Plastic Bag Store in Times SquareA “Plastic Bag Store” is coming to Times Square. Photography by Maria Baranova for Times Square Arts and Robin Frohardt. 

Happy March! Several of the new public art installations this month in New York City focus on current events, like the Plastic Bag Store inspired by the new plastic bag ban, or a replica of the Oval Office that’s on view at the New-York Historical Society, and an art show in an abandoned Irish pub in Lower Manhattan. Storied New York City institutions also have new exhibitions and installations, with Gracie Mansion’s latest show and giant books for the beloved New York Public Library lions to enjoy.

Check out what new public art installations you can find in New York this month!

1. Plastic Bag Store

Yesterday, the plastic bag ban took effect in New York state. Enforcement won’t begin until April and grocery stores were still giving out plastic bags yesterday. Starting March 18th, you can visit “The Plastic Bag Store” at 20 Times Square, a public art installation and immersive theater project by artist and director Robin Frohardt and produced by Pomegranate Arts.

The store, which is part of the programming of Times Square Arts will have thousands of hand-sculpted “products” made from discarded, single-use plastics. You’ll find everything you can find in a grocery store, like meat, produce, cakes, toiletries, dry goods, and even sushi rolls. In the evenings, there will be immersive performances in The Plastic Bag Store. According to Frohardt, “”The Plastic Bag Store is a visually rich, tactile, and humorous experience that hopefully encourages a different way of thinking about the foreverness of plastic, the permanence of the disposable, and that there is no ‘away’ when we throw something out. It is my attempt to make something authentic and human from that which is mass-produced. There is great humor to be found in the pitfalls of capitalism, and I find that humor and satire can be powerful tools for social criticism especially with issues that feel too sad and overwhelming to confront directly.”

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