Artist Discusses Her Flushing Meadows Corona Park Piece

Author: QEDC IT’S IN QUEENS
Publication: It’s in Queens
Published: August 19th, 2021
Article link: It’s in Queens

Forget about the chicken and the egg. What came first between art and science?

Judith Modrak’s Endangered Fossils is on view in Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s South Rose Garden until April 10, 2022.

Part of the NYC Parks Art in the Parks program, Endangered Fossils depicts an imagined archaeological excavation of New York State’s fossil record. It ponders the ecosystem’s origin and human roles, relationships, and responsibilities to it.

The sculptures are inspired by trilobites, brachiopods, and crinoids that thrived 400 million years ago during the Devonian period. (Similar to crabs, clams, and starfish, these organisms lived in marine environments akin to modern day coral reefs.)

Want to learn more? Modrak will discuss her piece on site on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 1 pm. (The South Rose Garden is near the Unisphere.)

“I am very grateful to bring this project to life in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and struck by the many symbolic connections — from the Unisphere, to the Rose Garden, to the Tent of Tomorrow and Observation Towers of the 1964 World’s Fair,” the artist stated. “Equally symbiotic is that the site was formed during a glaciation period approximately 20,000 years ago as part of the Long Island terminal moraine and was much more recently an ash dump, only to be transformed into the majestic park it is today, like a phoenix rising!”

Modrak has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. Her seven-sculpture Our Memories was on Governors Island and in Central Park and Thomas Paine Park (below). Her permanent public piece, Fluid Pathways/Caminos Fluidos, has been in Spain’s Blanca community since 2019.

This Week in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Publication: Queens Gazette
Published: August 19, 2021
Article link: Queens Gazette

New Art in the Park: Endangered Fossils by Judith Modrak
Now thru April 2022
South Rose Garden (near the Unisphere)
1pm to 2pm

Endangered Fossils, installed this month by artist Judith Modrak through NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program, represents an imagined archaeological excavation of New York State’s large fossil record. “The project ponders the origin of the ecosystem we inhabit and our role in it,” says the artist. “I am very grateful to bring this project to life in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and struck by the many symbolic connections — from the Unisphere, to the Rose Garden, to the Tent of Tomorrow and Observation Towers of the 1964 World’s Fair. Equally symbiotic is that the site was formed during a glaciation period approximately 20,000 years ago as part of the Long Island terminal moraine and was much more recently an ash dump, only to be transformed into the majestic park it is today, like a phoenix rising!” Meet the artist in person at her talk in the park on Saturday, August 21st at 1pm.

“Eco-Traces” Artist Talk @ FMCP on August 21st

Artist Talk: “Eco-Traces” at Flushing Meadows Corona Park as part of “Endangered Fossils”
Artist Talk Date: Saturday, August 21st, 2021
Artist Talk Time: 1 – 2 p.m.
Exhibition Dates: August 2021 – April 2022
Location: South Rose Garden, near the Queens Museum and Unisphere, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
NYC Art in the Parks Related Info: Installation Details

“What is it like to be an artist and what does it take to create a work of art? Find out firsthand when artist Judith Modrak, whose sculpture, “Endangered Fossils” is the latest addition to our park’s collection of outdoor art, speaks in the South Rose Garden near the Unisphere. Ms. Modrak’s talk , “Eco-Traces,” focuses on how she created “Endangered Fossils” and shares insights into her process and some of the ideas behind the new sculpture. “Endangered Fossils represents an imagined archaeological excavation of New York State’s large fossil record,” she says. The sculpture, located in the South Rose Garden now through April 2022, is on view at the talk and visitors are invited to ask questions about it after the talk – a rare treat when viewing a work of art. “A lot of people and organizations make my art possible,” she says. “This artwork, in addition to NYC Parks, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and private donors, owes a debt of gratitude to the fabricators at Sculpture House and the installers at Mariano Brothers.” The talk is free, and adults and children of all ages are welcome. Please bring a blanket or a low chair.”
~Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance, August 2021

“Endangered Fossils” represent an imagined archaeological excavation of New York State’s large fossil record. The sculptures are inspired by the trilobites, brachiopods and crinoids who flourished during the Devonian period, ~400 million years ago. These crab, clam, and starfish like organisms lived in marine environments very similar to the coral reefs of today. The project ponders the origin of the ecosystem we inhabit and our role, relationship, and responsibility to that environment in light of cataclysmic climate change and global pandemics.

Fósiles en peligro de extinción representa una excavación arqueológica figurada del gran registro fósil del estado de Nueva York. Las esculturas están inspiradas en los trilobites, braquiópodos y crinoideos que florecieron durante el período Devónico, hace 400 millones de años. Estos organismos similares al cangrejo, la almeja y la estrella de mar vivían en ambientes marinos muy similares a los arrecifes de coral de hoy en día. El proyecto reflexiona sobre el origen del ecosistema que habitamos y nuestro papel, relación y responsabilidad con ese medio ambiente a la luz del catastrófico cambio climático y las pandemias mundiales.