Nancy Nowacek: Citizen Bridge

August 7 – October 6, 2013

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, Nancy Nowacek: Citizen Bridge underwent constant modifications; the features of this page provided accruing information on the Session’s developments and will continue to track the project’s progression beyond Recess’s walls.


May 10- August 4, 2013
Middling Reception: June 22, 4-6pm
Citizen Bridge Launch: June 29, starting at 1pm (click here for more info)

Recess in Red Hook
Pioneer Works
159 Pioneer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

About Nancy Nowacek: Citizen Bridge

On May 10th Nancy Nowacek will begin a new chapter in her project Citizen Bridge as part of Recess’s signature program, Session. Session invites artists to use Recess’s public space as studio, exhibition venue, and grounds for experimentation. Over the course of her Session, Nowacek will design, create and test a series of prototypes for an eventual footbridge that crosses the Upper New York Bay waterway between Red Hook, Brooklyn and Governor’s Island.

The bridge will cross the waterway known as Buttermilk Channel. Now one of New York’s major shipping channels, this waterway was once accessible to dairy farmers and their livestock during low tide. A love song to Brooklyn’s waterfront, Nowecek’s work seeks to restore this pathway. Citizen Bridge pays tribute to the city’s past and draws connections to the lives of contemporary Brooklynites. The bridge aspires to reclaim the waterfront and empower New Yorkers, offering them the opportunity to step from solid ground onto water.

Since Hurricane Sandy this symbolic act of waterfront reclamation has gained a new urgency. As Nowacek investigates the physical properties of her prototype, she will also navigate the opaque realm of city planning and government agencies. The bureaucratic web through which Nowacek has guided the project over the past year will not only play a practical role in the project’s approval but will serve as conceptual fodder in considering access to urban space.

At stages throughout her Session, Nowacek will ceremoniously transport her prototypes from the Recess project room to the Red Hook waterfront in order to test the bridge. Through these projects and experiments, Nowacek will produce a fully realized design by the end of her Session.

Open to the public Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6pm; Thursday, 2-8pm


About the Artist

Nancy Nowacek’s work is rooted in the ecology of the everyday: the processes, codes, values, and habits of life. Her practice is focused on the uses of the body as relates to work, architecture and the practice of space. She has shown in New York, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Canada and Europe. Nancy has an MFA in Social Practice from California College of Arts and is certified in personal training by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She lives in Brooklyn.

Download the press release for Citizen Bridge.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.