Kendal Henry is an Assistant Commissioner, Public Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. As an artist and curator, he has specialized in the field of public art for over 30 years. Kendal practice illustrates that public art can be used as a tool for social engagement, civic pride and economic development through the projects and programs he’s initiated in the US and internationally. He believes that the most successful public artworks start with the question, “What is the artwork to achieve?” and takes into account both the audience and surrounding environment in the creation of that artwork.
Kendal served as the Director of NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program. He is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development as well as a guest lecturer at various universities and educational institutions, including the Rhode Island School of Design Senior Studio and Pratt Institute’s Arts and Cultural Management Program.
Previously, as the Director of Culture and Economic Development for the City of Newburgh, NY Kendal created the region’s first Percent for Art Program. Prior to that post, he was Manager of Arts Programs at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Arts for Transit for eleven years. During this time, he oversaw the commissioning, fabrication and installation of MTA’s permanent art projects, served as a member of the MTA’s in-house design team, and produced temporary exhibitions at Grand Central Terminal. He was also the Curator-at-large at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY and was elected to serve two 3-year terms on the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Council.