Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Molly Dilworth to refresh Times Square with cool blue surface treatments

Near 43rd Street, looking North.  Courtesy DOT
Near 43rd Street, looking North. Courtesy DOT.

Brooklyn-based artist Molly Dilworth was chosen as the winner of the reNEWable Times Square Design Competition to cover seven block of paved ground along Broadway from 47th to 42nd Streets.

Her submission, Cool Water, Hot Island, will be installed in June and remain for 18 months.  The winning design’s color palette of cool swirling blues suggests a river or topographical maps.  It relates to the geography of the area and the Great Kill stream that once flowed there.  The colors reflect less light, making it cooler and more comfortable for pedestrians, and contrast with the reds and yellows of the neon billboards.

Cool Water, Hot Island was selected from 150 applications and Dilworth will receive $15,000 for her idea.  Representatives from the DOT, Times Square Alliance, the Mayor’s Office, the Design Commission and an outside artist advisor chose the winning proposal.

This project is part of a larger renovation of Times Square, which began in May 2009 when Bloomberg rerouted traffic away from the Square to make it a car-free pedestrian zone designed to increase safety in Midtown.  The number of pedestrian and motorist injuries is already down significantly (35% and 63% respectively) compared to this time last year.  Although drivers claimed that rerouting traffic would cause problems, DOT studies have shown that travel time has generally increased.

Dilworth recent work includes large rooftop paintings that can be viewed from space via Google Earth or similar satellite image providers.  One such painting is installed on the roof of the Hendershot Gallery at 547 West 27th Street in Chelsea.  Dilworth earned her MFA from NYU in 2003.