About Pallet City

Artists: Katherine Gressel and Jeremy Reed

Pallet City
was an interactive public art project made almost entirely from recycled shipping pallets. Pallet City juxtaposes different common uses of the pallet as an art/building material, and invites participation and feedback, simultaneously raising questions about practicality and aesthetics of pallet use. The city's fluid, linear forms and signage imply different actions that take place within the urban environment: sit (implied by a bench); park (a bike rack); dwell (a shelter); plant (a planter with small garden, which visitors can help water); perform (a stage where visitors can mount and document spontaneous performances); observe (seats accompanying the theater); exhibit (a gallery space with 2-3 different exhibits that the artists will curate during the summer, and a shelf where visitors can curate their own exhibits); play (a playful rolling wave), and learn (an ‘information kiosk’ at one end). Pallet City thus describes the city in terms of active, democratic use rather than passive viewing or restricted areas. The project was meant to spark public dialogue on the notion of city itself and the creation of democratic, sustainable cities. Pallet City was designed for the FIGMENT Terrace season-long sculpture garden on Governors Island in summer 2010.

Pallet City was open to the public at all times Governors Island was open to the public, Friday-Sunday, June 5-October 3, 2010. Please visit the official Governors Island page for directions to the island.

This blog documents the development of the project, and the public's experiences with it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

User-submitted photos: Weeks 11-15!

From Lauren and Heather: "Visited your city on Governors Island. Thanks for a place to rest."

From Jay

From Michael : "Cheers."

From anonymous

From Preyapan: "Labor Day Weekend."

From Cynthia: "I went to Governors Island...and happened upon your installation."

From Matt: "Cool Exhibit. Thanks for building-creating it!"

From Karl
From Becky

From Kelly

Photos from Gallery Exhibit 3, "Looking Glass"

Curated by the Crosby Street Gallery
August 20-October 3, 2010
Salvaged wood and glass windows, photographic paper

When you look outside your window, what do you see? If someone peers into your window, what would they see? Windows represent a number of things, from transparency, light, and naked truth to privacy and security. The collection of works in this exhibit asks you to think about our world through unique and varied perspectives.

Each real-life photograph from a major metropolitan area -- some that might seem strangely familiar -- is framed in a salvaged window that draws you into its particular world. The series plays with your understanding of size, perspective, place, and emotion. “Looking Glass” captures the joys, fascinations, fears, and curiosities of experiencing life in the city.

Crosby Street Gallery co-founder and project artist Julie Chan puts the windows together

Crosby St. Gallery co-founders and artists Julie Chan and Robert Sanchez pose in front of one of their windows at the opening party for the exhibit.

Photographing reflections in the mirror pieces!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

User-submitted photos: Weeks 8-10!

From Victoria and Brett: "The Voyeur"

From Amy: "Thanks, we had fun."

From Justin
From Jason
From Carrie
From Chris

Photos from "Pallet Jam" Art Reception and Open Mic, Sunday, August 1

For "Pallet Jam," we invited all Governors Island visitors to mount creative outdoor performances on our pallet "stage," and/or other parts of the sculpture, alongside pre-selected acts--this led to a the spontaneous formation of a children's rock band who put on original renditions of "Wheels on the Bus" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," musical collaborations between performers who had never before met, and all varieties of improv dance. We had some very talented musicians, dancers, and actors who took advantage of the mild weather and unique setting to put on an incredible show, as documented by the photos below (also scroll down for the complete list of performers). Some passersby stopped to enjoy the music on the lawn directly in front of Pallet City, while for others the "Jam" served as a unique background to games of mini golf, snacks at the concession stand, and exploration of all the sculptures.

Barrett Heaton kicks things off with a solo set. Also, props to Barrett for donating his PA system and making the entire event possible!


Emcee Jeremy announces the next act.
Patricia Runcie-Rice and Greg Edwards had never performed together, or even met in person, before "Pallet Jam." However, Katherine's match-making brought this pair of musical theater aficionados together for a duet that was highly appropriate for a repurposed-materials art project: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." After a mere 15 minutes of rehearsal, these talented performers nailed the song, with Katherine joining in for the choruses and even some choreography.
A group of visiting kids forms a new band, "The Girls and One Boy."
Ruby Rae
Gwynn Galitzer of the Lowbrow Society for the Arts gives an ongoing performance in which participants receive flowers. This results in an audience full of both men and women with flowers in their hair.
The Brooklyn What
Joya Powell's site specific dance performance uses all parts of Pallet City.

Jeremy accompanies jazz bassist Linda Oh on one of her original songs.


Scheduled Performers:
The Brooklyn What
Barrett Heaton
The Lowbrow Society for the Arts
Movement of the People Dance Company
Linda Oh
Ruby Rae
Patricia Runcie-Rice & Greg Edwards

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

User-submitted photos: Weeks 5-7!

From Malorie:

"My pal, Ilana and I took photos at Pallet City this past weekend. We dig interactive art.

Much Joy,


From Amy: Lily at Pallet City
From Kseniya: "Art"

From Karina: Eli, Age 7