For the month of August, “ICY SIGNS,” a temporary public art signage project, will be presented on street light poles along the Summer Streets route. Inspired by traditional hand-painted signs, artist Steve Powers’ installation uses the common sign to overstate its importance as a tool to guide us through the hectic world around us. Powers’ signs are an emotional wayfinding system used to compliment the traditional directional signs that guide and caution us at every turn. These signs speak to Summer Streets participants about love and life for a brief moment, directing everyone to navigate not only the city streets, but our interior alleys and avenues.
The signs depict ideas as logotypes, pictographs and communication devices as old as human expression. The sign with a pillow that reads “Home At Last,” represents a sentiment all New Yorkers can relate to after a long day of navigating around the City. The sign with a lighthouse that says ‘You,’ with its light shining on ‘Me,’ holds meaning for anyone that needs someone. “ICY SIGNS” are meant to be read, pondered, wondered about, understood or dismissed as confusing. Powers reminds Summer Streets participants that art is about finding a way, and signs are about showing the way, and where those ways meet is where “ICY SIGNS”
In total, thirty signs will be exhibited at four of the Summer Streets rest stops: Midtown at 25th Street and Park Avenue, Astor Place at Astor Place and Lafayette Street, SoHo at Spring Street and Lafayette Street, with the majority featured at Foley Square at Duane Street and Centre Street. Each individual sign was produced at DOT’s own Sign Shop in Maspeth, Queens and installed by DOT Borough Engineers.
Photos by Matthew Kuborn