Shaya Weinberger: Parking Lots into Open Galleries


New York residents recently got a new place where they can view art for free, whenever they like. Thanks to artist Shaya Weinberger New Yorkers can now enjoy art while parking their cars.

The “Park inside the Box” project was initiated by Weinberger, art professor at Jackson Heights High School in Bronx, NYC, who changed the look of the monotonous parking booths and turned them into real pieces of public art.

Targeting lowly places for public art projects brings more interest than any usual beautiful place. Shaya strongly believes that it is possible to do creative and inspiring things even in uninteresting places. By reaching for something that is usually considered unworthy, and by giving it attention and creative energy, you transform that architectural object and it functions on lots of levels.

The main idea of the project is to combine public art with utilitarian functions. The purpose of the project is to find mundane, dull places of public character and transform them into pleasing, visually attractive artworks. The school’s plain parking lot was the perfect place for starting the project.

According to Weinberger, transforming the two booths of Jackson Heights High School was just the beginning. The art professor has already chosen his next location where four more booths will be transformed, hopefully until the end of the year.

Each booth will have different designer working on it, but the designs will be respectfully complementary. Besides giving the space a whole new light and vividness, Weinberger says that the project can also help aspiring artist further their progress.

The budget for each booth, without the designer's fees, is about the same amount of money needed to build a traditional booth. All of the designers involved in “Park inside the Box” project have agreed to do make the designs for free, and it will be their contribution to the community. Compared to the traditional valet booths, each of the picturesque booths provides a better working environment for parking attendants.

The project combines digitally fabricated materials with conventional materials, like the booth frame and its manufactured ocular windows. As reviewer Shaya Weinberger further explained, both of the techniques were necessary, so that a complex geometrical form could be economically constructed.

The “Park inside the Box” project is part of Jackson Heights High School art program that aims to create memorable experiences for every member of their community.

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