Rice Gallery’s summer window to feature ‘Crosstown Traffic’

This summer, Rice Gallery visitors will be treated to the color and energy of “Crosstown Traffic,” a new installation by New York City artist Michael De Feo. This is the seventh exhibition in the gallery’s summer window series, which features works visible through the Sewall Hall space’s front glass wall while the gallery is closed for the summer.

One of Michael De Feo’s images on display at a bus shelter in New York City. Photo courtesy of De Feo and Danziger Gallery

One of Michael De Feo’s images on display at a bus shelter in New York City. Photo courtesy of De Deo and Danziger Gallery

De Feo’s installation will be on view through Aug. 28. An opening celebration June 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. will feature a gallery talk by the artist at 6 p.m. De Feo will also speak at a luncheon reception June 10 from noon to 1 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. The installation will be visible weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Although no gallery attendant will be on duty, free educational materials will be available at the installation.

De Feo, who was profiled this spring in the New York Times, is a painter with a penchant for buoyant floral street art, according to Rice Gallery. He is known as “the Flower Guy” for his paintings of flowers that appear on the streets of New York City and in more than 60 cities internationally. His colorful line drawings and vibrant paintings can be seen sprouting from the bases of telephone poles, tucked in between signs and embellishing a myriad of surfaces, including advertising space at bus stop shelters. A project that started nearly 25 years ago and continues today began with a simple aim “to spread some cheer and smiles in a city full of concrete, steel and glass,” De Feo said.

De Feo grew up in Rye, N.Y., and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan in 1995 with a degree in graphic design. He began installing his art on the streets of New York City in the early 1990s, and in 1993 he started his now iconic flower project. A Master of Arts degree in teaching from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., led to a job teaching art at Westhill High School in Stamford, Conn., for 15 years; he left in 2013 to pursue his artistic career full time.

De Feo’s work has been shown at venues that include the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn.; MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass.; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in San Juan; the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City; and StolenSpace in London.

For more information about De Feo’s installation and Rice Gallery, visit www.ricegallery.org.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.