Printer Friendly Format Email a Friend

PR- 278-05
July 19, 2005


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin and Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Guillermo Linares today announced the six finalists being considered for creating a memorial to honor the memory of the 265 lives lost in the Flight 587 tragedy on November 12, 2001 in Belle Harbor, Queens. The artists/creative teams were selected through a panel process involving representatives of the families of the victims, the community, arts professionals, City agencies and other civic officials. Selections were made from the 68 submissions the City received in response to the Request for Proposals (RFP) issued on May 6th.  Finalists are now charged with developing their conceptual design proposals, which they will formally present to the panel in late August. A final design selection will be announced in early September.

"The creation of a memorial that reflects the depth of this tragedy and honors the lives of those who perished in the crash of Flight 587 is a priority for our Administration," said Mayor Bloomberg.   "As a result of our collaboration with the families of the victims of Flight 587 and the residents of Belle Harbor, we have selected six talented artists from 68 submissions to design an appropriate memorial that will be a powerful place for us to share our grief and remember the legacy of those who were lost." 

"The sentiments of the families and communities affected by the tragedy have been the guiding force in this process to accomplish a memorial," said Commissioner Linares. "We look forward as a City to gathering at a permanent symbol of love and reverence for the lives lost on Flight 587 and on the ground."

"We are confident that the selection process will result in an excellent design that is sensitive to the complexities the project poses in terms of both subject matter and site," said Commissioner Levin.  "The finalists offer an impressive range of approaches to designing a public space that will memorialize the victims of this tragedy and serve as a beautiful public place of remembrance and reflection."

Panelists evaluated artists/creative teams based on the following criteria: artistic excellence, as shown in past work; appropriateness of the general conceptual approach to designing this memorial, and successful experience with comparable projects, including past projects that demonstrate respect for the subject matter.

The selected site for the memorial is at the ocean end of Beach 116th Street, near the entrance to the beach. As part of this project, the existing cul de sac and the beach entrance will be reconfigured to suit the memorial and improve beach access.  The Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Transportation will be responsible for the design and construction of the site, including plantings and the memorial's foundation. The approximate budget for the memorial is $2 million.  The City is raising both public and private support for this project.  Tribute Park, honoring those who perished on September 11, 2001, is being built on a site at the opposite end of 116th Street, on the bay side of the peninsula.

Flight 587 was headed to Santo Domingo when the crash occurred at 9:16am on November 12, 2001, shortly after it took off from JFK International Airport.  Many of the passengers were flying together in family groups, either returning to the Dominican Republic after a visit to New York, or were beginning a visit home.  All passengers and crew perished along with five people on the ground. The event created a profound loss for families in the United States, the Dominican Republic, France, Haiti, Israel, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, and particularly for two New York City neighborhoods, Washington Heights and Belle Harbor. The second deadliest aviation accident in American history brought together New York's Dominican Community and the residents of Belle Harbor in the Rockaways.  The memorial will be a place of remember how much those lost meant to the families, their communities and the City.

The following are the finalists: 

Linda Covit
Linda Covit is an internationally recognized artist who lives and works in Montreal, where she was born in 1948.  She has been commissioned for a number of public artworks in both Canada and Japan.  She participated in the 53rd International Competition for Contemporary Ceramic Art at the Museo Internazionale delle ceramiche in Faenza, Italy and in a group exhibition at Wave Hill, in the Bronx.  Her work is in the collections of the Musée d'art contemporain in Montreal, the Musée du Québec, the Cirque du Soleil, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the University of Concordia.  She has received numerous grants from the Canada Council, the Japan-Canada Fund, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in New York.

Barbara Grygutis
Barbara Grygutis has completed over fifty major public art commissions throughout the United States, completed works include the Martin Luther King Memorial in Columbia, Missouri; "Garden of Constants," a sculpture garden for Ohio State University, Columbus; "Journeys," a sculptural environment for WMATA, Washington, DC; "Railgate," a transportation gateway in Hamilton, New Jersey; "Standing Leaves, Falling Light," light sculpture for Redmond, Washington as well as public art installations for Denver, Colorado; San Clara, California; Athens, Ohio; St. Paul, Minnesota; Jacksonville, Florida; and the Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York.  She has received design awards for her work in Denver, San Diego, and Albuquerque, as well as an international award in Faenza, Italy for sculptural ceramics in the urban setting.  Born in Hartford, Connecticut, and raised in Kfar Shmaryahu, Israel, she maintains a studio in Tucson, Arizona. On this project Ms. Grygutis will be working with engineer, José A, Santos, Director of Structures, FPS Group Corp. New York.

Toshihiro Katayama
Born in Osaka, Japan, Toshirio Katayama is a self-taught artist and designer who came the United States in 1966 to teach at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University and remained on the faculty there for 30 years. Over the past 30 years he has collaborated with architects and landscape architects, beginning with the State Street Subway Station in Boston in 1975, and more recently on commissions including the Mitsui Marine and Fire Insurance Headquarters in Chiba, Japan, the World Health Organization Headquarters in Kobe Japan and a public plaza in Porter Square, Cambridge, MA. In 1997 he received Artist of the Year Award from the Architecture and Arts and Crafts association in Japan. On this project, Mr. Katayama will be working with Thomas Oslund, of Oslund and Associates, a landscape architecture firm based in Minneapolis, MN.

Donald Lipski and David Meyer
Donald Lipski is an internationally known artist with works in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among his most notable exhibitions was a one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988, the Academy Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1993, and the Rome Prize in 2000. Mr. Lipski completed a public commission through the City's Percent for Art program in 1997. He has public works currently in progress in Minneapolis, Austin, Madison, San Diego, San Antonio and Reno-Sparks, Nevada.

In his 20-year career as a licensed landscape architect, David Meyer has directed the design and execution of many prestigious and award-winning projects, including the Sony Center in Berlin, the Munich Airport Center and Puerta de Europa in Madrid. Mr. Meyer has also worked on the Maryland World War II Memorial in Annapolis and the Plains Indian Memorial in Little Bighorn National Park, Montana. He is an adjunct professor at the University of California in Berkeley and a winner of the 2000 Rome Prize in landscape architecture.

Freddy Rodriguez
Freddy Rodriguez was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York City in 1963. He studied painting at the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research, and textile design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Mr. Rodriguez was named a "Gregory Millard Fellow in Painting" in 1991 by the New York Foundation for the Arts and was a New York State Council on the Arts Artist-in-Residence at El Museo del Barrio in 1992. He represented the United States at the IV Painting Biennial in Cuenca, Ecuador, and has lectured on art throughout Central and South America. Mr. Rodriguez completed a public commission through the City's Percent for Art program in 1995. His work will soon be featured in a one-person exhibition at the Newark Museum and at the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at the University of Connecticut.

Krzysztof Wodiczko and Julian Bonder
Originally from Poland, Krzysztof Wodiczko now splits his time between New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is a professor and a director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Wodiczko has created more than 70 projections of still and video images that animate historic monuments and civic edifices. His projections include The Grand Army Plaza Memorial Arch in Brooklyn, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the City Hall Tower in Krakow and the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima.
His work has been exhibited at the Paris Biennale, Venice Biennale, Kyoto Biennale and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Mr. Wodiczko completed a public commission through the New York City's Percent for Art program in 1998. He and architect Julian Bonder have been commissioned by the city of Nantes to design a memorial commemorating the Abolition of Slavery in France, set to open in 2007.

Born in New York City, Julian Bonder was raised in Argentina and returned to the United States in 1995. He is currently an Associate Professor at Roger Williams University's School of Architecture in Rhode Island. As a practicing architect, he has worked on the Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires, a memorial for AMIA/Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina in Buenos Aires, a project for the Camp Meigs Memorial (Civil War Memorial for the training site of the Massachusetts Regiments) and a Memorial for the Victims of States Violence in Buenos Aires.

Mr. Bonder's work has also been presented in the Bienal of Architecture in Buenos Aires, the Trienale of Architecture in Milan, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires and the The Boston Society of Architects Gallery.


Edward Skyler/Silvia Alvarez   (212) 788-2958

Sara Rutkowski   (Cultural Affairs)
(212) 643-6690

Erica Gonzalez   (Immigrant Affairs)
(212) 788-9964

More Resources