Although the Eye of Fashion sculpture has been taken down temporarily for restoration, FIT won’t suffer from a lack of public art on campus this summer. For the next month, the southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 27th Street will serve as one of 52 stops on the La Mer Wave Walk, a public art trail designed to bring attention and funding to ocean conservation. The skin care company La Mer, in conjunction with the nonprofit Project 0, organized the project around U.N. World Ocean Day on June 8.
The sculptures, tire-like waves personalized by an artist, musician, or other celebrity, have been installed across the five boroughs and will be auctioned off at the end of June to benefit the La Mer Blue Heart Oceans Fund for Project 0, a charity fund to protect the ocean. Notable artists and figures who have designed the sculptures for the Wave Walk include Julian Schnabel, photographer Bruce Weber, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin, musician Rufus Wainwright, entrepreneur Richard Branson, Queen Noor of Jordan, model Cara Delevingne, and actress Sienna Miller. Each creator addressed the theme of ocean conservation with their own personal interpretation from guitarist Slash’s top hat–wearing octopus to jewelry designer Joan Horning’s depiction of a newly discovered plastic eating bacterium.
Model and artist Tali Lennox designed the sculpture installed in front of The Museum at FIT. Her wave, Harmony, is adorned with abstracted pastel landscapes of trees. Inspired by a recent trip to upstate New York she wanted to reflect on the contrast between the chaotic metropolis of the city and the tranquility of our more rural surroundings. Lennox feels that “organizations such as Project 0 [that] remind and encourage us to be more respectful of the natural world” are essential to maintaining respect for nature.
All the pieces will be displayed at Rockefeller Center the last week of the exhibition leading to a live auction of the pieces at Sotheby’s, with the proceeds going to create a chain of marine-protected areas in the Azores, restore mangroves and coral reefs in the Caribbean, and perform a sustainability study in the East China Sea.