Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Roosevelt Island Blue Dragon Children's Sculpture By Swedish Artists Ulla & Gustav Kreitz Unveiled Today At Southpoint Park - Kids Rush To Meet And Touch Their New Blue Dragon

The Roosevelt Island Blue Dragon children's sculpture

donated by Swedish artists Ulla and Gustav Kraitz

was unveiled this morning at the entrance to Southpoint Park. (Ulla & Gustav Kraitz pictured in front of from left to right, Consul General of Sweden in New York, Leif Pagrotsky, RIOC's Susan Rosenthal, Gallery RIVAA's Tad Sudol and Elisabeth Stapen)

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Acting President Susan Rosenthal hosted the Blue Dragon Unveiling Ceremony telling the assembled crowd:
... part of our mission is to improve the quality of life on this Island and I believe truly the introduction of art is one of the best ways....
Through a translator Gustav Kraitz added:
This is a sculpture that asks to be touched and is an invitation to all children to please come up and touch it....
Upon hearing that the sculpture was meant to be touched, the Roosevelt Island kids rushed forward to meet their new Blue Dragon.
Here's a portion of the Roosevelt Island Blue Dragon Unveiling Ceremony including remarks from Ms. Rosenthal, Mr. Kraitz and NYC Council Member Ben Kallos. Don't miss watching the Roosevelt Island kids rushing to meet the Blue Dragon.

Roosevelt Island resident Elisabeth Stapen was one of the prime movers behind the Blue Dragon coming to Roosevelt Island. Ms. Stapen said:
My collaboration with Gustav Kraitz started with the inauguration of the Wallenburg Monument in 1998 outside the United Nations at 47th Street and First Avenue - I was at the time working as Cultural Affairs Oficer at the Swedish Consulate. The Swedish Government and the Nobel Foundation had commissioned the Kratizes to create a monument to honor the life and work of diplomat and humanist Raoul Wallenberg in New York....

... I had moved to Roosevelt Island from Westchester in 2011 and the Island had made quite an impression on me with all the new art projects and Cornell Tech in the pipeline to be completed in 2017. I asked Gustav Kraitz if he wanted to have a tour of the Island and meet with Gallery RIVAA and its dynamic President, Tad Sudol, before Gustav went back to Sweden.

Said and done. We went there on the Tram and Gustav was impressed with what he saw. He said he had a sculpture in mind that he wanted to donate to Roosevelt Island. He made good on his promise and the next time he came, he brought a picture of a children's play sculpture which has now been named "The Blue Dragon".

We are gathered here today to celebrate the arrival of Ulla and Gustav's gift to the Island and we hope that this sculpture will be the symbol of the beginning of a new chapter in the plans of a sculpture park for the Island for everybody to enjoy.
Here are some more scenes from the Roosevelt Island Blue Dragon unveiling today

and the full ceremony too.

More on Island of Art for Roosevelt Island from previous post.