M2M 2010-2011: The Inaugural Year


Eight Sculptures Installed in Riverside Park South and Van Cortlandt Park

On June 28, 2011, the 12-foot tall aluminum and steel Mask, a collaborative work by an international team of seven League students, was installed in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Just four days earlier, a public ceremony in Riverside Park South in Manhattan recognized the installation of individual works by the seven League sculptors. These installations culminate the inaugural year of Model to Monument (M2M), a five-year partnership between the League and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Model to Monument: Creating Art for Public Spaces is a new nine-month public art program at the Art Students League of New York for select sculpture students under the mentorship of Master Sculptor Greg Wyatt.


Official Press Release: Monument to Monument Program


Click the image on the right for a site map to each Riverside sculpture


Photos from an exhibition of M2M students' 1/3-sized maquettes that was on view in the League's lobby and office can be seen on the League’s Facebook page. You can follow the sculptors of M2M in these online webisodes and bonus features from their weekly seminars with advisor Greg Wyatt. 


M2M Sculptors 2010–2011

These seven artists were chosen to be the inaugural group of sculptors for the model to monument program. Click on each name for an artist profile.

Elizabeth Allison Selva Sanjines
John Balsamo Noa Shay
Allston Chapman Matte White
Akihiro Ito Greg Wyatt, Advisor


M2M Video Documentary

Follow the sculptors of M2M in these online webisodes and bonus features from their weekly seminars with advisor Greg Wyatt.

Episode 3
Getting Ready for the Parks DepartmentThe members share their presentations and feelings just before they have to present their artistic visions to the Director of Arts & Antiquities of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Episode 3.5
BONUS Sculptor Allston Chapman talks about meeting with the Parks Department.

Episode 4
League curator Pam Koob meets with the group and discusses a special exhibition that will feature their works at the League in February.
Episode 5
Following a concept by Renaissance artist Paolo Uccello, the sculptors present their wire maquettes for review.





The title of this piece is River Gazers, and they will be looking out over the Hudson River."

—Elizabeth Allison


"Stylistically, the River Gazers will be recognizable as a people but not tightly modeled in the traditional academic sense. A more gestural, expressive style seems appropriate——such a style can relate to the ruins of the broken down piers, helping to unify this blatantly man-made object with the bucolic environment of the park itself.

River Gazers will have pale coloration to help them stand out against the dark waters of the Hudson, while working with the light weathered wood of the benches and the warm colors of the surrounding grasses.

River Gazers y will mingle with the viewers of the park , providing a slightly unexpected twist to the installation."

League technical instructor Elizabeth Allison received her BFA from the University of Michigan. Since then, she has been an active member of the League's and New York's art community, regularly showing her work in exhibitions throughout the city. Elizabeth has been the recipient of several awards and honors from institutions including the National Sculpture Society; the Newington-Cropsey Academy of Art; Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation; and the Art Students League.

Learn more about Elizabeth on her website.




M2M Sculptors: John Balsamo


"I want to convey some form of life and feeling so when you look at the sculpture, it is not going to be stagnant, it's going to speak to you, to make a move towards you."

—John Balsamo


"The New Age reflects my feelings about the transformation of New York City, from an industrial city to a sleek and modern metropolis."


John was seventeen years old when he began painting and in his late twenties when he won the Fence Art Show Painting Award for his painting The Subway Scene, shown at The Brooklyn Museum. John worked as an art director for Revlon for many years and left a successful commercial career to devote his time solely to his art. John first began showing his sculptures in groups exhibits at the Art Students League of New York where he has been a working member for thirteen years. He won several grants and awards. From 2004 through 2006, his work was shown at the Cork Gallery, at Lincoln Center. Private collectors in New York, Paris and Montreal, have acquired his paintings and bronze sculptures.
John Balsamo was born and lives in New York.

To see John’s website please visit





"When I first saw this site, I thought 'this is a site that needs art.' I hope this sculpture will inspire children to appreciate art and create art of their own."

—Allston Chapman


My artwork tells stories of people and animals which are filled with movement and whimsy. Men, women and children, with raised arms or the breeze blowing full of life, never static. Each sculpture is a narrative. Bringing a moment of pleasure and joy to the viewer is my goal in making my artwork, a goal particularly suited to public art.


Ms. Chapman grew up in South Carolina, where she enjoyed playing in and around the public sculptures in Brookgreen Gardens near Myrtle Beach. She has studied at the Arts League for many years. She has also studied at the National Academy of Design, where she earned a 2006 Inga Denton Scholarship, and with painter Raymond Kinstler. She teaches art privately in New York.

Visti Ms. Chapman's website at



M2M Sculptors: AKIHIRO ITO


"The theme of my proposed sculpture is Eternity."

—Akihiro Ito

"Two wooden sculptures are standing close by each other and look up to the sky and their future. They are symbols of human souls and love. The soul and its love is eternal. I would like also to show the close the relationship between humans and nature by using wood as a material in this sculpture. Wood has a character that makes people feel warm, calm, and a sense of relief.”

Mr. Ito hails from Japan, where he received his bachelor’s in design at Musashino Art University. He has lived in Germany and has studied sculpture at the Art Students League since 2007. His work has shown in galleries and museums in New York, New Jersey and Japan.

To learn more about Mr. Ito, visit his website.



  "Flight: Past to Future is about the evolution of New York City from past to future."

—Selva Sanjines

"I sculpt because I like to express my ideas through forms and materials that show beauty, balance and mood in nature. My goal is to open communications between the observer and my art. I like to work with organic forms and natural colors because it reminds me of my early years growing up in Chile. My cultural background which gives much importance to traditions, family,and  friendship makes me who I am. Infusing all these rich elements into my art is key to my life’s work.”


Dr. Sanjines was born in Santiago, Chile. She is a pediatric endocrinologist and the mother of five children. She began studying art at the League in the late 1970s and is a gifted printmaker in addition to her sculpture work. Her prints and sculptures have been shown in many group shows and are in private and public collections.


M2M Sculptors: NOA SHAY

"The tale of The Golden Fish was the inspiration for this piece."

—Noa Shay

"My idea for this piece aims to use the motif of water, which is so strong in this location; as well as what I feel is the intent of the place, which is being a spot of pause: where one faces the view and reflects inward; where the viewer is now, what they want.

I chose the tale of The Golden Fish as inspiration for a sculpture of a fish combined with the face of a child. The tale is a story about wishing—-wishing for what you desire, wishing for too much, being caught in a net...

The child, which is a theme I have been dealing with in my previous work, is a symbol of hidden wishes, hope for a future, innocence, and renewal. My plan is to combine the different themes in a piece that will the site's atmosphere and uses."

Multi-talented Noa Shay received her undergraduate degree in computer science before fully committing her studies to the visual arts. She has studied art at the Jerusalem Studio School in Israel; the International School of Painting and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy; and the Maryland Institute in Baltimore. Upon moving to New York, she earned her MFA in painting from Brooklyn College. Since 2005, Noa has studied sculpture at the Art Students League. Her work is represented in the Israel Museum of Art in Jerusalem, as well as several private collections.

To learn more about Noa, please visit her website.


M2M Sculptors: MATTE WHITE

"The Seiren, facing the river, effortlessly sings her song of seduction to passing watercraft."

—Matte White

"Made famous by Homer's Odyssey Seirenes were known as the temptresses of sailors, who they lured to their destruction on the rocks of the shore. Though realistically sculpted, this seiren includes some important abstract elements as well, including the figure’s desexualization. This disfigurement was intended to draw the viewer’s attention to the issue of the Nude in public.” (Note the artist intends no harm to the watercraft of their operators.)

Mr. White, who lives in Brooklyn, has studied at the Art Students League of seven years. His sculpture had won the Walter Hancock Prized (First Prize) at the National Sculpture Society Young Sculptors Competition at the New York Academy of Art in 2009 and Honorable Mention at the Edmund Stewardson Sculpture Competition at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 

To learn more about Matte visit his website:

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