Monday, January 24, 2011

Congratulations to Tonja Torgerson and Joel Weissman! Their project, SUBPAR, presented at the first Salt City DISHES on 1/23/11, won the audience over and secured themselves a $1000 grant to realize their project. Hurray!

Syracuse Urban Beautification Public Art Resistance” SUBPAR is meant to integrate challenging art into the visual landscape of Syracuse. Dereliction and mass media advertising dominate the physical and mental environment of our city. SUBPAR aims to create street art installations that offer critical perspectives while forcing beauty into the urban surroundings.

As an initial venture, SUBPAR’s founding members (Tonja Torgerson and Joel Weissman) are creating hand-made ceramic tiles as a form of unconventional street art. This project involves multiple installations that are spread throughout the city. Due to the hand-made nature of these tiles we are able to create a huge array of shapes and sizes that are specific to the location. This project also utilizes screen-printed imagery and text on these tiles to draw attention to the current neglect of Syracuse’s urban environment.

Syracuse has suffered from a vicious cycle of urban decay. As businesses have failed and buildings have become abandoned, the center of the city becomes more vacant while new, excessive, business complexes are constructed away from the city’s heart. Even more detrimental to the street life of Syracuse is the placement of the interstate system through the city’s center. This makes it difficult to traverse and experience the city in any means besides a vehicle. These conditions create an atmosphere that is crippling to the creation of a pedestrian culture and urban vibrancy within Syracuse. SUBPAR intends to counteract this lackluster environment by developing beauty in the urban environment and re-appropriating spaces for art within the public realm.

The creation of site-specific street art installations is only a catalyst for the greater objective. The works created by SUBPAR serve to prompt individuals and collectives to recognize the need for civic improvement.


Join us at the next Salt City DISHES dinner on May 1st to hear how their project is going.

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