TO CELEBRATE the success of the MFTA mission within the DCLA, an art exhibition was held in the City Gallery at 2 Columbus Circle in the spring of 1983. The name of the show, “Spare Parts,” was chosen because it identified the underlying concept of the private sector sharing its unneeded or unwanted materials – its spare parts – with artists across the five boroughs that needed materials.
Artists and arts organizations submitted proposals for work around the theme of reuse and employing materials acquired through MFTA. The show was curated by Fremont and Moser under the guidance of Henry Geldzahler.
The event caught the imagination of the NYC arts community, attracting well-known cultural figures and media attention. Leo Castelli, a benefit committee member, suggested turning the celebration into a fundraising event by auctioning the artists’ work. Louise Bourgeois and Elaine deKooning generously donated work created from donated materials. Christie’s handled the silent auction.
With just 6 months of preparation and a budget of less than $10,000 (with $5,430 coming from donated services) the show had an exuberant opening on May 26, 1983. The evening included theater, music, videos and work from 49 artists who had 36 works in the gallery, and another 10 outdoor installations.