Project Updates

September 8, 2020 | Mayor Palmieri, Sculpture Space & Empire Recycling Announce Initiative to Honor Essential Workers


Mayor Robert Palmieri, in partnership with Sculpture Space and Empire Recycling Corporation, today announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) for artists to design a sculpture to honor Essential Workers who have kept our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The sculpture will be located in the center roundabout of Oriskany Street/Route 5S once the New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYS DOT) reconstruction project is completed (currently the intersection of Oriskany and John Streets).


In addition to the City of Utica, Sculpture Space and Empire Recycling Corporation, this initiative is supported by NYS DOT and the Bagg’s Square Association.



A small committee will be established to move the process forward and review the submitted RFP’s.  All artists are encouraged to submit an RFP to showcase their talent in honoring Essential Workers (priority will be given to local artists.  The deadline to submit a proposal is December 31st.


Mayor Palmieri stated, “I am excited to announce this exciting initiative and to partner with Sculpture Space, Empire Recycling and the art community.  I can’t think of anything more appropriate than to honor the Essential Workers who have done so much for us throughout this pandemic.  This is a way for our entire community to thank them.”


New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “All New Yorkers owe an immense debt of gratitude to all our essential workforce, who during the hardest times of the COVID-19 crisis continued to show up and work, providing the vital care and services that kept us all safe and secure.  At DOT, our essential transportation workers in Utica and across New York never stopped working during the pandemic - keeping our transportation network open for the movement of critical equipment, goods and services. I can’t think of a better way to complement the work of so many, including our own essential workers, than with a sculpture honoring how their sacrifices kept others safe.”


Sculpture Space Executive Director Tom Montan stated, “Sculpture Space is honored to help bring contemporary and relevant sculpture forward in these very challenging times, our connection to Empire Recycling & the City of Utica continues to be a meaningful and evolving one - we are excited to help bring a point of cultural pride to our community.”


Empire Recycling Corporation President Steven Kowalsky stated, “When so much was shut down during the Covid-19 crisis, essential workers continued to keep our community and industry moving forward.  This sculpture is a way for us to honor all essential workers, and thank them for doing what they do best, no matter the industry they serve.  We are excited to partner with the City of Utica and Sculpture Space to make this sculpture come to life.”

This project is in partnership with:

Empire Recycling Corporation: 64 North Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13502


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