7. The Department of Sanitation Has an Artist in Residence


Since 1977, Mierle Laderman Ukeles has been the artist in residence for the New York City Department of Sanitation. In an interview with Observer, Ukeles said that her first “project” as artist in resident was going to the 59 sanitation districts to shake hands and thank 8500 sanitation workers – a feat which took a year and a half to complete. In the 1980s Ukeles designed The Social Mirror Truck which is a reflective garbage truck that debuted in the 1983 NYC Art Parade. She has also played an important role in the Fresh Kills Park project, advocating for a public park at the former landfill site since 1989. To date, Ukeles is the only artist in residence for the DSNY.