Port authority hosts interactive wildlife sculpture installation at World Trade Center campus

Published May 2023

Free Public Spaces Within Campus to Host Three Oversized Bronze Sculptures by Australian Artists Gillie and Marc Schattner to Highlight Plight of Endangered Species 

Yearlong Outdoor Installation Provides Awareness of Global Conservation Issue and Public Engagement for Hundreds of Thousands of Campus Visitors and Community Residents

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Australian collaborative artists Gillie and Marc Schattner announced the yearlong installation of the artists’ large bronze sculptures of various endangered animals on the World Trade Center campus. The artworks will be placed in the South Oculus Plaza, which is the outdoor area between the Oculus Plaza and 3 World Trade Center, reaching more than 180,000 international tourists, workers, and residents daily.

“We look forward to welcoming this engaging installation to the World Trade Center campus,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The Port Authority continues to find ways to engage the downtown community and provide an appealing customer experience for visitors. We hope that the public can enjoy visiting each of these unique pieces and are inspired by the power of public art.” 

“This new contemporary art installation located just outside of the Oculus builds upon the Port Authority’s ongoing efforts to provide a unique experience for visitors to the World Trade Center campus,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The agency continues to look for new ways to educate and engage the public through various art installations. We hope that the local community and those visiting the campus will explore this new exhibit.”

Collectively titled “A Wild Life for Wildlife in New York,” the first of the three unique sculptures will feature some of the world’s endangered animals on a giant tandem bike and will include an extra seat for visitors to hop on and pedal along. The second, a rhinoceros with a dog-man hybrid sculpture, aims to explain the importance of staying one step ahead in the fight for survival; visitors can observe an intense game of chess between the two. The third and final sculpture is an African elephant with a rabbit-woman hybrid that invites visitors to sit and engage with others in a discussion of positive change toward the endangered species.

Each of the three sculptures will have a QR code that will allow visitors to learn more about its story, with details about the threat to the animal’s survival. “A Wild Life for Wildlife in New York” will be on display between the Oculus and 3 World Trade Center beginning on May 24, 2023, for 12 months. The sculptures are being displayed at no cost to the Port Authority.

“We create interactive art that transcends connection between people, making people smile and brightening their day. The threats and extinction of wildlife is a natural and severe threat, a message we urgently share. This exhibition is our way of contributing to the preservation of nature by bringing you this unforgettable experience,” said Gillie and Marc Schattner.

The Port Authority continues to enhance its facilities by providing interactive and educational experiences for the public. In 2022, the World Trade Center campus hosted a native bee sanctuary that was dedicated exclusively to fostering ground-and-cavity nesting bees that provide important pollination services for wildflowers, as well as the introduction of 12 new species of perennial wildflowers throughout Liberty Park. In 2019, the Oculus Plaza was home to a living rice paddy exhibit that followed small rice seedlings as they went through the life-giving transformation that feeds much of the planet, which symbolized luck, fortune, fertility and global connections through culture and food.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a bi-state agency that builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. For over a century, the agency’s network of major airports; critical bridges and tunnel and bus terminals; a commuter rail line; and the busiest seaport on the east coast has been among the most vital in the country – transporting hundreds of millions of people and moving essential goods into and out of the region. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center campus, which today welcomes tens of thousands of office workers and millions of annual visitors. The agency’s historic $37 billion 10-year capital plan includes unprecedented transformation of the regions three major airports – LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and JFK – as well as an array of other new and upgraded assets including the $2 billion renovation of the 90-year-old George Washington Bridge. The Port Authority’s annual budget of $8 billion includes no tax revenue from either the states of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, visit www.panynj.gov or check out the Now Arriving blog.