Public Art Program Intern: Madeleine Levin

Madeleine at the NADA New York Art Fair (Photo: Natalie Conn)

Madeleine Levin is serving as Freshkills Park’s Public Art Program Intern. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, which is home to the World’s Smallest Park, and she is currently a senior at Columbia University majoring in Urban Studies.

What are you working on?

I’m helping with research, grant proposals, and outreach for arts programs that seek to broaden Freshkills’ visitors as the Park begins to open. I think this stage of planning is so important for public art in the park, because thoughtful choices now will help Freshkills Park remain a welcoming space for people across Staten Island and New York for years to come.

What drew you to Freshkills Park?

The landfill-to-park project is such an exciting and unique way to think about how humans shape the natural world, and how we can better understand our own waste and impact on land. When I first moved to New York I sort of loved seeing the huge mountains of trash bags that pile up on the street before pick-up, but I never really thought about what happened to the trash after it was collected. When I was at the NADA Art Fair talking to people about the Park, it got everyone really excited to think about its history as a landfill but it also sparked questions about New York’s trash today, which is great. It’s about the past and the future.

What is your favorite topic surrounding Freshkills Park and why?

I’m super excited about the possibilities for public art at Freshkills Park. The space is so huge and so unique that artists have already engaged with it in a lot of different ways. Right now there is so much room for artists and people involved in the Park to dream big and come up with proposals that are different from the way we typically think of public art. It’s really made me understand public art as a much more active/evolving intervention in a space, rather than a static piece of work.

What is your favorite color?

My favorite color is blue like the ocean!

To learn more about staff and interns, follow the Freshkills Park Faces series.

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