What We're Reading: Why Is New York Asking Artists to Decorate City Garbage Trucks for Free?

"The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is seeking proposals from artists to decorate its 46,000-pound waste collection vehicles. But artists whose designs are selected will not be paid, raising questions about whether the city’s open call devalues art," said Jasmine Liu for Hyperallergic. "DSNY is rebooting this public art project, Trucks of Art, for the second time, and will be accepting expressions of interest from artists until September 18. Its inaugural edition happened in 2019, when four artists and students in a visual arts class were selected to cover the 400-square-foot blank “canvases” with images of sanitation workers, recycling, and flowers. Almost 100 artists applied, and Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia at the time called the designs 'truly … works of art.'"

"DSNY will privilege proposals that center the over 7,000 sanitation workers who keep New York clean and motifs of cleanliness. Participating artists will be provided with supplies and a working space to enact their designs, and they will have just three, seven-hour work days, sometime in late September and early October, to completely adorn their collection vehicle, including all three visible sides of the truck. They will be encouraged to keep waste low by using recycled and discarded paints. The design will remain on the truck for as long as it remains intact on the vehicle. The trucks are expected to hit the road by October, and DSNY hopes to represent artists from every borough."

Read the full article here.