Mayor Appoints Two New Members to the Public Design Commission

Kenseth Armstead and Deborah Marton (pictured above) are the two new members of the NYC Public Design Commission. Image Credit: NYC Public Design Commission

Kenseth Armstead and Deborah Marton join the eleven member board. On November 5, 2020 Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed two new members, Deborah Matron and Kenseth Armstead, to the Public Design Commission. Both were approved by an overwhelming majority of the City Council.

Deborah Marton is the Executive Director of the Van Alen Institute, an independent non-profit that works to create equitable cities through inclusive design. Prior to joining the Institute, Marton was the Executive Director for the New York City Restoration Project where she led the private component of the New York City’s MillionTreesNYC Initiative and was the Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space where she worked to empower communities of need by unlocking the potential of open space. Speaking about the new role, Marton said: “we are, as a people and a city, immensely resilient. I’m delighted and honored to have the opportunity to work with [the Public Design Commission] towards a city that is as flexible and resilient as its citizens.”

Kenseth Armstead is an artist whose works have been displayed in the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and Guggenheim Museum, among others. For the past three years, Armstead has served as a member of the New York State Council on the Arts Visual Arts Panel which awards grants to support visual arts statewide. Armstead studied at the Corcoran College of Art & Design, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. This year, in addition to serving on the Public Design Commission, Armstead will be a Lecturer at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning and will be a Guest Lecturer at Oberlin and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Speaking about the new role, Armstead said: “it’s an honor to serve on the Public Design Commission. Public space defines our experience of democracy and how we express ourselves in it. I’m excited to engage in this dialogue, with my [Public Design Commission] colleagues and fellow New Yorkers, as we strive to improve the city’s public spaces, their use, and the artworks in them.”

Since 1898, the Public Design Commission has been responsible for reviewing the construction, renovation, and restoration of public buildings, and currently oversees the rehabilitation of City Hall. The Commission also designs, installs, and conserves public parks, playgrounds, and artworks, as well as serving as curator and caretaker of the City’s public art collection. The Commission is composed of eleven members, serving pro bono, and include an architect, landscape architect, painter, sculptor, and representatives from the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Public Library.

By: Lynsey Smith (Lynsey is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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