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Art in the Parks

Through collaborations with a diverse group of arts organizations and artists, Parks brings to the public both experimental and traditional art in many park locations. Please browse our list of current exhibits below, explore our archives of past exhibits or read more about the Art in the Parks Program.

Current Exhibits

Bronx

Art Students League, Flock
May 14, 2013 to May 13, 2014
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Art Students League of New York, one of America’s premier art schools, presents the Model to Monument Program (M2M), a collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation that has culminated in the installation of the monumental sculpture, Flock, at Van Cortlandt Park.

The sculpture was created by an international team of seven selected League students during a nine-month program led by master sculptor Greg Wyatt. In its third year, ASL created a 15-foot swirl of birds in flight—making note of the amazing bird watching opportunity in the Bronx park. Flock, a collaborative piece also uses the birds to represent the diversity of the Bronx. Included in the exhibition are Beñat Iglesias Lopez, Anna Kuchel Rabinowitz, Anne Stanner, Sherwin Banfield, John N. Erianne, Reina Kubota, and Morito Yasumitsu.

A collaborative installation created by the team is also on concurrently on view in Riverside South Park in Manhattan. This exhibition is presented with the Art Students League.

Brooklyn

Nick Hornby, Bird God Drone, Courtesy of the artist

Nick Hornby, Bird God Drone
November 1, 2013 to October 31, 2014
Clumber Corner, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

In Hornby’s Bird God Drone, the outline of Michelangelo’s David – one of the most famous and widely reproduced sculptures in the world – has been extruded vertically over 12 feet to converge at a single point. In Bird God Drone, the silhouette of David’s conquering and classical Renaissance body lies horizontally, flush with the ground, and visible from above: by workers peering out of windows, tourists crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, birds, gods, and drones.

The sculpture is robotically carved from a synthetic composite to the accuracy of a fraction of a millimeter. The figurative perfection of Michelangelo’s sculpture is juxtaposed against the Platonic ideal of geometry.

Hornby has derived his outline, not from the original marble carving, but from a white plaster copy from the late 1800s located in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Here, in Brooklyn, Hornby’s sculpture is repositioned in another historical moment of belief in technological progress. It is no longer God and nature alone that view from above, but also drones and satellites, the components of our industrialization of space.

Accompanying this sculpture is a video of the work shot from above by a surveillance drone. The sculpture is designed specifically for this bird’s-eye view, inverting the ‘man on a plinth’ monument which is traditionally viewed from below. The video will be available on YouTube, accessible via smart-phones, and disseminated by social media, revealing Michelangelo’s outline dropped like a Google pin point (the hallmark of contemporary travel) in the urban landscape. www.birdgoddrone.com

This exhibition is presented by Two Trees Management Co.

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman, Geolocations: DUMBO, Photo courtesy of the artists

Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman, Geolocation: DUMBO
September 18, 2013 to September 17, 2014
Washington Street and Prospect Street, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Geolocation: DUMBO is a new Twitter-inspired public art piece from photographers and self-described “virtual flâneurs” Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman. Wrapping 190ft around the corner of Washington and Prospect, this work was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District in collaboration with United Photo Industries.

Geolocation: DUMBO embraces the neighborhood’s digital culture. To create the piece, Larson and Shindelman used publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and take photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of the photographs is taken at the site of the update and paired with the originating text. According to the artists, the “act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.” Local sites depicted in the piece include Brooklyn Bridge Park, Etsy and the parking garage at 20 Jay.

The piece was commissioned by the DUMBO Improvement District and United Photo Industries in partnership with NYC Parks. For additional information about the project, click here.

Manhattan

Isabelle Cornaro, God Box (column), courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Various Artists, Archeo
April 17, 2014 to March, 2015
The High Line, Manhattan
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Description:

An outdoor group exhibition about technology and obsolescence, Archeo brings together the work of artists who employ outmoded technologies and outdated machinery as a reflection on humanity’s continuous fascination and frustration with technology.

Today, many young artists engage with technology by exposing both its fragilities and merits. Their artworks embody an attitude that is simultaneously critical and nostalgic, in which the optimistic idealism of technological progress is countered by a disenchanted skepticism. Some of the works in the exhibition describe a recent past which resembles a dystopian future, featuring a wasteland of discarded machines and castaway objects. Other artists are more enthusiastic about the potential of technology but warn us against its dangerous side effects and its planned obsolescence. Some of the artworks on view disclose a return to the handmade and an attraction to organic forms and materials. These sculptures resemble relics and findings of an archaeology of the future.

Archeo features international artists including: Antoine Catala, Isabelle Cornaro, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Yngve Holen, Gavin Kenyon, Josh Kline, Marianne Vitale

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line.

Chuck Ginnever, Medusa, 1986

Charles Ginnever, Medusa
December 6, 2013 to November 30, 2014
Riverside Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Charles Ginnever’s piece Medusa (1986) is located at 145th Street in Riverside Park and echoes his sculpture High Rise, sited on a neighboring lawn.   This exhibition marks Ginnever’s return to Parks, having exhibited in Carl Schurz Park in 1967 as part of Sculpture in Environment, one of the city’s first public art exhibitions. Charles Ginnever was born in San Mateo, CA in 1931. He is best known for his large-scale, open form works for the outdoors. He created the first of these in 1958 with abandoned railroad ties and structural steel. The result was a deconstruction of prevailing sculptural spatial concepts that he continues to examine. A contemporary of Mark di Suvero and Richard Serra, who also exhibit monumental steel pieces,  Ginnever’s sculptures have a trick of the eye and appear to warp as someone looks at the pieces from different angles.

Rendering of Rachel Feinstein’s Folly (2014) in Madison Square Park. Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York

Rachel Feinstein, Folly
May 7, 2014 to September 7, 2014
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
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Description:

Marking Rachel Feinstein’s first public art exhibition in the U.S. and comprising her largest sculptural works to date, the installation consists of three follies–structures that were popular in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century architecture, built with decorative rather than functional purpose. Feinstein’s sculptures are executed in graphically printed and detailed panels of thin metal, ranging from eight to 26 feet tall. The three structures include a house perched on a towering cliff, a Rococo-style hut, and a flying ship moored high in a tree, supported by a mast extending to the ground.

Best known for her fanciful sculptures, Feinstein’s stage-set follies for Mad. Sq. Art are made of powder-coated aluminum with applied surface illustration. They are not inhabitable as the works are sculptural reliefs: they have active, three-dimensional facades and flat backs with structural supports. Installed on three park lawns, the structures will evoke theatrical scenery in which the park visitors are the actors.

This exhibition is presented by Mad. Sq. Art.

Olaf Breuning, Clouds
March 4, 2014 to August 24, 2014
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
?Olaf Breuning’s largest public art installation in the United States to date, the work features six clouds rendered as childlike drawings made of polished blue aluminum towering nearly 35 feet above the plaza and mounted on seemingly makeshift steel supports. Blending reality with fiction and refined forms with a do-it-yourself aesthetic, this new work is a whimsical addition to the Midtown Manhattan skyline.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund

Alice Aycock, Cyclone Twist courtesy of NYC Parks

Alice Aycock, Park Avenue Paper Chase
March 8, 2014 to July 20, 2014
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Park Avenue Paper Chase, a series of seven sculptures by artist Alice Aycock, grace the canyons of Manhattan this spring and summer. Six works are on view between 52nd and 57th Streets and a seventh work is at Park Avenue and 66th Street in front of the Park Avenue Armory. Aycock has long been one of very few women exploring the relationship between structure, site, and viewer on an architectural scale, like her peers Richard Serra and Mark di Suvero.

Ranging in size from 12 to 27 feet in height 18 to 70 feet in length, the aluminum and fiberglass works in the new installation forms an arresting presence in the heart of midtown Manhattan. According to Aycock “I tried to visualize the movement of wind energy as it flowed up and down the avenue creating random whirlpools, touching down here and there and sometimes forming dynamic three-dimensional massing of forms. The sculptural assemblages suggest waves, wind turbulence, turbines, and vortexes of energy.”

Many of the new works incorporate images of wheels and turbines and references to energy in the form of spirals, whirlwinds, whirlpools, spinning tops, and whirly-gigs. One of the works references the expressive quality of wind through drapery and the chaotic beauty of flow dynamics. The sculptures can be read from both sides of the avenue and the visual narrative plays to both the uptown and downtown movement of traffic patterns. Aycock continues “As much as the sculptures are obviously placed on the mall, I wanted the work to have a random, haphazard quality – in some cases, piling up on itself, with others spinning off into the air.”

Sculpture locations include Maelstrom at 52nd-53rd Street; Hoop-La at 53rd Street; Twin Vortexes at 54th Street, Spin-The-Spin at 55th Street; Waltzing Matilda at 56th Street; Cyclone Twist at 57th Street and Super Twister III at 66th Street.

Courtesy of Friends of the Highline

Faith Ronggold, Groovin High
May 1, 2014 to June 2, 2014
The High Line, Manhattan
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Description:

For the High Line, Ringgold has reinterpreted a historical work titled Groovin High (1986), a colorful and paradigmatic story quilt, one of the many that inspired a revival of the medium in the late 1970s. Depicting a crowded dance hall bordered by quilted hand-dyed fabrics, Groovin’ High is evocative of Ringgold’s interest and activism in the African American communities of her native Harlem. Her style reflects formal treatments of shape, color, and perspective reminiscent of many painters whose styles defined the Harlem Renaissance, an immensely productive and creative cultural movement of the 1920s that erupted out of the African American community living in the eponymous New York neighborhood.

This exhibition is presented by Friends of the Highline.

Benat Iglesias Lopez The Bathers photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Art Students League, Model to Monument (M2M)
June 2013 to May 2014
Riverside Park South, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Art Students League of New York, one of America's premier art schools, presents the Model to Monument Program (M2M), a collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation that has culminated in the installation of eight sculptures on view along Riverside Park South from 59th to 72nd Streets. The sculptures were created by an international team of selected League students during a nine-month program led by master sculptor Greg Wyatt. The pieces explore "The Function of the Public Square: Role and Responsibility of the Artist Relative to Riverside Park South." The artists are: Sherwin Banfield, John N. Erianne, Reina Kubota, Beñat Iglesias Lopez, Anna Kuchel Rabinowitz, Anne Stanner, and Morito Yasumitsu.

This work was made possible by the Art Students League’s Model to Monument Program and the Riverside Park Fund.

Nathan Sawaya, Hugman, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Nathan Sawaya, Hugmen
April 17, 2014 to May 17, 2014
Clement Clarke Moore Park, Manhattan
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Description:

In the community spirit of Earth Day, Nathan Sawaya utilized the recycled bricks that guests were asked to individually sign when they visited The Art of the Brick exhibition at Discovery Times Square. Nathan used more than fifty thousand bricks over the course of 100 hours to create three multi-colored human figures that warmly embrace the trees in the park. “I hope these splashes of color made from recycled LEGO bricks inspire people to explore found art and bring awareness to using reclaimed objects in their everyday lives.”

As the artist behind The Art of the Brick®, one of the largest and most popular art exhibits touring the globe, Sawaya has had an opportunity to leave his creative mark in each city the exhibition visits. Sawaya has installed his street art Hugman sculptures around the world, such as Singapore, Melbourne, Brussels and most recently, Dublin. For his first NYC Parks installation, he has created three larger-than-life Hugman.

Ana Tzarev, Love, Courtesy of Ana Tzarev Gallery

Ana Tzarev, Love
October 14, 2013 to April 27, 2014
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
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Description:

The Love & Peace Global Sculpture Campaign is a series of 15 monumental glossy 15-foot high floral sculptures which are exhibited in galleries, museums, and public spaces around the globe from 2012-2017. These fiberglass poppies, collectively titled Love, have travelled to numerous cities including Rome, Prague, New York, London, Singapore, Shenzhen, and Venice during the 55th Biennale. The driving force behind Tzarev’s Love & Peace Global Sculpture Campaign is her belief that art is the bridge by which the world can be connected.

This exhibition is presented by  Ana Tzarev Gallery

Fanny Allie Serendipty photo courtesy of the artist

Fanny Allié, Serendipity
June 2013 to April 25, 2014
Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Fanny Allie, a French artist based in New York, has created a site-specific public artwork for Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan’s East Village. The sculpture, titled Serendipity, is a life-size, steel silhouette of a formerly homeless man who spent much of his time in the park. The exhibition will be located near the western entrance at St. Mark’s Place and Avenue A and is on view through November 2013.

Allie visited Tompkins Square to prepare for the exhibition and find a regular park visitor to serve as the model for her piece. Instead the model found her. Christopher Gamble approached Allie and struck up a conversation. They later met for coffee where he revealed he was previously homeless for 28 years and frequented the park. Gamble agreed to model for the sculpture. The steel figure stands with its face looking up to the sky, shoulders and arms outreached, preparing to take flight. Allie interprets the piece as a symbol of hope and the desire to strive for something greater. In a series of recent works, she has focused on the human body, with a particular interest in its outline. By removing the center of the figure, she plays with ideas of memory and the mark we leave on places and others.

Queens

Jade Chan, In Flight, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Jade Chan, In Flight
July 2013 to July 2014
Shorefront Parkway between Beach 77 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayorâ??s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

Jade Chan's design for the Rockaway barriers is titled In Flight. When she visited Rockaway Beach, she was inspired by the warmth, the sun and the colors that jumped out at her from the sky, water and sand. The sound of the surf and the breeze upon her skin was exhilarating. She observed the birds in flight and was inspired by this free and liberating vision. Chan sees In Flight as a representation of the freedom and strength of the human spirit.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

Patty Harris, Ride the Wave, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Patty Harris, Ride the Wave
July 2013 to July 2014
Shorefront Parkway, Between Beach 74 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

As an artist, Patty Harris has created animations of floods and is fascinated by the way water moves. Experienced in looking closely at the sea, she pulled a few simple forms that suggest the movement and pattern of a wave. For the Shore Parkway barrier, Patty painted shapes that express the undulating movement of a wave. She added curved shapes that hold water of a slightly different color—just as actual water displays a range of hues. To this rhythmical simple pattern, Harris included the silhouetted forms of surfers at the crests of the waves.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

John Garcia, Untitled, Courtesy of NYC Parks

John Garcia, Untitled
July 2013 to July 2014
Shorefront Parkway, Between Beach 74 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayorâ??s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

As a surf regular of Rockaway Beach, John Garcia pays tribute to Rockaway Beachâ??s surf culture in his barrier mural. He has painted images of Rockaway surfers riding waves, along with the birds that often keep them company on the water and on the shore. These images of birds and surfers sit on top of an aquatic abstract backdrop that captures the mystery and beauty of the ocean. The barriers also include the text â??Welcome to the Rockawaysâ? as an invitation for others to experience the waves and serenity of Rockaway Beach.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

Staten Island

Karlis Rekevics All-Too-Familiar Tangle photo by Karley Klopfenstein

Karlis Rekevics, All-Too-Familiar Tangle
June 27, 2013 to June 27, 2014
Tappen Park, Staten Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Recipient of the third annual Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award, Karlis Rekevics is drawn to the overlooked part of our urban landscape that we regularly see but rarely register: bridge supports, store facades, guardrails, signs, and scaffolding. After documenting notable forms and architecture around the park, Rekevics created a series of wooden molds that combine recognizable elements in altered scales. The monumental All-Too-Familiar Tangle references the wooden bollards that line the coast near the Staten Island Ferry, as well as the neo-classical limestone columns and rounded portico entryway of the landmarked Staten Island Savings Bank located at 81 Water Street. Further investigation reveals the dormer window details from the park’s historic Village Hall conflated with the defining form of the sculpture—a wall-like structure with three peaks and low windows that echoes the distinctive pink design that covers the face of 7 Beach Street.

More information on the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award or Park Art in the Parks program

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