Soundpapered takes live drawing to the streets with New York City 9pm-5am, six images to celebrate the best of New York live arts, part of Link NYC’s citywide Art On Link public art program
January 6, New York City — Link NYC, the citywide network of 24/7 digital street signage, is featuring six Soundpapered drawings as part of Art on Link, its 24/7, no-fee public art programming, this week and next, through (and including) Sunday, January 16, 2022
Like an Art Kane moment for the flatscreen age, New Yorkers can spot drawings of acclaimed, award-winning performers around town, including luminous sketches from gigs featuring bassists Ben Williams and Burniss ‘Earl’ Traviss, saxophonist, Casey Benjamin, trumpeter, Keyon Harrold, jazz flautist, Rickey Washington, vocalists, José James, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Amber Strother, drummer, Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave, and the audience from a set by trumpeter, Al Strong. Some New York natives, they are all mainstays in New York’s music scene, frequently headlining at gigs on small stages and major concert venues around the city in ‘Before Times‘, before the pandemic.
The series’ “New York City 9pm-5am“ theme was inspired by the Soundpapered project’s long-standing proposition, “Drawing live from 9pm-5am”. Over 7 years, Soundpapered has sketched over 400 live drawings and animations of 100+ performers at 200+ live shows. A tribute to dispersed audiences everywhere, this Soundpapered series for Art on Link was originally conceived to celebrate the return of the New York nightlife, to coincide with the city’s annual (now Omicron-postponed) New York Winter Jazz Festival.
It was also intended to remind everyone returning to the city after months of remote work that New York is also about its “other 9-5”, the city’s world-famous, after-office-hours nightlife. But with a further Covid surge this winter, and many live events held over, with venue staff, audiences and performers cautious, Soundpapered now considers the new year display more a hopeful, anticipatory gesture, encouraging people on the street to look forward patiently to our safe and eager return to live shows again later in 2022.
About Link NYC
Across hundreds of locations in the five boroughs, each Link NYC location will display one of the six pictures so New Yorkers will see them once or twice an hour alongside Link NYC’s other programming of ad content and public information. Link NYC arrived in New York in 2015, located where the city’s many payphones once were.
Soundpapered is inviting New Yorkers to take photos when they spot the drawings on the Link NYC kiosks, share the photos on social media tagged with kiosk location and suggested tags @soundpapered, #livedrawing #lovemusic #9-5 #linknyc #ArtOnLink #nyc. Details of all the featured drawings will be posted to Instagram while the work is up in the street, turning this latest Link NYC public art into an urban treasure hunt for the most dedicated pedestrians.
Soundpapered is the work of Rachel Abrams, award-winning British-American designer, educator and artist at large. Drawing musicians at live alt jazz, hip hop, neo-soul shows, Soundpapered began out of the blue at the first Art of Cool festival in Durham, North Carolina in 2014, and has since focused on live shows in New York, Los Angeles and London. It is, pandemic-shambles permitting, ongoing. Special projects include collaborations with Ray Angry of The Roots, Emanuel Harrold (drummer, Gregory Porter), the Robert Glasper Trio, the New School Jazz program, Apple, and Blue Note records with Revive Music.
In her 9am-5pm work, Rachel Abrams is known for co-designing the other ubiquitous street signs around the city, the Department of Transportation’s Walk NYC street maps for pedestrians/Citi bikers and subway riders, for editing a comic book-style municipal study of New York yellow cabs, and for attending the United Nations General Assembly as graphic facilitator for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Previous press includes this Okay Player interview, …From Piano to Page, by Scott Heins and this profile, The Art of Watching Live Jazz, by UK-based Nina Fine, of Women in Jazz. The Soundpapered Album, a crowd-funded book documenting the whole drawing project is forthcoming later this year.
More visual assets
Visual assets, to accompany online, print, broadcast press coverage of the project, are available in this online visual press kit. Thank you for crediting the artwork to @soundpapered (linking it to instagram, not twitter) and also reference or tag ‘LinkNYC’, ‘ArtOnLink’, and for not circulating the images for any other purpose. This press release is also available as a one-sheet pdf.