History of Art on the Beach
From 1978 - 1985, Creative Time presented "Art on the Beach"—a dynamic program of art, film, architecture, music, theater and spoken word. On the landfill from the construction of the World Trade Center and in the shadows of the towering financial center, the "Beach" provided a collaborative haven for artists and performers to enliven Lower Manhattan. What was a novelty in 1978 became an institution by 1985 as Creative Time enabled countless artists to experiment with concepts in public art through projects that dealt with politics, society, magic, science, technology and urban culture.
For almost 10 years, thousands flocked to the Beach to experience and participate in the groundbreaking installations and performances that fused the creativity of artists, architects and performers. The vast and unusual stage of the Battery Park Beach housed a collaborative struggle against the elements through vibrant and inventive projects from artists such as Alice Aycock, Ursula Van Rydingsvard, Bill T. Jones, Elizabeth Diller, Richard Flood, Billie Tsien, Ann Magnuson, Terry Allen, and in 1984, Erika Rothenberg, Laurie Hawkinson, and John Malpede launched the acclaimed Freedom of Expression National Monument.