Artist makes unique Facebook posting

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When it comes to social media, a Facebook wall is one of the most important places to display your thoughts, your photos, even your work.

Dannielle Tegeder had a chance to include her art on a Facebook wall — literally, a wall at the Facebook office on Park Avenue South.

For three months, Tegeder commuted to Facebook’s Manhattan offices after the Lehman College art professor was one of 20 artists selected to participate in Facebook’s artist in residence program. 

The Facebook project began in 2012 at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters in California. Over the last six years, it’s expanded to other offices across the globe, including the company’s offices at 225 Park Ave. S. 

Tegeder created a mural in the lobby before the company moved in last year. Since the building was once home to the American Woolen Co. — a designer and manufacturer of men’s and women’s woolen fabrics — Tegeder noted there wasn’t a lot of color in the “historic hallway.” And that needed to change. 

“I decided then that I wanted to have a really high-pitched color at the end of the hallway to be an entrance into Facebook,” she said.

From there, Tegeder worked with a few Lehman students on the project, creating “Center of Machine-Life Transmissions.” Between developing a proposal for the space and putting together the mural’s overall design, the project took Tegeder three months to complete. 

“Center of Machine-Life Transmissions” includes a collection of abstract shapes and narrow lines that stand against the vibrant reds, yellows and white colors on the wall. 

The shapes and lines are a representation of how Facebook’s infrastructure works inside and outside the walls of its office. 

“It was exciting because we installed (it) while the building was in process, so all of the trade workers got to see the piece go up,” Tegeder said. 

Tegeder credits many factors that played into having a chance to create art at Facebook — one of them was because of her association with Lehman over the years.

“I think working with … students from very diverse backgrounds has helped my communication skills as an artist,” Tegeder said. “That is very useful when working within public art, within different populations and communities who have different familiarities with contemporary art.”

With that experience under her belt, Tegeder’s work at Facebook has taught her how to work with people beyond just a single studio space of her own.

“I feel that I have gained skills from expanding the scale of my work and working in public spaces with a team,” Tegeder said. “It is so different from working alone, and enabled me to interact with different communities outside of the art world, the people in the building, and the people at Facebook.”

As Tegeder looks back on her time there, what she found thrilling was going from working alone to the spontaneity of working in public.

“The process of working on-site is always really exciting and performative on some level, especially since we were creating the mural while the building itself was being renovated,” Tegeder said. “Working on-site is also dramatically different from working on a piece in the studio. In studio, everything is controlled, while on-site anything can happen.”

CORRECTION: Dannielle Tegeder’s mural at the Facebook offices in Manhattan took about a week to install. A story in the Feb. 15 edition provided a different length of time.

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