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PSA by Christine Sun Kim at 20 Times Square. Photo: Maria Baranova.
PSA by Christine Sun Kim at 20 Times Square. Photo: Maria Baranova.

Christine Sun Kim, Pedro Reyes Among Artists Creating Digital Billboards for NYC’s Essential Workers

Carrie Mae Weems, Christine Sun Kim, Duke Riley, Jenny Holzer, Pedro Reyes, and Xaviera Simmons are among the thirty-five artists and designers who are making works to display across digital screens throughout New York City, Boston, and Chicago in recognition of the continued service of essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organized by Times Square Arts, For Freedoms, and Poster House, the public art campaign aims to “encourage a sense of community and pride among New Yorkers, and give artists the opportunity to express their gratitude and optimism through the power of art.”

The contemporary artists were invited to contribute to the project, “Messages for the City,” after a group of graphic designers, including Ola Baldych, Milton Glaser, Mirko Ilić, Emily Oberman, Paul Sahre, Paula Scher, and Zipeng Zhu, created and installed works honoring doctors, grocers, delivery people, and other essential workers across New York City’s five boroughs in April.

“Art asks us to pause, to take a moment to consider what is in front of us,” For Freedoms said in a statement. “We hope that this project will further encourage us to pause, consider and appreciate those whose jobs are essential, who return to their nightly hospital shifts or daily customer service responsibilities, to guarantee that we are taken care of through this pandemic and beyond.”