Photos by Matthew Kuborn courtesy of Stephen Powers
Just when we were feeling flattened by the dog days of summer, here comes Stephen “ESPO” Powers, the ice cream man of hand-painted visual and verbal curiosities to put the oom pah pah back in our step. With the assist from New York City’s DOT, ESPO presents ICY SIGNS, his month-long public art sign project that will polka-dot lamp posts all along this year’s Summer Streets route.
ICY SIGNS is part of the Philly-native’s continued conversation with the streets and its shuffling denizens. The 30 signs, all produced at the DOT’s own Sign Shop in Maspeth, Queens, are a way-finding system for all those which-way-do-I-go moments that your parents never told you about. They offer a keep-your-head-up nudge and nod amid the jostle and locomotion of daily city grind.
“Powers reminds Summer Streets participants that art is about finding a way,” reads the project’s press statement. “And signs are about showing the way, and where those ways meet is where ICY SIGNS works.”
The bulk of the exhibition is gathered at Foley Square at Duane and Centre Streets, but be on the lookout for the signs at each of the Summer Streets rest stops: Midtown at 25th and Park Avenue, Astor Place at Astor Place and Lafayette Street, and SoHo at Spring and Lafayette.
ICY SIGNS will be up all August long. Summer Streets 2015 is Saturdays August 1, 8, and 15 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and runs along Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park.