Curious Tide at PS958 Brooklyn, New York - CODAworx

Curious Tide at PS958 Brooklyn, New York

Submitted by Allison Bianco

Client: New York City School Construction Authority, Public Art for Public Schools program

Location: Greenville, RI, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team


Allison Bianco

Public Art for Public Schools, New York

School Construction Authority

Porcelain Tile

Sam Sturgis

Images in Tile

Mahogany Fabrication

Ben Watkins

Ben Watkins Studio


Curious Tide is a porcelain tile mural with painted mahogany created for the lobby at PS958 Brooklyn, New York. Inspired by the ocean and beaches on New York City’s coastlines, the work features a tile mural of waves, creatures, plants, animals, food, and objects influenced by local iconography. A dramatic interaction between water and sky foreshadows a physical shift in the climate of the oceanscape beneath, with unexpected objects and color designed to provide moments of humor and wonder. The weathering and entanglement expressed in the mural are linked to remembrances of shared and changing places.


Curious Tide was created for the interior lobby of PS958, a primary school in Brooklyn, New York. The commission was presented to a panel before the school was built, and integrated the architectural elements with the artwork to create a cohesive environment for the children, staff and community that use the space.

Public Art for Public Schools was established in 1989 to commission and preserve the over 2000 works in the collection of the NYC Department of Education. Artists include Ann Agee, Romare Bearden, Sanford Biggers, Sandra Cinto, and Faith Ringgold, among many others.


Allison Bianco created the imagery for this mural by hand screen printing and coloring all elements on paper, digitizing the artwork and sublimating the imagery onto porcelain tiles by Images in Tile, Missouri. In the second part of the process, Bianco designed two large mahogany "suns" which were fabricated in Rhode Island in the studio of Ben Watkins.

Additional Information

This is Allison Bianco’s first public art commission, a permanent, site-specific work for New York City public school 958 in Brooklyn. The commission is through the New York City School Construction Authority, Public Art for Public Schools program in collaboration with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Percent for Art program for the collection of the New York City Department of Education.