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Welcome to the New Lantern blog. Our goal is to shine light on leading innovators and creative artists, and how your business can learn and profit from them. Companies large, medium, and small can benefit from employees who think more creatively. New Lantern may be just the source of inspiration your company needs to spark more innovative products, services, and processes.

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Archive for Tag 'New York'

Underground Art

Posted by on June 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm

The New York City subway system is one of the oldest in the world. The first underground line from City Hall to the Bronx opened in 1904.

Today, the New York City subway is one of the largest and most complex systems of its kind, operating over 842 track miles, and serving the four boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. It operates 24 hours a day, serves 468 stations on 26 interconnected lines, and averages 5 million passengers each weekday.

Not impressed yet? Try this one. New York’s subway system carries more passengers each year than all the other mass transit rail systems in the U.S. combined.

Now for the downsides. A New York subway is far from the cleanest. It’s definitely not the sleekest. Its hard plastic seats are clearly not the most comfortable. And the smells that sometimes waft from the nooks and crannies of the subway stations are not the most pleasant.

But there’s something special to me about New York City’s subway. It has a bit of charm thanks to the mosaic tile art that you’ll find in each station. Some of the art dates back to 1904. The artwork is unique to each station and centers around the station’s name. Sometimes you’re treated to other little splashes of tile art like the pink hat I am “wearing” in the photo above.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit program oversees the subway art, which also includes sculptures, murals, and live musicians.

Some of my non-New York City friends turn their noses up at the thought of taking the subway in any city, especially in New York. They think it’s beneath them. Well, it is, literally of course.

What they are missing out on is what I and millions of other New York City subway passengers know. It’s the quickest way to get around the city. It’s the cheapest way to travel. And it’s the most green way to travel when you compare it to all of the above-ground options.

But it also provides an opportunity to experience art on a whole new level — that is, the art of the underground.

Rethinking Science

Posted by on June 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Today wrapped up the third annual World Science Festival in New York City, June 2-6, which called on attendees to “Rethink Science.”

I visited today’s events in the historic Washington Square Park to find hundreds of kids and adults actively participating in the “World Science Festival’s Youth and Family Street Fair.”

Despite the 90-degree temperatures, kids of all ages swarmed today’s numerous exhibits, live events, and demonstrations in the park that showcased the magic of science. Of course, the park’s fountain was also a main attraction as it helped to cool down both children and adults, who seemed to be having a wonderful June Sunday afternoon.

Over the four-day period, the festival showcased “40 unique programs in scientific disciplines ranging from astronomy, physics and genetics to neuroscience, robotics and mathematics.” Efforts were made to also “integrate traditional arts disciplines – dance, theatre, music and the visual arts – to underscore that science is everywhere.”

Kudos to the Festival’s organizers for dreaming up and executing on this worthy event. It’s too bad that this sort of focus on the importance of science does not occur every week of the year, and in every city and town across our country.

Frankly, it’s the lack of interest of our future generations in science that threatens to knock the United States off its innovation pedestal. And frankly, we cannot lay the blame at our children’s feet. It’s adults who help influence what is important in a child’s life. If we don’t place a high level of importance on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) — and pursuing careers in these fields — then we can’t expect our kids to follow suit.

American businesses of every stripe and color benefit from home-grown scientific discovery and innovation. As such, I call on business leaders from every corner of the country to work with schools and community officials to find ways to turn up the volume on the wonders of science, and excite kids to become a scientist or engineer.

Then who knows, maybe 10 years from now, the most popular show on our television, computer, or tablet screens will be “America’s Got Scientific Talent” or “Innovating with the Stars.”

You don’t think so? Well, at least I can dream.

‘Event Horizon’

Posted by on April 13, 2010 at 8:50 pm

From my window of my New York City apartment in the Chelsea-Flatiron area, I can see 5 of the 31 naked sculptures that make up the unique Event Horizon outdoor art exhibit in Madison Square Park.

Event Horizon opened on March 26 and runs through August 15. It has already caused quite a stir around New York, but causing a stir is nothing new for 59-year-old British sculptor Antony Gormley.

All 31 life-size sculptures are of the same male figure – made from a cast of the 6 foot, 2 inch artist himself. Only four figures are on the ground in the Madison Square Park area. The remaining 27 sculptures are literally framed against the sky, many of them perched on top of the historic buildings that encircle the storied park.

A few sculptures are several blocks away, and one is as far as 8 blocks away standing on a ledge at the 26th floor of the famed Empire State Building, which Gormley referred to as “the exclamation point” in a New York Times article before the exhibit opened.

According to that same article, the New York City Police Department actually felt the need to preemptively issue a statement that reassured the public that the figures were sculptures and not people on the verge of committing suicide. But that is far from the effect that Gormley is looking for from observers. He’s hoping they will see these simple figures in a different way given their uncommon positions in the cityscape.

Provoking viewers to look at ordinary objects in a different way is pure Gormley. He exhibited his figures in London in 2007 atop buildings and bridges, and thought “it was great to see an individual or groups of people pointing at the horizon,” according to

As remarkable as the Event Horizon exhibition is itself, the fact that Madison Square Park is the setting for the exhibition is even more remarkable. As recently as 10 years ago the Park was an eyesore and near abandon. But thanks to the work of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, created in 2002, the 163-year-old park has been transformed into one of the most attractive big city parks anywhere.

What is on the horizon for your company? I would encourage you to find ways to creatively provoke your employees by taking them out of their ordinary surroundings, and exposing them regularly to the extraordinary.

You’ll soon find it will transform your company into a very attractive place for both your employees and your shareholders.

Style With Elsa Klensch

Posted by on January 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Throughout the 1990s, I looked forward to Saturday mornings for two reasons. First, I could sleep late. Second, I enjoyed watching CNN’s weekly fashion show, “Style with Elsa Klensch,” which aired at 10:30 a.m. on the East Coast.

I’m still able to sleep a little later on Saturdays, but not since 2001 have I been able to watch my favorite Saturday morning show when Klensch and “Style” took their last bow on the runway.

I can still hear Klensch’s distinctive voice ringing in my head: “This is ‘Style’ and I’m Elsa Klensch reporting on the design worlds of fashion, beauty, and decorating,” she would proclaim at the top of every show. Then she proceeded to give the week’s highlights of design and fashion as if it were a weekly sports program — only with a lot more panache.

“Style” was the first of its kind. Long before the Fashion Channel,, and “Project Runway,” there was Elsa Klensch. She brought the latest fashions and their designers from the streets of Paris, Milan, and New York to Main Street – and the industry and the profession are still prospering from it.

Klensch came about her fashion fame the old fashion way, she earned it. She was born in Australia, and then later lived overseas in London and Hong Kong, before arriving in the United States. According to, Klensch worked as an editor at Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, W, and Harper’s Bazaar before joining CNN in New York City on its 1980 launch.

She also appeared as herself in a number of television shows and films, including Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter (1994), which chronicled the Paris fashion show scene.

I’m not sure where Ms. Klensch is today, but I did recently see her name on Facebook. (And yes, I admit it, I sent her a “friend” request). Where ever she is, I salute her on behalf of the thousands of women and men whom she undoubtedly inspired to go into fashion, take up a creative profession, or simply better appreciate design.

Klensch had a style all her own, which was the root of her success. There is a lesson here for individuals and private enterprises alike. Create your own style. Follow your passion. And, inspire others along the way. If so, success should soon follow.

(By the way, Ms. Klensch, if you are reading this blog could you please “accept” my friendship?)

Bullish on a Promising Spanish Artist

Posted by on October 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Artist Beñat Iglesias, self-portrait - "Auto"Beñat Iglesias, self-portrait

Harlem’s Alex Adam Gallery opens its “Artists and Monitors” art show on Thursday, October 15. The show uniquely features the works of “three of New York’s most extraordinary contemporary figurative artists, and the painters who are and have been privileged to be their assistants.”

One of the “Teacher’s Monitors” whose works will be featured is Beñat Iglesias, a very talented portrait artist who was born in Pamplona, Spain in 1979 on October 12 – thirty years ago today. And yes, Pamplona is home of the world-famous “Running of the Bulls,” the high-risk, high-adrenaline running of 1,200-pound bulls (i.e., with horns) through the cobbled streets of this picturesque city in northern Spain.

This hometown image is in sharp contrast to how Iglesias describes his approach to art: “My work is devoted to the mundane, to depict humble and ordinary people I aim to show in their natural state, to reveal their way of communicating to the world.”

I first saw Iglesias’s talent showcased five years ago, when I attended an art show at New York’s Art Student’s League. Iglesias’s education in fine arts has spanned more than a decade, including a fine arts degree from the Universidad Del Pais Vasco (UPV) in Bilboa, Spain; then further study at the Edinburgh College of Art in the UK, the University of Fine Arts in Barcelona, and New York’s National Academy School of Fine Arts, the Art Students League, and the Andrew Reiss Studio.

Iglesias has exhibited his work in numerous shows in New York and throughout Europe. In 2007, he was a semi-finalist in the 70th Annual American Artists Drawing competition.

I find myself immediately drawn into his work, and how he is able to capture remarkably true-to-life expressions of unremarkable people. I have bought several pieces from Iglesias’s collection over the last several years, and intend on buying more as he continues to grow and develop.

Iglesias’s bright future has been built on a foundation of years of hard work, high quality training, learning by doing, and a bull-headed dedication to his vocation. All are key ingredients for success in any field of work or business. Identify the talent, grow and nurture it, and put yourself in environments where creativity can thrive.

Happy 30th birthday to a promising artist, Beñat Iglesias, or better yet —
¡Feliz cumpleaños!

The show at Alex Adam Gallery in Harlem (78 West 120th Street) runs from October 15th-25th. The exact schedule can be found on the gallery’s website.

Inspiration from a Young Artist

Posted by on April 14, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Fumiko Toda

Fumiko Toda

Growing up in rural Japan, Fumiko Toda spent many summer days visiting a nearby pond to study the insects, leaves, and stones that lined its banks. She later went on to attend the Kyoto University of Art and Design, and after graduation Fumiko moved to New York City in 2001 to continue to pursue her passion as an artist.

From 2001 to 2007, Fumiko studied art at the National Academy of Design in Manhattan. The Academy (now known as the National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts) was founded in 1825 to promote American art through exhibitions and education. Today, it houses one of the largest public collections of 19th and 20th century American art in the United States.

Since coming to America, Fumiko, 28, has won numerous awards and grants for her work, which has been showcased in more than two dozen exhibitions in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Minnesota, Japan and Thailand. She admits that she is “obsessively fascinated with color, texture, textile design, and form, although most of the images and inspiration I find for art, are drawn from my childhood background.”

The Safe-T-Gallery in Brooklyn will be the site of Fumiko’s first major solo exhibition in New York, which will be open to the public from April 23 to May 30. Her show is aptly named “Recent Insects.”

What can a company and its employees learn from a young and promising artist? Success is not a static destination; it requires continuous, thought-provoking training and rigorous practice of one’s craft. Find what inspires you and leverage that inspiration in your work. And, if you’re seeking to create “buzz” with your next product or service, you might try looking at obvious things in a new and less obvious way.

Fumiko Toda art