy, "almost as if a piece of the sky had plopped down on top of this earth." The second disc will contain two "throne-couches." A sculptured cape will be casually draped over the back of each throne to express a sense of relaxation and of being "at home" - as if the "Queen" or "King" of the hill had slipped off the royal robes with majestic flourish. In the fourth phase, Ukeles will extend the notion of access and the availability of this public place further and bring it to public attention by involving members of the different cultures of this diverse area and other park users in a creative interaction. This individual local richness will become part of the meaning of open common space, a "community fabric to be treasured together." (More information on "Turnaround/Surround" can be found on our public art tour, map no. 2.)

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Ukeles is best known for public art centering around waste and urban maintenance issues, including on-site installations and performances in New York City sanitation facilities. She is currently working on large-scale commissions for the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, New York. Ukeles is the recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Grant, Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous National Endowment for the Arts grants.