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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

Courtesy of the Art Students League

Art Students League, Tree of Life
June 12, 2014 to June 1, 2015
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 NYC Parks that has culminated in the installation of the monumental sculpture, Tree of Life, at Van Cortlandt Park.

The sculpture was created by an international team of seven selected League students during a nine-month program. In its fourth year, ASL created worked closely with the naturalists from Van Cortlandt Park to identify specific invertibre that are native to the area. The information they discovered was used by the artists to recreate artistic interpretations of the specimens. These interpretations are attached to a 12 foot tree-like structure. Tree of Life will be an educational experience for park visitors. The artists are: Laura Barmack, Janet Fekete-Bolton, Ana Sofìa Martì, Lindsay McCosh, Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Natsuki Takauji, and Minako Yoshino.

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

Beka Goedde, Fictitious Force, photograph courtesy of the artist

Beka Goedde, Fictitious Force
April 20, 2015 to April 19, 2016
Washington Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Constructed from nearly 1,000 colorfully dyed concrete tiles, Fictitious Force is a temporary public art installation by artist Beka Goedde embedded in the lawn of the Old Stone House & Washington Park. The piece is arranged in concentric circles to resemble an early American hooked or braided rug, and intended to be trod upon like paving stones. This historic site of the American Revolution is particularly suited to host a work that references traditional American craft. While meditative and still, the pattern of the piece conveys a sense of movement that echoes the energy of the nearly 3,000 people attracted to the park daily.

Fictitious Force is presented with The Old Stone House & Washington Park. This exhibit is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Manhattan

Kris Martin, Altar, 2014. Steel; approx. 14 feet (dimensions variable). Installation view, Oostende. Photo by Benny Proot. Courtesy the artist.

Various Artists, Panorama
April 23, 2015 to March 2016
The High Line, Manhattan

Description:

Panorama is an open-air exhibition that takes inspiration from the High Line as an urban park cutting straight through the city, creating new vistas and vantage points onto the surrounding natural and man-made landscapes. The High Line is the ideal stage for this series of sculptures and installations, all of which explore the act of seeing and understanding the spectacle of nature. The exhibition challenges historical notions of the sublime, quasi-religious experiences of “untouched” nature, and the debate on the manicured versus the ostensibly natural garden, opening up the possibility for experiencing nature in its necessarily human-impacted state. *Olafur Eliasson’s The Collectivity Project will be on view from mid-May to mid-September 2015.

Panorama will feature eleven international artists: Mariana Castillo Deball, Olafur Eliasson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ryan Gander, Kris Martin, Damián Ortega, Gabriel Sierra, Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Yutaka Sone, Kaari Upson, Andro Wekua,

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

Allen Glatter, Toro, photograph courtesy of the artist

Allen Glatter, Toro
April 17, 2015 to March 20, 2016
Ahearn Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

“At first sight, the sculpture of Allen Glatter might appear to be a literal take on Paul Klee’s remark that a drawing is simply a line going on a walk. Each work, including Toro, takes the form of a continuous curve zigzagging through space, rising from the ground to above eye level and traversing the better part of a gallery room, or in the case of the outdoor work, a sidewalk. Constructed from seamlessly joined steel tubing, uniform in diameter, the freestanding sculptures simultaneously gather and perforate the spaces around them. Walking around the work produces a pleasant feeling that seems to derive from a rhythm of anticipation and surprise; despite the few formal elements involved, the overall experience varies radically from one vantage point to another. Each sculpture has a definite axis, and when viewed in that direction, the piece tends to open up into a number of loop windows. Though there are many changes of direction in its path, the curve is less of a meandering walk than a sequence of turns, an itinerary.”

Excerpted from a text by Philip Ording.

This exhibit is sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts.

Anthony Heinz May, Txiti Hìtkuk, Photo courtesy of NYC Parks.

Anthony Heinz May, Txiti Hitkuk
October 5, 2014 to September 20, 2015
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Heinz May’s site specific installations are created with trees that have been uprooted or removed from public spaces. Txiti Hìtkuk consists of a London Plane tree appropriated from NYC Parks. Heinz May transplanted the trunk in the planting bed alongside existing rose bushes and London Plane trees and pixelated its appearance into a cluster of wooden cubes. The tree trunk, though untouched at its base, starts to fragment into numerous blocks that are held together with a pin system.

Through his sculpture, Heinz May addresses the dialogue between preservation and degradation; real and artificial; and obsoletion and sustainability. Additionally, he draws parallels between our society and its growing use of technology with his transformation of raw materials into a gridded system. He alters the recycled trees into a three-dimensional representations of two-dimensional organization found in digital imagery---noting that they act like “dissolving digitized glitches in the landscape, symbolizing human interaction within nature through a technological lens.”

While researching the Lenape and the Wickquasgeck Trail (an early north-south trading route in what is now Manhattan), Heinz May came across an online translator for Unami/Delaware languages.  The title, Txiti Hìtkuk (pronunciation 'Touee-tee Heet-kook') roughly translates to “Few Trees,” which references the city as it is now in relation to how it was then.

This project is presented in part by First Street Green

Adrian Villar Rojas, The Evolution of God, photo courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Adrian Villar Rojas, The Evolution of God
September 21, 2014 to Summer 2015
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas is known for his large-scale, site-specific sculptural installations that transform their environs into a vision of their own potential future. Employing a unique mixture of cement and clay, Villar Rojas imbues his sculptures with a material destined to crumble while on view. His works combine the daunting scale of conventional public sculptures with a precarious fragility, keeping viewers mindful of the ephemerality of even the most imposing monoliths.

For the High Line, the artist presents The Evolution of God, a new, site-specific installation composed of thirteen abstract sculptures which punctuate the wild, self-seeded landscape of the High Line at the Rail Yards, and creates a sculptural progression and a rhythmic sequence of forms, reminiscent of a musical score. This new project extends the artist’s own traditional treatment of materials, by integrating organic elements such as seeds, vegetables, and other perishable components inspired by the natural landscape on the High Line as well as non-perishable items such as clothing, sneakers, and rope. Seemingly sturdy, the sculptures will instead turn into living organisms, revealing the passage of time through vegetal sprouts and tectonic cracks, which will slowly return the sculptures to the surrounding landscape.

This exhibition is presented by Friends of the High Line

Tatiana Trouve, Desire Lines, Photo by NYC Parks

Tatiana Trouve, Desire Lines
March 3, 2015 to August 30, 2015
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

For her first public commission in the United States, Tatiana Trouvé has made a work that responds to Central Park. She came to see the miles of pedestrian paths that traverse its landscape as similar to the arteries of a living being. There’s no singular way to walk through the park, but rather a multitude of possible routes that may be followed according to our own desires.

Drawing on existing maps, Trouvé isolated all of the marked pathways in the park and estimated their distances. She identified 212, from secluded paths to prominent thoroughfares, ranging in length from around 60 feet to four miles. Translating her research into three-dimensional form, Trouvé created three large-scale storage racks that house a total of 212 spools. Each spool is wound with rope equivalent in length to a corresponding pathway and labeled to identify its location in the park.

Trouvé’s work is also a reflection on the broader cultural significance of walking. It’s an activity that ranges from personal recreation to political statement, and has inspired poets, musicians, writers, and artists. Thus, Trouvé has associated each pathway with a title drawn from culture and history that relates to walking. In this way, Desire Lines is both a systematic inventory of the park and an invitation to explore the political and poetic resonance of the simple act of taking a walk.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Image Courtesy of the artist

Jarrod Beck, Uplift
August 20, 2014 to August 19, 2015
Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Uplift sits on a tree–lined terrace in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Made from recycled rubber conveyor belts once used to cart ore out of West Virginia mines, the work suggests stratified rock or a grouping of recently unearthed tectonic plates. Uplift is both memorial and artifact, reminding us of loss, but also rooted in a deep time beyond our memories.

Courtesy of the artist

Rudy Shepherd, Black Rock Negative Energy Absorber
May 22, 2014 to May 15, 2015
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Black Rock Negative Energy Absorber is from a series of sculptures Rudy Shepherd has been working on since 2006, the first having been installed in Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NY. Shepherd describes the Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers as a group of sculptures with magical functions: to expunge negative energy from viewers – in the form of prejudice, racism, or even quotidian disdain – and allow them to respond to life with the more open, compassionate, and positive aspects of their personalities. The series reinterprets practices culled from new age mythology and ancient religions to heal the negative energies in society.

The exhibition is brought to you by First Street Green.

Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Atabey's Land Haven, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Art Students League, Model to Monument (M2M)
June 12, 2014 to May 15, 2015
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 seven sculptures on view along Riverside Park South from 59th to 69th Streets.

The sculptures were created by an international team of selected League students during a nine-month program. The pieces for this exhibition explore “The Architecture of Nature.”  The artists are: Laura Barmack, Janet Fekete-Bolton, Ana Sofìa Martì, Lindsay McCosh, Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Natsuki Takauji, and Minako Yoshino.

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

Jim Rennert, THINK BIG
June 3, 2014 to May 4, 2015
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Jim Rennert’s THINK BIG stands at over 12-feet tall serving as an inspiration to everyone who works hard every day to achieve their dreams and goals. The monumental businessman gazes up at the sky and the Manhattan skyline, reminding us that if we “think big” we can attain anything and that the American Dream is still very much alive and possible. Businessman or not, everyone can still relate to the themes in their own personal ways. THINK BIG is the culmination of positive thinking, as the original concept started as a two-inch sculpture. Rennert is excited to bring the sculpture to New York so that everyone can indeed, “think big.”

The project is made possible by the Cavalier Gallery and Union Square Partnership.

Juan Soriano, Bronze Dove, Photo Courtesy of NYC Parks

Juan Soriano, Juan Soriano in New York City: Monumental Sculpture at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
October 28, 2014 to April 26, 2015
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Three of Juan Soriano’s sculptures are now in New York City: Pájaro III (Bird III), Pájaro de Dos Caras (Bird with Two Faces), and Paloma de Bronce (Bronze Dove). Soriano, a deeply committed Mexican artist from an early age, was an independent voice during the years that the murals of Rivera, Siqueiros and Orozco dominated Mexican art. Putting distance between his art and theirs, he created an individual vision in painting, ceramics, stage and costume design, and monumental sculptures.

Placed in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, on East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, they bring to New York City Juan Soriano’s unique perspective on art and society. Inspired by the popular and indigenous arts of Mexico, he drew on Cubism, German Expressionism, Fauvism and the Paris artists of the interwar period. His individuality is clearly on view in the three sculptures now in New York.

This exhibition is presented by The World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, The Consulate General of Mexico in New York, The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and the Fundación Juan Soriano y Marek Keller

Queens

Jade Chan, In Flight, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Jade Chan, In Flight
July 2013 to present
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 present
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 present
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.

Rebecca Hackemann, The Public Utteraton Machine, photograph courtesy of the artist

Rebecca Hackemann, The Public Utteraton Machine
April 18, 2015 to May 2, 2015
PS1 Greenstreet (Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue), Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Public Utteraton Machine is an interactive work that aims to engage the local community in a discussion about public art in New York. The piece, created in part with an antique phone speaker and ear piece, is a no-dial phone that automatically connects to a conversation prompt that asks the user about the value of public art in the city and in their specific neighborhood. Do locals want it, need it, appreciate it? What role and purpose does public art play in public spaces and neighborhoods? The Utteraton Machine revives public utterances and will help examine this hotly debated topic discussed by art, design and public administrators around the world. This solar-powered device will use an innovative paper display screen to guide the conversation and will record responses, which will remain anonymous and will ultimately be publically available online at www.utteraton.com and possibly some public libraries.

Staten Island

DB Lampman, The Dance, Photo Courtesy of the Artist

DB Lampman, The Dance
September 15, 2014 to September 14, 2015
Tappen Park, Staten Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Dance consists of five figures floating 15 feet above the ground. The figures, formed with steel and wrapped in nylon, hold hands and dance whimsically within a rectangular steel structure.  At night the figures light up and cast a glow around the neighboring trees. The Dance is inspired by Henri Matisse’s painting by the same name. Similar interlocked figures can be found throughout art history, including Mayan art, African tribal sculptures, and ancient Mesopotamia, among others, to symbolize family, community, and spiritual or universal connectivity. Lampman uses this symbol for the coming together of the Staten Island community.

Lampman lives and works in Stapleton and has embraced the diverse community made up of residents from around the world. There is a large population from Shri Lanka, as well as immigrants from Liberia, Ghana, the Gold Coast, Mexico, and Central and South America.  In the exhibition, the five figures are entwined in a dance—they could be Flamenco dancers from Mexico, Kandyan dancers from Sri Lanka, or  a dance from West Africa such as the Yankadi, or the Makru.

Tappen Park and many other Staten Island neighborhoods were flooded during Hurricane Sandy, and sadly lives and homes were lost in the storm.  However, Staten Island came together during this crisis—strangers dropped everything and join people from around the island and all over the world to rebuild the community.  The neighborhood’s joint effort is an integral part of the inspiration for Lampman’s public artwork.  Additionally, Lampman hopes that the installation will inspire additional community development, as the informal pavilion can be used for public dance and music performances by community members.

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