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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

Gaston Lachaise, Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock, Photograph Courtesy of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Gaston Lachaise, Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock
May 7, 2015 to May 7, 2016
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

These elegant and graceful peacocks designed in 1920 were intended for a formal garden such as that on the grounds of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. The garden was conceived and constructed circa 1916 by the prominent architectural firm of Delano & Aldrich and recently restored in 2013.

Animals were a theme to which Lachaise returned throughout his artistic career. He sculpted peacocks, seagulls; swans, dolphins. The animals he chose to represent were generally peaceful animals. The commissions for his animal works came through his employer, the artist, Paul Manship (1885-1956) or architects with whom he worked, including Welles Bosworth (1868-1966) and Philip Goodwin (1885-1958).

In the case of the short-tailed peacock, John Deering commissioned Lachaise in 1920 to make two sculptural peacocks in stone to sit atop eight decorative spiral columns in the Marine Garden of the home he was building outside of Miami, called Vizcaya. Philip Goodwin commissioned the long-tailed peacock for a fountain on the wall of his mansion on Long Island. In a poetic twist, Goodwin worked for Delano & Aldrich between 1914-1916.

This exhibition is presented by the Lachaise Foundation, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and the Historic House Trust.

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).

Jeppe Hein, Please Touch the Art
May 17, 2015 to April 17, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Three bodies of work are represented in the exhibition by Danish artist Jeppe Hein. Appearing Rooms is a systematically changing installation with walls of water that create rooms which appear and disappear. Visitors may move from space to space as the jets of water rise and fall. Mirror Labyrinth NY is made with equidistantly spaced vertical planks of mirror-polished stainless steel. Arranged in three radial arcs, the alternating rhythm and uneven heights of the steel elements echo the Manhattan skyline. Connecting these two works and continuing along the length of the park, the artist has installed sixteen bright red Modified Social Benches. These witty sculptures reinvent the form of the park bench, turning it into a lyrical and evocative work of art. Like each of his installations, they generate spontaneous expression and social connection, giving us new perspectives on ourselves and the world we share.

Leonard Ursachi, Fat Boy at the Ringling Museum of Art.

Leonard Ursachi, Fat Boy
May 1, 2015 to November 10, 2015
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Description:

The latest in Ursachi’s decades-long “bunker” series, Fat Boy is an oversized head embedded with three recessed bunker windows fitted with mirrors instead of glass. Measuring 9.5 feet tall and 8.5 feet wide, the artwork was carved from styrofoam and covered in a weatherproof, cementitious material. Fat Boy is Ursachi’s first bunker sculpture in the form of a head. His previous bunkers, one of which was on view in at the entrance of Prospect Park off Grand Army Plaza in 2007, have been cylindrical and made with a variety of materials such as turkey feathers, willow branches, and ceramic tiles. “My bunkers reference not only war but also nests, shelter and refuge. They are as much about longing for home as they are about conflict, ” states Ursachi.

Fat Boy is based on a classical Western putto, or male child often depicted in Renaissance and Baroque artworks. “Since antiquity,” says the artist, “putti have been malleable signifiers, representing, among other things, Eros, panic, abandon, and joy.” Fat Boy’s title derives not only from his plump, cherubic face, but also from the WWII atomic bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man, giving the sculpture twin references to Eros and war.

Fat Boy was first exhibited at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, which is a partial sponsor of this exhibit. The exhibition is also in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.

Sari Carel, Borrowed Light, Photo courtesy of More Art

Sari Carel, Borrowed Light
May 8, 2015 to October 5, 2015
Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Description:

Borrowed Light is an outdoor sound installation and sculpture by artist Sari Carel in Sunset Park. The project features abstract geometric architectural forms, incorporating field recorded sounds from the park’s local fauna. A series of related community workshops and performances will accompany the project throughout the summer.

Sari Carel worked with Sunset Park’s stewards to gather data on the park’s native species and created a richly layered soundscape for the installation. The piece is played from speakers embedded in the sculpture, and park visitors are invited to engage with both sound and sculpture.

Made out of several free-standing wood elements, this grouping draws on a Modernist vocabulary, using forms that are anchored in a utilitarian past, but also depart from that. The forms echo the grid lines of the city, and create a drawing in space, conversing with the emblematic image of the Manhattan skyline visible from the highest elevated locations of Sunset Park.

Borrowed Light is part of Carel’s continued investigation into alternative relationships between sound, image and audience. More importantly, Borrowed Light will give participants an opportunity to form a personal experience with an art piece and get a palpable sense of the creative process as both a private and public practice. Throughout the duration of the project, More Art will be collaborating with local organizations and education centers to hold workshops and performances at the installation. Please visit:www.moreart.org for information on upcoming events.

This exhibition is presented by More Art. For more information about this exhibition and related events visit the project website.

Rebecca Hackemann, The Public Utteraton Machine, Courtesy of the artist

Rebecca Hackemann, The Public Utteraton Machine
May 2, 2015 to June 26, 2015
Pvt. Sonsire Triangle, Brooklyn

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.

Manhattan

Kris Martin, Altar, Courtesy of the Friends of the High Line.

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.

Rashid Johnson, Plateaus, 2014. Steel, spray enamel, plants, ceramic, concrete, plastic, brass, burned wood, grow lamps, CB radios, shea butter, rugs, books; 228 x 180 x 180 inches. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

Rashid Johnson, Blocks
May 2015 to March 2016
The High Line, Manhattan

Description:

Inspired by a childhood steeped in African American cultural influences, Rashid Johnson creates layered artworks that engage a conversation between personal biography and the implied gravitas of larger cultural and historical narratives. Johnson works predominantly in mixed media sculptures and paintings, combining bare materials such as mirror, wood, and shea butter with loaded iconic objects including record covers, CB radios, historical books, and common domestic objects. Throughout his career, Johnson has explored the ways in which we form our sense of belonging to races and communities, investigating the relationship between familiar objects and identity.

For his High Line Commission, Johnson will build one of his minimalist three-dimensional steel black grids, which will house a variety of objects including busts painted to resemble shea butter (a material commonly used by the artist), and will act as a living greenhouse as plants on the High Line begin to intertwine with the sculpture over the year of its installation. Playing with forms taken from the Minimalist tradition – Sol LeWitt’s white open cubes come to mind – Johnson turns them into a reflection on blackness by breaking the rational structure open and embedding loaded objects within it.

Installed in an oblong island of plants growing between pathways on the High Line just south of The Standard, High Line, the sculpture will change over the course of its installation, the empty rectilinear vessel becoming a horticultural container as the seasons pass. The work reflects the artist’s ongoing interest in a line from a book by Lawrence Weiner called “Something to Put Something On,” in which the concept “table” is explained as “something to put something on.” This semiotic explication resonates with Johnson, who pushes its implications toward thinking about the ways in which lives, cultures, and historical arcs are a mere practice of putting some things on top other things that are imagined to be taken as given, such as the exemplary case of the table.

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

Teresita Fernández, Fata Morgana, Photograph by Daniel Avila, NYC Parks

Teresita Fernandez, Fata Morgana
June 1, 2015 to Winter 2015/16
Madison Square Park, Manhattan

Description:

Fata Morgana by New York-based artist Teresita Fernández, consists of 500 running feet of golden, mirror-polished discs that create canopies above the pathways around the Park’s central Oval Lawn.

In nature, a Fata Morgana is a horizontal mirage that forms across the horizon line. Alluding to this phenomenon, Fernandez’s project introduces a shimmering horizontal element to the Park that engages visitors in a dynamic experience. The installation is a mirror-polished, golden metal sculpture that hovers above the Park’s winding walkways to define a luminous experiential passage for Park visitors. The metal forms, perforated with intricate patterns reminiscent of foliage, creates abstract flickering effects as sunlight filters through the canopy, casting a golden glow across the expanse of the work, paths, and passersby. The project is Mad. Sq. Art’s first to fully utilize the upper register of a visitor’s space.

Fata Morgana is a site-specific work designed for, and inspired by, Madison Square Park,” said Ms. Fernández. “My concept was to invert the traditional notion of outdoor sculpture by addressing all of the active walkways of the Park rather than setting down a sculptural element in the Park’s center. By hovering over the Park in a horizontal band, Fata Morgana becomes a ghost-like, sculptural, luminous mirage that both distorts the landscape and radiates golden light.”

This exhibition is presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

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.

Don Gummer, Mondrian, photograph by Jane Feldman

Don Gummer, Don Gummer on Broadway
May 4, 2015 to October 31, 2015
Broadway Malls, Manhattan

Description:

Don Gummer on Broadway will highlight five examples of new work from Gummer’s haiku series, created in 2014 and 2015, which will be shown for the first time and were created especially for this exhibition. Four additional works dating from 2011 and 2012 will also be included in the exhibition. The sculptures range in height from eight feet to 14 feet.

“I first became interested in haiku poems because of the simplicity of their structure,” stated the artist. “Three lines stacked together containing 17 syllables. Five in the first line, seven in the middle, and five in the third line. I thought of substituting shapes for the syllables and instead of writing a poem with three sentences and 17 syllables, I made a sculpture with three vertical sections and 17 shapes, five in the bottom section, seven in the middle, and five in the top section. The three sections are separated by horizontal, linear flat rectangles, my version of lined paper.

“I thought that making a series of sculptures that shared a common structural theme would unite them along their shared route on Broadway. I also wanted to see how much variety I could create within a given set of rules. Five sculptures are based on the haiku idea and the other four sculptures have similar stacked elements, and I think they structurally relate to the others.”

A cell phone tour, in English and Spanish, which will include the artist’s commentary, is funded by Con Edison.

The exhibition includes: 12-12-12 at Columbus Circle; Mondrian at Dante Square; Complex Apartment at 72nd Street; Figure 8 at 79th Street; Open House at 96th Street; High Rise at 103rd Street; Open Eyes at 117th Street; Intersection at Montefiore Square, After Rome at 157th Street.

This exhibition is presented by the Broadway Malls Association and Morrison Gallery.

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

Nicholas Holiber, Head of Goliath, photograph courtesy of the artist.

Nicolas Holiber, Head of Goliath
May 4, 2015 to September 15, 2015
Tribeca Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Inspiring artwork by the likes of Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Titian, the biblical story and long-standing art historical theme of David and Goliath is not restricted to antiquity. The massive head is Nicolas Holiber’s modern take on the tale of the young shepherd David slaying the giant Goliath with only a slingshot and stones. “People come to New York to be the underdog and beat whatever obstacle is in front of them,” says Holiber. “The head of Goliath was David’s trophy and I hope viewers will find inspiration in this piece and think about what Head of Goliath, as a symbol, means to them. For myself and many friends of mine, New York is the Goliath,” says the artist.

Combining reclaimed objects found within New York City’s debris and artistic materials, Holiber creates contemporary characters that are inspired by the fragmented remains of ancient sculpture and the artwork from past civilizations. “I see the remnants of a classical bust or an Aztec stone sculpture as testaments of the human spirit throughout time. Likewise, Head of Goliath will be a connection to the past and serve as a symbol of the classic underdog tale that is shared by so many in this amazing city,” remarks Holiber.

Measuring over four feet tall by ten feet long, the sculpture will be installed on its side in the center of Tribeca Park. “Exhibiting in the park presents a unique opportunity to observe how the outdoor environment and NYC in particular will affect the sculpture. It's my aim for the piece to deteriorate and degrade over time in its specific location, thereby using the park as a catalyst to transform Head of Goliath into a modern ruin,” states Holiber.

Sebastian Masuda, Time After Time Capsule
April 29, 2015 to September 13, 2015
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Time After Time Capsule, a nine-foot tall, translucent sculpture is in the shape of Hello Kitty packed full of personal objects collected from everyday New Yorkers and is just half a block from Japan Society Gallery, where the exhibition Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection, with over 130 cat-focused woodblock prints, paintings, and other artworks from 18th to early 20th century is on display.

Time after Time Capsule is a creation of Sebastian Masuda, a Japanese artist and an instigator of Japan’s craze over kawaii (cute) culture gone global. Masuda has been behind the empowerment of cute girland youth-culture since 1995 through his artful and colorful concept shop 6%DOKIDOKI in Tokyo’s fashion destination Harajuku. Masuda has made it his mission to encourage people to recall their childlike sense of wonder by transmitting kawaii culture.

Time After Time Capsule is part of an ongoing, multi-city participatory project with like capsules displayed last year in Miami, this year in New York and Amsterdam, and future cities currently under consideration. In each location, the artist plans a series of children and family workshops collaborating with the project’s community to create colorful objects using their personal items and cute objects from 6%DOKIDOKI. The objects created by the participants will be inserted into the capsule sculpture coloring the work as more items are added throughout the duration of the installation. All will be united in 2020 in Tokyo to mark the Tokyo Olympics, bringing together the contained memories from all the participating cities.

This exhibition is presented by the Japan Society and the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.

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

Vicki DaSilva, East River Flows, Photo Courtesy of the artist

Vicki DaSilva, East River Flows
May 8, 2015 to August 31, 2015
116th Street
East River Esplanade, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

DaSilva is a light graffiti and light painting pioneer. Since 1980, she has been making single frame time exposure photographs at night. DaSilva is credited with creating the term “light graffiti”, as well as being the first artist to make deliberate text light graffiti photographs. DaSilva was influenced during her time as an intern with video and performance artist Joan Jonas, as well as Richard Serra, whom she worked with for ten years as a part time personal assistant in the 80s. Those experiences, along with the birth of hip-hop and the fusion of graffiti with fine art, was extremely influential in her art.

Using a camera that allows a ‘bulb’ setting for an extended time while on a tripod, Vicki DaSilva walks with an eight-foot fluorescent lamp directed at the camera and the camera documents the movement of the light.

The banner, which was photographed along the Esplanade last summer and generously funded with a donation from Tiago Holdings, LLC and East River Plaza.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of East River Esplanade and West Harlem Art Fund.

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.

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.

Fanny Allié, A Bench for the Night, Photograph Courtesy of the Artist

Fanny Allie, A Bench for the Night
May 18, 2015 to November 15, 2015
PS1 Greenstreet (Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue), Queens, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Artist Fanny Allié raises awareness about homelessness in her public art installation A Bench for the Night. Her wooden bench is shaped in the silhouette of a sleeping person, a reminder that a public bench is a potential bed for some New Yorkers.  She is interested in personifying the bench while subtly referring to the dehumanization of people living on the streets.

A Bench for the Night is a continuation of Allié’s focus on this important social issue. In 2014 she took part in the Engaging Artists Residency organized by the Artist Volunteer Center and More Art, which primarily focused on homelessness. Engaging Artists encourages local artists to deepen their understanding of socially engaged art through volunteer opportunities and interactive workshops with professionals in the fields of fine art and activism. During this six–week program, participants were required to volunteer at least a half a day per week at a local charitable organization.

In 2013, Allié also exhibited the public artwork Serendipity in Tompkins Square Park. The sculpture was a life–size, steel silhouette of a formerly homeless man who spent much of his time in the park. Furthermore, A Bench for the Night is the continuation of her earlier neon sculpture The Glowing Homeless created in 2011 for Bring to Light: Nuit Blanche New York in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The Glowing Homeless was a neon outline of a human form that rested on a park bench. By rendering the homeless person in neon light asleep amongst the park’s crowds she created an alluring object using an attractive material that reversed the normal reaction of avoidance and instead drew people towards the form on the bench. Allié’s new A Bench For the Night will invite the audience to sit on the bench, an interaction between the public and the artwork that was not possible with The Glowing Homeless.

While A Bench For a Night primarily alludes to homelessness, the piece also reflects one’s desire to seek an isolated place to rest and remove oneself from the continuous movement of the city. When preparing for this exhibit, Allié noticed a lack of seating in the immediate vicinity. By placing the bench–sculpture in this small plaza, she has created a new social space that simultaneously raises awareness on homelessness among the general public, as well as artists and art–lovers visiting MoMA PS1 located across the street.

Penelope Eleni, Halloween Harvest Festival, photo courtesy of the artist.

Penelope Eleni, Halloween Harvest Festival
May 8, 2015 to November 1, 2015
Astoria Heights Playground, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

In ten tiles, Eleni illustrates a story about her visit to local cultural hub Socrates Sculpture Park with her children. Penelope Eleni’s artwork is inspired by motherhood, exploration, adventure and the wonder of wandering around New York City with three little children. In 2010 Eleni wrote and illustrated the story Halloween Harvest Festival, which she transferred to ceramic tiles in 2015 for public display. In the story, the artist brings her daughters to the park for the annual fall event where they meet a man in a funny hat, see dogs in costumes, dance to music, and play with other children before they fall asleep on their mother’s lap after a fun–filled day. The tiles, measuring 12" x 12", are adhered to the surface of a low wall made out of cinderblocks that surrounds the park’s Butterfly Garden at 30th Road and 46th Street. Additional plants will be added to the blocks’ central voids, enhancing the horticulture in the new garden.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of Astoria Heights Park.

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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