Damien Davis, courtesy LMCC website

The Thursday after our show for Beverly Semmes‘s studio class, we had the pleasure of hearing the artist Damien Davis speak about his work, as well as The Whitney Biennial which we recently visited. After his talk at AAP NYC, Damien took us to his studio at LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Center). There, we were lucky enough to see his work in person, as well as that of the other resident artists. The day after that talk and the last day before our spring break, we had the lovely Katie Holten visit to discuss her practice and her book that we have been reading called “About Trees.” Katie Holten states: “I think of the book as an archive of human knowledge filtered through branches of thought.”

Photo found on localecologist.org

After weeks of excitement and the non-stop go of New York City, we all dispersed for spring recess and have now returned feeling refreshed for Cornell students. We began our first Monday back with Masha Panteleyeva’s art and architecture history class where we discussed Pop-Art. After that we had a substitute studio professor named Juan Iribarren who guided us through drawing from a live figure model. We look forward to going on more art adventures and having discussions with Linda Norden and Jane Benson this week, and are starting to think about our next show, opening on May 1st in the AAP NYC gallery.

Drawing by Maggie O’Keefe, photo taken by Maggie O’Keefe


After weeks of visiting shows, we finally put up our own show titled: “Blue”, a collection of pieces representing the word “Blue.” The March 27 reception filled the 20th floor of 26 Broadway with friends and family, old art teachers, our architecture neighbors, and alumni. Art was hung, twirling, laying on the ground, performed, displayed, and listened to all around the floor in AAP NYC. The show was a success and we’re excited to move forward to our next show which will open on May 1st.

Gallery shot, photo by Kylie Corwin
Students in gallery, photo by Kylie Corwin
Jada Haynes listening and viewing Guava Rhee’s piece, photo by Kylie Corwin

Flying Fish

In the New York studio, the motto is work hard, work harder then work even more but occasionally we do find pockets in the day to have a bit of fun. One of such occasions came after Studio one Friday afternoon, when a few of us strolled over to Battery Park. The park itself is just visible from studio and is a nice break from the tall buildings that dominate the Downtown skyline. Battery Park is one of New York City’s oldest parks and is the largest public open space Downtown.

Historically it was fondly called the “emerald doorstep” and is quickly becoming the hub of all waterborne transportation for New York Harbor. Of particular interest is the SeaGlass Carousel located at the southern edge of the park, the carousel is inspired by the underwater world. Designed by AAP NYC planning faculty at WXY Architecture + Urban Design its exterior swirls around and up, mimicking the shape of a shell. The interior has soft colored lighting that transitions slowly from one color to the next. Riders hop into the massive fish also LED lit, designed by George Tyspin Opera Factory. WXY Architecture + Urban Design describe the carousel as a “project that transforms the traditional ride structure into an instrument of the future with digital projection and electrified glass technology with an original musical score recorded live by New York City Musicians”. The underwater theme is a throwback to the New York Aquarium which at one time was located on the very same spot.

Although the ride was clearly aimed at children, we were all too happy to hop on and enjoy it. After a grueling week in studio it was extremely relaxing to sway gently up and down while also revolving around, alternating between views from the inside and outside. For a moment, we became part of the spectacle of the of the exhibit as people looked in on us as we rode the ride. As we continue the semester we hope to find even more of these ad hoc surprises the city has to offer. They are a good way to break up our routine and after all it is experiences like this that make the New York Studio unique.


Why New York?

NYC subway

When Cornell is mentioned, Ithaca comes to mind. The institution has been part of the city for so long that it is hard to separate one from the other. And with the construction of Milstein Hall on the northern end of the campus, AAP has found its landmark. But as the world becomes more accessible so have the programs at AAP, with campuses spotted around the globe. As an M.Arch I student we have a mandatory semester in the New York branch of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. But I find myself asking the question ‘Why New York?’ The United States has a slew of reputable cities with interesting art and architecture; and some may argue that New York City is too expensive to live in and overrun with tourists and other passers-by. Cities like Boston and Chicago might seem like a perfectly good alternative so that begs the question, why New York?

Everyone who lives here talks about the energy the city and cliché as it may sound it’s true. Very few cities in the world can match the energy of New York. Everyone walks faster, the hustle and bustle of the people is a continues 24/7 momentum.

Though New York is a big city each neighborhood in it is so unique. They all have their own feel and draw that you can travel to what feels like different worlds in a matter of minutes. Harlem, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Tribeca, the FiDi (our home!), New York offers exceptional areas and culture all within a short distance.

New York has a way of making people feel like they are invincible and can accomplish anything they set out to do. Every corner has people showing off their talents and creativity which offers inspiration to passers-by.

M.Arch. 1 student Stephen Clond.

One of the city’s greatest attributes is its diversity. About 36% of New York’s residents come from other countries. Each person has their own New York Story, whether they’re a native, an immigrant or just passing through.

Though it is true that there is more competition in New York than in most other cities, the silver lining is that there are a host of opportunities available to all. There are hundreds of thousands of offices, work places and pop ups that can allow people to try different avenues and really push themselves and test their limits.

As a student here thus far the experience has been like no other, the whole city is our campus. And although Ithaca is great, the chance to explore something new and different is an invaluable experience that all of us in the New York semester are excited to embark on.

AAP NYC architecture studio at night
AAP NYC art studio.

Show after show

These past two weeks, us AAP students were overwhelmed with amazement, exploring and running from galleries to studios to art expositions in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

In Linda Norden‘s seminar, we visited the Francis Picabia show and ran downstairs to see Nan Goldin’s slideshow at The MoMA. We trekked to MoMA PS1, saw Mark Leckey’s expansive exhibition and finished our day pleasantly sitting and staring up inside of James Turrell’s celebrated Skyspace called Meeting. We also had another full day of exploration at the Independent New York and New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) where we had the opportunity to view as much art as possible in a short amount of time. The following week, we visited The Whitney Museum of American Art to meet with curator, Donna De Salvo. Later that day, we visited The Grey Art Gallery, NYU’s fine art museum for a tour of the show Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City.

Students with Linda Norden at The Grey Art Gallery. Photo / Kylie Corwin.

In Jane Benson‘s class, we visited Miguel Luciano and were lucky to hear him speak about his exhibition at BRIC (which stands for Brooklyn Information & Culture) which focused on Puerto Rican politics by displaying Schwinn bikes and gang iconography. We finished up the week with a visit to Diana Shpungin‘s studio and hearing her lecture about her projects with SITE:LAB, a creator of temporary site specific art projects. Finally, we ended the week with a visit to The Armory Show in Manhattan where we all felt inspired again in spite of feeling all “arted out.” On the following Friday we visited the 8th Floor Gallery in Chelsea to meet with the art director of the Rubin Foundation, Sara Reisman. 

Students at Miguel Luciano’s exhibition at BRIC in Brooklyn. Photo taken by Kylie Corwin.

In Masha Panteleyeva’s class, we have been learning about Robert Moses’ achievements in city planning and architecture. This week, we took a trip to Astoria, Queens to the Museum of the Moving Image to meet with one of its architects to learn about his architectural and design decisions and processes. In our studio class with Beverly Semmes, we displayed our figure model drawings in AAP NYC’s gallery, and had a successful critique on our third studio assignment.

Students at The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Photo taken by Kylie Corwin.

We’re all doing well and excited about our surroundings, taking in NYC everyday. Some of us are involved with dancing, art classes, internships, the recent Cornell Fashion Collective, and more. We are missing our friends and colleagues up in Ithaca and hope they are enjoying the first snow day closing in 24 years.