Photo by Sheila Berger
On display starting November 2, the sculpture joins the myriad public art displayed on the Island
Governors Island Arts announced today the arrival of artist Sheila Berger’s Bird MMXXIII sculpture to the Island. BIRD MMXXIII is located at the southern edge of Hammock Grove and will be on display daily starting Thursday, November 2, 2023. Berger’s sculpture joins a wide array of ongoing artistic displays and programming on the Island, including the renowned Artists in Residence program.
“We are excited to welcome Sheila Berger’s Bird MMXXIII sculpture to live among our art-filled Island,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “As we continue to expand our range of public art displays on the Island, we are simultaneously expanding public access to established and burgeoning artists, creating an artistic hub and platform for artists to widen their public reach and have an artistic safe space to create and exhibit.”
“My birds are not the raptors of the sky, but a combination of the small and the ordinary. They remind us that we share this planet with other creatures that are not lesser than us, just different,” said artist Sheila Berger. “By tapping into that, we leave our self-centeredness and experience the wonderment of what it is to be alive.”
Bird MMXXIII is a bird made of stainless steel that is situated on a plinth as an ode to heroic Roman sculpture. The bird has a mirrored belly and crown allowing it to reflect, literally and symbolically, the Statue of Liberty, a sculpture which has welcomed and elevated immigrants since its installation. The mirrored surface of the sculpture allows visitors to view themselves against the backdrop of the natural environment of the Island, encouraging reflection and relaxation.
The artist, Sheila Berger, is a multidisciplinary artist (encaustic painting, sculpture, ceramics, and artist books) whose works have been represented by Paul Kasmin Gallery, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, and appear in museums and collections throughout the world. Her first works, “Avis Gloriae et Lavdis” and “Nature Eternal,” were displayed on Riverside Park South in Manhattan. She now has works across the country. A driving force for her creation of public art is being able to reach viewers of all races, genders, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds. Building works outside has made Berger acutely aware of her responsibility towards the planet, with a heightened awareness of the impact of sculpture on nature, she strives to bring awareness and enhance her natural surroundings rather than disrupt them.
About Governors Island Arts
Governors Island Arts, the public arts and cultural program presented by the Trust for Governors Island, creates transformative encounters with art for all New Yorkers, inviting artists and researchers to engage with the issues of our time in the context of the Island’s layered histories, environments, and architecture. Governors Island Arts achieves this mission through temporary and long-term public art commissions, an annual Organization in Residence program in the Island’s historic houses, and free public programs and events in partnership with a wide range of cross-disciplinary NYC cultural organizations. For more information, visit www.govisland.org
About the Trust for Governors Island
The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to realize the full potential of Governors Island for the inspiration and enjoyment of all New Yorkers, demonstrating a bold vision for public space. For more information, visit www.govisland.org