Street artists are taking their work to the skies -- to the 69th floor of 4 World Trade Center, to be precise.
A new gallery housed in the skyscraper features the work of more than 30 street artists, who have covered steel beams, walls, parts of the floor, and glass panels on the unfinished floor with graffiti, more than 880 feet in the air.
Silverstein Properties, the developer for the World Trade Center, and its founder Larry Silverstein are longtime patrons of the arts, according to a press release from the company. Silverstein first invited artists to use unleased space in 7 WTC, and soon a cluster of five artists began putting the skyline on canvas.
The original artists, Marcus Robinson, Todd Stone, Diana Horowitz and Jaqueline Gourevitch also captured the rebuilding of World Trade Center taking place all around them.
Once 7 WTC reached full occupancy, the artists moved over to 4 WTC and gained a fifth artist, Conrad Stojak.
The project continued to evolve after Dara McQuillan, Silverstein's marketing and communications director, encountered a street art exhibit in the World Trade Gallery, the company says. McQuillan approached the owner, Doug Smith, to ask if any of the artists would consider working on a different type of canvas 69 stories up. Smith made some calls, and the first group of artists signed on enthusiastically.
The project officially began in June, and the artists flooded the empty floor with 15-foot gummy bears, colorfully redesigned parking meters, and stunningly intricate murals of city blocks. Many of the artists are New Yorkers, but others came from South Africa and Europe to participate.
The next building, 3 WTC, is expected to be finished early 2018.