The Storefront Arts and Recovery Initiative (STAR)

Zipeng Zhu, Andrew Bannecker, Damien Davis, Albert Josue Peguero, Frances Smith

Times Square Arts is proud to announce a new partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute: STAR – the Storefront Arts Recovery Initiative – which fosters collaboration between property owners and artists to transform empty storefronts into art activations.

STAR was inspired by a similar vision developed in 2001, spearheaded by civic leaders Jane Rosenthal, Jamie Rubin, and Carl Weisbrod. Their mission focused on rebuilding the communities in Lower Manhattan following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Today, as New York City continues to re-open and recover from the Covid-19 Pandemic, STAR serves as a catalyst to activate local storefronts and position artists as key partners in the city’s rebuilding.

STAR is launching with four pilot projects in partnership with Times Square Arts, featured below:

STAR: A-Z Guide to NYC by Frances Smith

Frances Smith
A-Z Guide to Times Square

234 W 42nd Street | Cushman & Wakefield

A-Z Guide to Times Square is an alphabet-themed artwork featuring iconic symbols representing New York City and Times Square. In celebration of the many of the classic experiences that make this city great, this artwork is designed to engage all generations of New Yorkers and the visiting tourist alike.


STAR: NY Hearts U by Zipeng Zhu

Zipeng Zhu
NY ❤ U

20 Times Square | Maefield Development

Zipeng Zhu wants you to know that New York loves you! Zhu’s public art installation NY ❤ U transforms 20 Times Square into the face and crown of Lady Liberty, and sends an endearing message of love and reciprocity on both the street-level storefront and in the accompanying videos on the giant billboard above. For his STAR activation, the Chinese-born designer and art director wanted to conjure the collective love and communal experiences shared amongst New Yorkers, especially as we reshape new ways of being together as a society and city. While Zhu’s colorful aesthetic and bold fonts are hard to miss, the perfect view of NY ❤ You is from the red steps on Duffy Square, and his animations can be seen at the :02, :09, and :42 minute marks of every hour.


STAR: The Gang's All Here, by Andrew Bannecker

Andrew Bannecker
The Gang’s All Here

225 West 42nd Street  | The New 42

The Gang’s All Here creates a fantastical atmosphere filled with colorful creatures from all walks of imaginary life. Each line and cosmic being of this playful visual brings a curious joy to 42nd Street. His work can be found at 225 West 42nd Street near New 42 Studios, where Bannecker is an artist-in-residence.

STAR: A Través de la Persiana (Through the Blinds)

Damien Davis & Albert Josue Peguero
A Través de la Persiana (Through the Blinds)

1460 Broadway | Meringoff Properties

Damien Davis and Albert Josue Peguero explore the idea of “campo-futurism” in a digital artwork that celebrates rural, Afro-Latinx, and queer identities. Fusing shapes and colors reminiscent of Caribbean architectural embellishments with a nod to the old peep shows of Midtown Manhattan, the work offers animated glimpses into windows revealing a cast of cross-cultural silhouettes and symbolism.

STAR fabricators include the South Shore Sign Company.