ART SERVICE: The ball was in Tory Sport’s court on Tuesday morning.
The activewear brand opened its Flatiron flagship early in support of Art Production Fund, Fort Gansevoort and The Art Lab’s Art Sundae project. The nonprofit public arts program, which started in fall 2017, connects children with professional artists to create collaborative artwork, which is then displayed at Fort Gansevoort.
“Casey [Fremont, executive director of the Art Production Fund] and I both have children that are around the same age…and we love to bring them to different art galleries or museums, to really introduce them to art,” said Carolyn Angel, who owns “cultural space” Fort Gansevoort with her husband. Art Sundae also partners with the Hudson Guild, a Chelsea-based community center located in the nexus of New York’s gallery district. “We just realized that a lot of children don’t have that same [access]; they aren’t even aware that it’s free to enter a gallery.”
“It teaches kids that galleries shouldn’t be places they feel they can’t go to,” said Art Production Fund’s Casey Fremont of the project, as guests browsed Tory Sport wares and posed in front of the brand’s tennis-ball mascot, Little Grumps; 20 percent of proceeds from the event benefited Art Sundae. “The idea is it’s a pride-building exercise, where we invite kids from all over New York City, all different backgrounds, to come in and work with an artist to create a public arts project. And when they have it on view, the kids can invite their families and friends to see what they worked on.” Last fall, Elise Peterson worked with children to collage their illustrations onto a toy playhouse, and this summer Cheryl Pope created a collage of baseball shirts printed with the kids’ self-affirming statements. The next artist tapped for the initiative is illustrator and fine artist Christopher Meyers.
“We recognized that when kids see their art hanging up even in the smallest room, they feel so proud. And that’s an indication of the power of public art,” Fremont added.