The idea for BoardedUP was simple: utilize the boarded-up windows on the face of long-abandoned St. Anthony’s church for a public art exhibition.

The primary inspiration for the BoardedUP show is a work of street art that was not selected or approved by GSCA. Area artists installed a beautiful stencil of a child jumping rope, on the fifth of nine boarded-up windows on abandoned St. Anthony’s church. This work pre-dates GSCA’s ownership of the building.

BoardedUP is now an opportunity for us to recognize the role of artists and the creativity of expression. BoardedUP is something of a tribute to favorite local artists and arts organizers that have expanded conventional ideas of who makes art and who views art, explored the distinction between public and private space, and have challenged the boundaries between sanctioned and unsanctioned displays of art.

At Grand Street Community Arts (GSCA) we seek to promote the arts as an accessible tool of self-expression and as a valuable community resource. The BoardedUP exhibition was designed to further our mission. The works of BoardedUP are diverse, challenging, beautiful, and inspiring. Though these works were designed to be viewed at street-level and to be accessible and engaging to passers-by on busy downtown Madison Avenue.

Boarded Up was an active program from 2007 through 2012.

Thomas Lail’s Crowd installation (2015 – ongoing) is an echo of Boarded Up.