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The Y Project

The Y Project
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The Y Project promotes a greater understanding of social issues through temporary sculptures, placed in public space, in the form of the letter Y to cultivate positive change over time.


RALPH G. BRANCACCIO : “The Y Project” was born out of a personal frustration that begain as I matured and tried to understand the complexity of our societies. In 1995, I decided to provoke community dialog through Y shaped sculptures to hopefully find some answers.

Adding to the global effort and conversation supporting positive change has always been important to me. I believe that my artistic expression helps people break through the noise to better comprehend the ever-changing issues we face as evolving societies. I support forward, activist, thinking and oftentimes place the viewer in a difficult situation to challenge their convictions, so they can achieve greater understanding.

The aim of “The Y Project” is to promote greater understanding of social issues through temporary sculptures placed in public space, in the form of the letter Y, to cultivate positive change over time. The project asks us to reflect on the statement, “Why do we live so comfortably with an imbalance of human equality and irresponsibility?”

The project, which expresses a belief and serves as a reminder that change is possible, and we can reach common goals, and that the spirit of goodwill among people of all nations can prevail if we ask ourselves what role we play in the presented situations and work towards change.

Public art has the inherent power to reach a wide audience, and because the installations are in community space, the imagery and the messages it carries are embedded in the everyday fabric of life of those who walk by. In this sense, the project truly dialogs between art and ordinary people--not just those who regularly seek out cultural exhibits, but also those who are simply walking their dogs, commuting or going about daily activities.

Y sculptures are sited for a six to twelve month period. Local organizations are encouraged to use the project as a platform to further their mission. As a result, Y has inspired films, school projects, and educational programs. Eight shorts films, motivated by Y,  were shown at the 12th Annual “Do It Your Damn Self” National Youth Video and Film Festival.

“The Y Project” was successfully installed in New York City; Providence, RI; and in the following citys of Massachusetts: Cambridge, Provincetown, and Whitinsville; and at the University of Connecticut, Storrs campus.

Y will eventually contain and question thirty issues. I am trying to add sculptures to the project as it tours the country. It is my ultimate hope to then place the thirty colorful sculptures on Utah's Salt Flats, so they can be photographed against the contrasting white salt-crystalloid ground and wide-open blue sky.

“The Y Project” has received funding and support from: Puffin Foundation; J. & A. Ades Foundation; John L. Stewart Collection; Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard; Cambridge Arts Council; Massachusetts Cultural Council; Community Art Center of Cambridge; Junior League of Philadelphia; ActionAIDS; William Way LGBT Community Center; Provincetown Art Association and Museum; Provincetown Office of Tourism; Bank of America; American Express; Alternatives Limited Inc.; Cambridge Cares About AIDS; Learning School Network Foundation; Hewlett Packard; Cultural Council of the City of Providence, RI; individual donors and the sale of Y limited-edition artwork.

Y manhole cover mono prints are available with a $1,000. Y Shdow Boxes are available with a $2,500 donation.  Your  company logo can appear on a sculptures baseplate with a $5,000 donation. 

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