Public Engagement

General Public

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School: Commercial Break Artists in Conversation: Meriem Bennani, Mary Reid Kelley, Patrick Kelley, and Hannah Whitaker

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 6:30 pm

The Auditorium, Room A106, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Public urban space is increasingly shaped by the display of visual information. Over the last decade alone, modes of advertising have developed alongside technological advances in display techniques, and in turn, contemporary artists have found inspiration and the opportunity to utilize new forms of media within this digitally saturated landscape. For this Public Art Fund Talk at The New School, artists Meriem Bennani, Mary Reid Kelley, Patrick Kelley, and Hannah Whitaker will be in a conversation moderated by Public Art Fund’s Associate Curators Emma Enderby and Daniel S. Palmer, focusing on the intersection between art and advertising.

This talk accompanies Public Art Fund’s citywide exhibition Commercial Break, which invites 20+ artists to create interventions on today’s most advanced advertising platforms, including new digital sites such as the Barclays Center oculus screen in downtown Brooklyn, a Times Square digital video billboard, more than a thousand LinkNYC kiosks across the city, 19 screens in the Westfield World Trade Center shopping mall, as well as embedded pop-up advertisements on

Commercial Break will be on view February 5 – March 6, 2017 in various locations citywide, and features more than 20 artists.


Meriem Bennani (b. 1988, Rabat, Morocco) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her recent solo shows include: Green Sea Gardens, Art Dubai, Dubai (2017); FLY, MoMA PS1, New York (2016); Gradual Kingdom, Signal Gallery, Brooklyn (2015); and Fardaous Funjab, Stream Gallery, New York (2015).  Bennani earned a BFA from The Cooper Union in New York and a MFA from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Meriem Bennani is represented by Signal Gallery, Brooklyn.

Mary Reid Kelley (b. 1979, Greenville, South Carolina) lives and works in Olivebridge, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include A Marquee Piece of Sod. The WWI Films of Mary Reid Kelley, Kunsthalle Bremen, Germany (2016); Mary Reid Kelly, Museum Leuven, Belgium (2016); We’re Wallowing Here in Your Disco Tent, High Line, New York (2016); Hammer Projects: Mary Reid Kelley, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Mary Reid Kelley, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2015). Reid Kelly received a BFA from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, and a MFA in Painting from Yale University. Reid Kelly is represented by Fredericks & Freiser, New York and Pilar Corrias, London.

Mary Reid Kelley often works in collaboration with her partner, Patrick Kelley, who received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA from St. Olaf College. Kelley’s works have been shown at the American Academy in Rome; Bibliothèque Publique d'Information-Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany; Minnesota Museum of American Art; Catherine Person Gallery, Seattle; The Minneapolis Foundation Offices; Katherine Nash Gallery, Minneapolis; Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis . Kelley’ was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome from 2011-2012. 

Hannah Whitaker (b. 1980, Washington, D.C.) lives and works in New York. Her solo shows include Verbs, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (2016); Cold Wave, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); The Fifth Hammer, Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (2013); Limonene, Locust Projects, Miami (2013); The Use of Noise, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York (2012); and Victory Over the Sun!, Kumukumu Gallery, New York (2010). Her work has been part of various international group exhibitions including L'Autre visage: Portrait & expérimentations photographiques, Centre photographique - Pôle Image Haute-Normandie, Rouen, France (2016) and Out of Obscurity, Flowers Gallery, London.  Whitaker received a BA in Photography from Yale University and a MFA from the International Center of Photography/Bard College. Whitaker is represented by M+B, Los Angeles and Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris.

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

This program is made possible in part by Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Image: Hannah Whitaker 
Detail of Step 1, 2017
Digital Image
Courtesy of the artist and M+B Gallery

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


Vera List Center for Art and Politics


Art and Design


Parsons School of Design, Schools of Public Engagement


Fine Arts


$10; free to all students and New School faculty, staff and alumni with ID. Purchase at the top right button.

Admin Notes

Approved PT

Recent Activity

People Interested (1)

Pam Tillis - NSPE

Getting Here

Detailed Directions

By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
The 1, 2 and 3 to 14th St. and 7th Ave.
The F and M to 14th St. and 6th Ave.
PATH train to 14th St. and 6th Ave.

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.