Like a Prayer

November 21, 2008

A new public-art project by alumnus Dylan Mortimer (MFA 2006 Fine Arts) has been turning heads in New York City this month. Through the city’s Art in the Parks program, the artist installed a pair of “prayer booths” near the entrance to the Roosevelt Island tram in Manhattan, inviting passers-by to kneel in the phone booth-like stalls for prayer and reflection. Modeled on typical metropolitan phone booths, the wryly designed prayer booths have inspired much discussion amongst the public and the press: Mortimer’s project has garnered stories in the New York Post and Newsday, and in the national media.
“This is a way to talk about prayer in the public sphere—but with a bit of humor,” Mortimer told the Post. In addition to the NYC prayer booths, the artist has installed similar works in Jackson, Tennessee; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The project is the latest in a line of religious-themed work by Mortimer, who also serves as a minister at the River City Community Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
Image: Dylan Mortimer, Prayer Booth, 2003.

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