Great cities are Cultural Laboratories, great cities give pleasure to their people in contemporary and urban terms.

Economic Development is on the radar in Central New York and comes as "the answer" to most everyone working in revitalization efforts. Most new projects and developments come into fruition with the intention of bettering or furthering the region's "economic development" status, with the belief that developing economically will result in a better future for the City of Syracuse and its surrounding areas.

But it is important that we begin looking at other factors in the revitalization of the area, and Lipe Art Park can be a vehicle for these kinds of public discussions, and the forefront of sustainability in the region, and possibly the world. It takes looking outside of the neighborhood, outside of the City, and outside of the region to bring this project to a global scale.

Beyond "Economic Development" what Social and Ecological developmental aspects can Lipe Art Park begin to explore and encompass within its grassy boundaries? Perhaps this can be answered with the types of sculpture/art that is presented, the theme of shows that take place there, or even new and innovative ideas that Lipe Art Park can introduce to the world, as a sculpture park and an outdoor center of ideas, culture and creativity.


 Here at the beginning, I believe that the following issues are key in the development and sustainability of Lipe Art Park:

- to promote artistic activity through the creation of new and original artworks

-to develop and promote a high quality and well designed environment, valued by those who live, work, and visit the Warehouse District

-to promote participation and involvement in the arts and our environment

Thoughts? Ideas?



Edited Sun, Mar 2, 2008 8:41 AM

Replies to this Topic

Personally, I'd like to see some garden plots set aside for growing food there. Some fruit trees and berry bushes would be nice as well. Edibles gardens interspersed with walking paths and sculptures would be awesome, eh?


It's nice to have you back on the scene. I agree with the concept of broadening our view of "development". In fact, I like to think of the term "revitalization" in a very literal way. At its root is the word "vital" - life. In essence, when we're talking about revitalization, we're talking about bringing our city and community back to life. Art is a sign of life. Public Art, specifically, breathes a certain life into the consciousness of a community. It tells anyone who sees it that someone among us is thinking, creating, and growing. Beyond that, Lipe Art Park, specifically, represents an opportunity to for Art to build community. Developing the Park, itself, has been a communal process; it is the product of the labor and support of dozens of people. As the Park continues to grow and develop further, it is essential that we continue to invite more people to be a part of its renewal and sustainment. Also, Lipe can build community because it can serve as a gathering space, where people can come together and enjoy something that is unique to Syracuse. We need to consistently create opportunities for people to come together and enjoy both the space and other like-minded folks. By doing this, Lipe, in its own modest way, can serve as a breeding ground for a stronger community and a source of inspiration for people to get out there and bring other parts of the city back to life.

Public art example

First of all, Robinson and Marshal in '08.  Secondly, I believe that the best way to catch the attention of the passers by all the way up to the foundations and organizations is to create a large scale sculpture / outdoor Art piece that is bright and hard to miss.  I think that we need to create a Huge piece that has collaboration written all over it.  The combined efforts of a dozen artists and volunteers to create one large scale sculpture would be amazing!  ReFAB-ColLAB!!

One way to create work that is both artistically challenging and directly anchored and in dialogue with it's  environmental surroundings  (my core criterion for good public art) is to have a competition with specific parameters rather than an open call.In general, funds need to be available to attract the caliber of artist who can take this on successfully.

Whether it's a competition or a commission, creating an actual Park Association allows for a more clear relationship between FLAP and the City Parks Department, the Public Art Commission, SIDA etc.. and provides an opportunity to do fund-raising by FLAP for LAP . Additionally, it will open leadership of the park by creating autonomy for FLAP. FLAP can hold event on/at LAP without concern that it might be private use of public space etc... This is what is typically done. The whole reason for formalizing something whould actually be allow for an openness and organicness to FLAP's growth and to raise funds

I know several good sculptors and installation artists who would enter a competition with funds attached- with clear info on how a show would be curated, publicized and how logistics would be handled. Without these it can be a real pain in the wazoo. A system of press releases and outreach can be created so that neighbors, universities, civic organizations and artists can have full information. The Park itself can be used to announce meetings and receptions by posting a board in the park (visible from the street) with the date, time, and location of upcoming events, meeting or shows. Enough of the admin.  It's only relevant as far as it help to bring people into the process and produce good shows

We had several examples of large scale collaborative pieces that could work for LAP. These are some of the old ideas for events:


--A Taste of the West Side with Polish, Ukrainian, Dominican, Irish, Salvadoran... cuisines as a fundraiser/ social, neighborhood gathering.

--A birdhouse expo which would showcase artisan birdhouses and turn LAP into a sanctuary for the duration of the show. The opening could include build you own birdhouse work shop and have a bird-calling competition. 

--Sundials, home-made scopes to look across the city.

--Temporary landscape design: grass/ ground cover plantings to create a giant rugs, mazes or gameboards  with patterns and variating pile height texture...

Liz, with regard to growing food, I'd bet that it's heavy metal city, but I don't recall if there was any kind of soil study done. You'd know better than I what to watch out for.



Edited Tue, Mar 4, 2008 9:23 AM

I feel like working in government is making me into a total buzz kill... however - I do want to point out that it is very, very VERY likely Lipe is a brownfield, and anything grown in the soil there would likely be bad to eat.  However - we can design around this.  If we do have an orchard or community garden space incorporated, it could be on raised beds with new soil placed over the scary toxic rail residue soil.  Just a thought.

Agreed, I would expect for it to be a brownfield. This is an issue we will have to tackle for every vacant lot we want to reclaim, and we are hoping to take the necessary to rehabilitate the soil through phytoremediation. Frank has been doing a lot of research into this, so he's the go-to-guy where all this is concerned. It would not happen overnight that we could grow food there. But it's a nice goal, and in the meantime, we could have our plot laid out, and be taking the necessary measures to ensure we can grow food there in the future. You know, make it look all pretty, with some sort of explanation as to what the plot is all about, what we're doing there. Unless you think the fact that the park is between a railroad line and a busy street might mean that contamination will be a continuing problem, as opposed to one that was left behind. In which case, yeah bummer dude.

I strongly agree on the idea of a large scale funded installation competition, that's what I feel the park was laking last summer.  It was too disjointed with just a bunch of smaller pieces placed in the landscape.  Now I have nothing against these smaller pieces but the park needs a strong visual identity that can link these smaller pieces together as a whole.  Give me some time to finish up some school projects and I'll post a few precendents in the files and media section.

I love the ideas being generated (and that have been generated prior to this online collective: i.e. Andrea's revisiting of the Taste of the is a uniter and a peacemaker - and also a shout out to Andrea being the best off the cuff caterer I know, this idea should happen this season in my opinion, and should be fairly easy to organize).  I believe that brainstorming, although sometimes a little crazy, can help us get to an actual formula or idea - so we should keep it up up up!

Paul: with your expertise, is there a way to convert old brown-fields into usable/plantable/eatable space? I heard something about raised beds once, perhaps you could leave a link for something like that? That would be some fierce "eco-sustainability"...and could be an example for the globe...and for future sites...

Michael and Neil: large scale exhibitions are an excellent idea, but keep in mind that unlike "regular sized" sculptures, large scale also brings up a whole worm-can of transporting, construction and financing that smaller scale sculptures and installations do not embody. Any ideas as to how to achieve this exactly? And any examples of artists who work large scale that could potentially be contacted? Perhaps even, sthe group and the community would want to create a site specific large scale installation that could be done simply and inexpensively.



 Hello, very new here, but in the past helped create handicapped accessible raised planting beds as part of an eagle scout project. Such a theme may open up some grant money/exposure?  I imagine cny designers could incorporate the functional with the aesthetic. Of course, planting beds to not have to be used solely for food. Seasonal flowers would be a great way of attracting community gardeners and bringing other types of traffic to the area.  However it works out you got a pair of hands for brute labor in me.

Big fan of the artisan birdhouse idea, anything that would bring a sense of life and promote nature is a plus.

With regard to flora:

I remember attending the first Adapt CNY greenspace meeting about Lipe Art Park. ( At the time I did not realize that Steve was a landscape architect , as well as others, and I though I might offer some of my expertise to help the group. How funny!!!) They put so much talent and effort in the design and execution last year. It was pretty awesome! I really salute all those who helped with that.   I suggested and ever blooming garden, but the lack of certainty about the Park longevity made annual seem more sensible. Annuals are also more modular. Part of the idea of birdhouse, or a butterfly garden is to bring some wildlife to the park (and the broader area).  It's so easy to do and we could find a sponsor to donate seeds for people in the neighborhood to do the same. I was just talking to a group that meets at Lemoyne that's all about this. I also invited a person for The Gear Factory beta community who helps organize the Westcott Bulb Project to this group

In general, events that interest youth also mean that the parents come along. It's a good way to enagage people in the neighborhood and to spread the greenery. I am in complete agreement that a jungle gym park is not what's called for, but I do envision that the Art Park will also act a a traditional park: a gathering place for events and a leisure spot. As long as the central vision of the strip as an ART park is not lost, I'd love to see the bucolic element alongside the urban, ie butterflies. That may not be in keeping with the collective vision, it's just my country girl side.

Do you think that we could get different nurseries to donate some plants for a plant sale? We could sell them at a discount rate to people in the neighborhood and raise funds for the park. AND/OR (I'm having an AHA moment) the Hydroponic Shops of America may be willing to donate the setup so that we can sprout a ton of herb and veggie plants ourselves. ( Maybe Rick will let us use "my floor" of TGF??  ) We'd need to start soon.

 This is what happens when you exercise in the morning... the brain keeps runnin' on that treadmill all day long.

"With Regard to Flora"


I just like sounds romantic, and should be the title of a show...


Join us, for "With Regard to Flora" with your host Andrea Audi

actually, maybe it sounds more like one of those PBS "how to paint shows" but nonetheless...





You're right, that does have a certain ring, but my show (on public access tv) has a different name. (see me privately. That's not the name of the show, for clarification.Cry The "I'm laughing so hard that I'm crying" emoticon is a tribute to Rick. )

Actually, I was think about the CNY Habitat Gardening Group. I just talked to them at CNY Blooms. Ty, I remember that Wendy was also interested in the artisan burdhouse idea. You should invite her to the conversation. Everyone's already tired I my voice and it's only the first week!

Another thought-- Is there anyway to find out when google earth takes their sallelite shots? I think it's every three months or some similar interval. It would be cool to do an installation specifically geared to that, but this maybe highly classified info. Is their anyway to get Lipe Park special attention through the mapping project or the google 3D that the Chamber is working on? that would be cool Cool

-- I remember some debate on the last line of the wikipedia entry. I see the hippies prevailed ;) (power to the people). I have long said that Syracuse (it's official agencies, businesses,  and inhabitants need a better web presence.) Yes, I also love those hole in the wall place that on 27 people know exist, but I would be great to document show via the wikipedia page. I could help artists get some exposure and increase the profile regionally by link to other arts groups such as sculpture space, stone quarry etc..

Perhaps we could find four major sponsors. Watson's Nursery, The Gear Factory, The 40 B PAFT, and OCC.  Just thinking aloud. OCC has solid art programs as had aggressive plan for growth, They take part in Th3 (not to mention that Debbie Sydow is gem and tremendously helpful.) I am not sure where the sculpure park that the Marcellus family proposed stands, but my understanding is that it will be primarily for SU students, so I would necessarily think to go there for sponsorship.

I am now going to take a vow of silence so others can chime in. We'll see how long it last Embarassed


Edited Thu, Mar 6, 2008 10:03 AM

Maybe someone could build a 3D "virtual" sculpture installation at Lipe Art Park on Google Earth?   It would be easy for people from all over the world to visit!! 

Might be a good way to raise money for the park and surely be good for press!! Laughing

I'd be more than happy to do a 3d installation for the art park.  I'm already familure with the program that google uses for Google Earth so it wouldn't be too hard.

I would encourage the group to consider engaging local foundations, especially Gifford, the Central New York Community Foundation and Allyn Foundation in the great work that you are doing. My sense is that you would want to have a 501(c)3 IRS designation or a 'fiscal sponsor' arrangement . . . and a strong sense of what different funders may be keen to invest in.

 My sense is that with a large installation (including a highly developed action plan and well defined objectives) you could confidently approach foundations and corporate funders.  Once the group has a well developed plan, I know the Community Foundation would be a good place to ask for $5,000 to $10,000 toward a larger (probably permanent) installation at LAP.

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