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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

Citywide

LeAp, A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
June 1, 2015 to September 13, 2015
Various Locations

Description:

Students from ten New York City public middle schools, with two schools representing each borough, have transformed school lunchroom tables into personalized canvases and created colorful works of public art that touch upon critical social issues in their community and across the globe. The tables, which have been installed in ten community parks across the five boroughs, are a way of giving young teens the chance to voice their opinions and reach out to the public in hopes of inspiring social change through their art. This exhibition was created by LeAp’s Public Art Program in cooperation with NYC Parks and marks the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC Parks and the first to span five boroughs. The program has included visits with distinguished artists such as Jenny Holzer, Crash, Kehinde Wiley, Emma Amos, Christo, and Lorna Simpson among many others. For 34 years, LeAp (Learning through an Expanded Art Program) has provided arts–based education to over two million students K-12 throughout New York City.

Artworks can be found through September in Seward Park and Morningside Park in Manhattan, Fort Four Playground and Crotona Park in the Bronx, Washington Park and Tiger Playground in Brooklyn, Juniper Valley Park, Forest Park (Dry Harbor Playground), in Queens, and Silver Lake Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

This exhibition is presented by LeAp.

View a map of all of the LeAp installations

Bronx

Chat Travieso, Boogie Down Booth
June 25, 2015 to June 24, 2016
Seabury Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Boogie Down Booth, a colorful new public installation bringing Bronx music, solar–powered lights, seating, and community art to the area under the elevated tracks is on view at Seabury park on Southern Boulevard and 174th Street in the Bronx. The second Boogie Down Booth follows last year’s temporary pop–up at Southern Boulevard and Freeman Street, under the 2/5 line.

This new rendition features an updated, linear design from Chat Travieso, designer of the first Booth. Like the previous installation, the Booth provides seating, solar–powered LED lighting, and speakers streaming music from Bronx artists. The playlist, curated by the Bronx Music Heritage Center, covers a variety of genres born in or inspired by the Bronx, including salsa, jazz, Afro–Caribbean, hip–hop, Garifuna, and blues.

New to this booth are interactive elements like a community bulletin board to learn about local events, and a mural wall painted by middle and high school students from East Bronx Academy for the Future and youth from the Children’s Aid Society, who will host community events at the Booth. The installation, which recycles much of the material from the previous Booth, will be open until July 2016.

This exhibition is presented by WHEDco and the Bronx Music Heritage Center.

The Art Students League of New York, Water, Gift of life
June 11, 2015 to June 10, 2016
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 the sculpture, Water, Gift of Life, at Van Cortlandt Park.

In response to this year’s theme of Patterns in Nature, the artists created a sinuous steel twisted sculpture. The fluke of a tail runs down like a rolling wave and culminates to form the head of a water drop. The downward flow of the fish-wave form echoes the landscape of the hill of the Van Cortlandt House Museum, which drops quickly down a Southward hill, and the south-running Tibbett’s Brook through Van Cortlandt Park down to the City.

The shiny stainless-steel sculpture reflects the park in a similar way that water’s surface reflects the surrounding trees. Additionally the sculpture is a nod to the water sources that surrounds the piece–the Nature Center to the North which provides an exploratory, scientific perspective of the parks ecosystems. To the West, the Pool is run with engineered water systems. By contrast, Van Cortland Lake is located to the east and wetlands to the south.

This collaborative installation was created by artists Lee Apt, Caroline Bergonzi, Kate Jansyn, Sukyung Kim, Donat King, Paola Morales, and Ken Shih. The group also has works concurrently on view in Riverside South Park in Manhattan.

This exhibition is presented with the Art Students League.

Gaston Lachaise, Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock

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.

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.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

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.

Stereotank, HeartSeat, Photo courtesy of the artists.

Stereotank, HeartSeat
May 28, 2015 to October 30, 2015
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Heartseat is a striking red sculptural seat fabricated from a repurposed water tank. This work was originally commissioned for the juried Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition. In its original orientation, the work was a participatory installation in the form of a massive heart glowing to the rhythm of a strong, deep and low frequency heartbeat sound and visitors were encouraged to move around and engage with it by playing various percussion instruments. Now, the once united heart is split in half in order to form innovative public seating.

Stereotank is founded by architects Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, and is dedicated towards creating a fusion between architecture, music, design and environmental science with their public art projects.

This exhibition was originally commissioned presented by the Times Square Alliance and The Architectural League of New York.

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.

Manhattan

Petros Chrisostomou, Sky Feather
June 11, 2015 to June 10, 2016
Riverside Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Petros Chrisostomou’s sculpture Sky Feather, Located at the Riverside Park Bird Sanctuary at 116th Street, aims to bring awareness to this vibrant, natural bird community.Ã? Sky Feather, formerly exhibited at 124th Street and Lennox Avenue, will act as a meeting point in the park and a point of discussion amongst park visitors and birders. Though feathers appear fragile and weightless, sculpture was fabricated with stained and sealed birch plywood and stands at 12 feet tall.Ã? He notes that a feather is the symbolic remains of a journey or flight. Bird migration gracefully parallels the journey taken by people around the world. The diversity of New York City makes it an interesting and fertile arena for this homage to cultural diversity and migration. He also hopes that the sculpture will draw people from other neighborhoods to the park, adding an additional layer of movement.

The Riverside Park Bird Sanctuary runs from 116th Street to 124th Street. Since 1997, the approximately 10 acres of the Sanctuary have been undergoing reforestation, and over 3,000 plants have been added. In the last thirty years 177 species of birds have been seen in or around the Sanctuary, with a yearly average of about 120 species. Visitors can expect to see the blue grosbeak, summer tanager, hooded warbler, mourning warbler and nine species of sparrows, among others. For more information on the Bird Sanctuary and optimal birding times visit NYC Audubon’s website.

Summer on the Hudson, the NYC Parks’ annual outdoor arts and culture festival in Riverside Park, will organize an artist talk with Chrisostomou and a bird walk in conjunction with this exhibition. Program dates will be listed on the Summer on the Hudson website.

This exhibition was kindly supported by the Riverside Park Conservancy and the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP).

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.

Kerry Jame Marshall, Above the Line, Photo by Timothy Schenck

Kerry James Marshall, Above the Line
June 2015 to May 2016
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Through compelling portraiture and both intimate and disquieting scenes of domestic life, Kerry James Marshall comments on contemporary and art historical depictions of black identity. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, raised in South Central Los Angeles in the 1970s, and currently based in Chicago, Marshall is acutely sensitive to his own social responsibility as an artist. The artist plunges his work into an exploration of race-consciousness, painting “unequivocally, emphatically black figures,” through whose depiction he articulates his intention to “reclaim the image of blackness as an emblem of power.” Marshall has been commissioned to complete numerous permanent public works at locations including the Legler Branch Library in Chicago, The Print Center in Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Haas Atrium.

For the High Line, Marshall presents a large-scale, hand-painted mural adapted specifically for the High Line. Titled Above the Line, the mural is an extension of the artist’s Dailies series, specifically the cartoon strip “Rhythm Mastr,” an epic narrative of the struggle between tradition and modernity within the Afro-diasporic worldview. The works address the lack of black superheroes found in American comics, and raise historical and philosophical questions in black vernacular English. This particular comic painting, Above the Line, imagines the redevelopment of rooftop water tanks as luxury homes and condominiums.

This exhibition is presented by Friends of the High Line

Ken Shih, Can love pervade space?, Photo by NYC Parks

Art Students League, Model to Monument (M2M)
June 11, 2015 to May 15, 2016
Riverside Park South, Manhattan

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 Patterns in Nature. The artists are: The sculptors participating in the fifth year of the M2M program are Lee Apt (Jubilation!), Caroline Bergonzi (Metamorphosis), Kate Jansyn (Fragment of an Angel), Sukyung Kim (Flow 1 – Cascade), Donat King (Man and Fish), Paola Morales (Thrive), and Ken Shih (Can love pervade space?). The collaborative sculpture in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx for 2015 is entitled Gift of Life.

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

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Oracle of the Past, Present and Future, Courtesy of the Artist

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Oracle of the Past, Present and Future
June 6, 2015 to May 1, 2016
Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan

Description:

The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future is a 12-foot-tall structure that consists of geometric interlocking parts with elements of steel, wood, glass, and a magnificent dome that adds to its mystical symbolism. The work is inspired by the study of celestial bodies: the influence of the sun, moon, planets and zodiac constellations on human affairs and the natural world. Rodriguez invites the public to consider the mysteries of astrology and engage in contemplation and inner reflection while walking through the sculpture. The sculpture is located on the lawn just inside Tompkins Square Park at St. Mark’s Place and Avenue A.

In addition to the installation at Tompkins Square, four sculptures will accompany his permanent sculpture Growth at the East Harlem Art Park at 120th Street and Sylvan Place. "I have tried to capture the interaction between trees, birds, insects, flowers, and man. My sculpture may portray a seed sprouting from the ground, an insect transforming into a flower, or a bird changing into a tree. I hope to create an art piece that will serve as a source of enjoyment and inspiration to the community,” stated Rodríguez about Growth in 1985. These additional artworks echo his original concept as they emerge from different areas of the park.

The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future in the East Village and Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque in Harlem celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Growth, Rodríguez’s large-scale, permanent work that was New York City’s first completed Percent for Art commission.

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Palenque, photo by NYC Parks

Jorge Luis Rodriguez, Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque
June 20, 2015 to May 1, 2016
Harlem Art Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque are Rodriguez’s early works that are on view for the first time. He created these works shortly after Growth with scrap metal from the metal shop where his permanent work was fabricated. They equally represent Rodríguez’s interest in nature and the cultural exchange derived from travel to different countries. They are fabricated in painted welded steel, one of his favored techniques, and stand between seven and nine feet tall.

Birdhouse was inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poem “Las aves maltratadas,” (“The Brutalized Birds”) references the conduct of birds that assemble en masse in public places. Fish Spine references Rodríguez’s recollection of fishing adventures in the Caribbean Sea with his brother. The symbiotic relationship between fauna and flora is captured in Hummingbird. Palenque is inspired by Mayan architectural devices used to record the passing of celestial events.

In addition to the installation at East Harlem Art Park, Rodriguez’s sculpture The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future is on view at Tompkins Square. The Oracle of the Past, Present and Future in the East Village and Birdhouse, Fish Spine, Hummingbird and Palenque in Harlem celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Growth, Rodríguez’s large-scale, permanent work that was New York City’s first completed Percent for Art commission.

Eirini Linardaki, Whattoseesottahw, photo courtesy of the artist

Eirini Linardaki, Whattoseesottahw
August 15, 2015 to April 30, 2016
Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Eirini Linardaki’s public art installation Whattoseesottahw is inspired by children’s drawings created during artist-led workshops in the park. Her work often concentrates on creating beautiful, unexpected moments within urban and abandoned spaces. As a resident of the East Village, she continues this exploration inher installation Whattoseesottahw, where sheembraces the often ambiguous nature of children’s drawings. In her workshops, children and families visiting Tompkins Square were encouraged to create images of familiar wildlife that they encountered in the park. These drawings and paintings may appear indecipherable at a first glance, similar to a Rorschach test; however, when children are asked to elaborate they create joyful stories about the natural elements they observed.

Several of these drawings were collected and combined to create images that were transferred onto wood panels. The images were then either cut out of the panel, revealing glances of the park, or partially removed with half of the drawing still visible. Some of the cutouts were painted with chalk paint so kids can complete the drawing. The panels, located in the Slocum Memorial Fountain Plaza, are low on the fence in order to maintain a relationship with children’s eye level. Linardaki will periodically conduct workshops throughout the exhibition in the sitting area behind the park house.

All of the paintings that inspire the installation will be uploaded to her website.

Photo Credit: Timothy Schenck

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 built one of his minimalist three-dimensional steel black grids, which houses a variety of objects including busts painted to resemble shea butter (a material commonly used by the artist), and acts 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.

Nicholas Fraser, All Consuming, Flow.15 Art and Music at Randall's Island
May 2015 to November 2015
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Nicholas Fraser’s All Consuming resembles a typical city distance sign with two critical deviations; the names represented on the sign are extinct cities and are constructed out of compacted birdseed. The words are placed between metal grates and are intended to be continually consumed by wildlife for the duration of the exhibition. As time progresses the characters will become indefinable forms, similar to ruins of cities uncovered by archaeologists.

Located on the southern shoreline of Randall’s Island Park, the sculpture is continually in flux, evoking the cyclical nature of cities by harnessing natural processes to visually echo decay and ephemerality. Fraser uses the names of cities from a wide range of cultures and draws attention to the resilience of cultural heritage and its ability to survive through the being adopted by direct descendants.

FLOW.15 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Sharon Ma, hello, Flow.15 Art and Music at Randall's Island
May 2015 to November 2015
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Located at the touchdown of the 103rd Street pedestrian bridge from Manhattan, Sharon Ma’s hello welcomes and celebrates the neighbors of Randall’s Island Park by highlighting the enthusiasm and warmth generated by this simple word. Comprising five ten-foot-tall letters planted with succulent plants, this living, vertical garden functions as the “voice” of the landscape, calling to all who pass. Ma’s goal is to invite photography with the piece, extending the medium into a public space and a larger scale in order to record and share visitor interaction. Ma’s hello invokes familiar “Greetings from ...” postcards of a previous era, and calls upon us to create and share our own digital messages with Randall’s Island Park as background.

FLOW.15 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

David Wilson, Etherwave Architecture #1, Flow.15 Art and Music at Randall's Island
May 2015 to November 2015
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

David Wilson’s Etherwave Architecture #1 is inspired by the social, political and spatial transformation of Randall’s Island Park from “dumping ground” for institutional uses into a lush park where citizens choose to spend leisure time. The structure mimics objects and materials normally associated with urban defensive architecture, such as wrought iron spiked guards and fences, subverting their original meaning and context by directly and specifically inviting interaction.

The iron and steel elements in Etherwave Architecture #1 function as an engineered Theremin, acting as antennas that control sound oscillators. The sizes and shapes of the different elements allow approach from all around so that visitor movement, exploration and interaction directly produces a range of sounds. Through active engagement with these defensive structures, Wilson hopes to bring awareness to the dilemmas surrounding public spaces, while playfully appropriating objects that make up oppressive design practices.

FLOW.15 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Rica Takashima, El Barrio Comes in All Colors, Shapes and Sizes, Flow.15 Art and Music at Randall's Island
May 2015 to November 2015
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Rica Takashima’s El Barrio Comes in All Colors, Shapes and Sizes blends her Manga aesthetic with Puerto Rican colors and motifs inspired by the artist’s exploration of East Harlem’s El Barrio, which is located across the 103rd Street pedestrian bridge from Randall’s Island Park. This female figure, constructed of brightly painted wood, intends to invite visitors to sit and gaze with her across the Harlem River.

She is surrounded by smaller structures that reflect buildings containing her past, present and future life in El Barrio: her birthplace; a café she owns and operates in the neighborhood; and the home of her dream child of the future. A native of Japan, Takashima is inspired by the residents and history of El Barrio, and by the intersection of personal and political action. Her piece invites visitors to join in exploration and appreciation of the vibrant community just opposite the Park’s shoreline.

FLOW.15 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Rob Swainston, Who Owns the Sky?, Flow.15 Art and Music at Randall's Island
May 2015 to November 2015
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Installed along Randall’s Island Park’s southeastern shoreline, Rob Swainston’s Who Owns the Sky is a large-scale semi-transparent billboard, hand-printed with images of clouds inspired by historic woodcuts and engravings of sky motifs. The viewer can observe their constantly shifting relation to cloud patterns both alongside the frame and behind the translucent fabric. These shifts, according to the artist, evoke and recreate the human quest for direction and meaning in the heavens.

Ownership of the heavens was left to the gods, as depicted in myths, described through religions, and displayed in art. However, with the advent of aerospace technology, constellations have ceded their dominion to planes, no-fly zones and drones. Globalization and global climate change further complicate this story. Who Owns the Sky? questions our attempt to assert power over a firmament in which our presence remains transient.

FLOW.15 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Made Event.

Amanda Ross-Ho, The Character and Shape of Illuminated Things (Facial Recognition), Photo by NYC Parks

Various Artists, Image Objects
June 30, 2015 to November 20, 2015
City Hall Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Our daily experience of urban space is technologically mediated – from the images on screens in taxis, subway stations and streets, to the maps, cameras, and social networks of our smart phones. We use these devices to navigate, document, and share our lives online. In so doing, we participate in the creation of a rapidly changing digital landscape. Responding to this contemporary context, Image Objects brings together the work of seven international artists who share an interest in digital culture and its influence on the relationship between images and objects.

With new works produced specifically for this exhibition, each artist has drawn from source images and used digital means to create new sculptural forms. Alice Channer’s R O C K F A L L (2015) and Jon Rafman’s New Age Demanded (2015) employ advanced digital fabrication tools to transform images into three-dimensional objects. Other artists – like Amanda Ross-Ho and Artie Vierkant – have created works that directly address the photographic life of a sculpture when it is documented and shared online. As images are rendered into objects and objects are circulated as images, the boundaries between the physical and the virtual are blurred, challenging us to rethink how we see the world around us.

Featured Artists: Alice Channer, Lothar Hempel, Jon Rafman, Amanda Ross-Ho, Timur Si-Qin, Hank Willis Thomas, and Artie Vierkant

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Chuck von Schmidt, OSIT, courtesy of the Artist

14 Sculptors, Oh Sit! 14 Sculptors Consider the Chair
June 6, 2015 to November 8, 2015
Highbridge Park, Manhattan

Description:

Located along the esplanade leading up to the recently opened High Bridge, Oh Sit! 14 Sculptors Consider the Chair is a group exhibition of nine artists’ public artworks. In a frantic world, finding a chair can be almost impossible and settling comfortably into one can be an enormous satisfaction. Sitting in the wrong seat can cause anxiety and an even pain. Exhibiting artists Dan Bergman, Allan Cyprys, Robert Dell, Gregoire Ferland, Esther Grillo, Christina Jorge, Siena Gillann Porta, Herb Rosenberg and Chuck von Schmidt respond imaginatively to the notion of sitting or using a chair. Oh Sit! is framed as an imperative, a command—a way of asking the viewer to look and really consider the concept “chair” both objectively and subjectively.

14 Sculptors is a group of professional artists who have been actively exhibiting throughout the metropolitan area, creating a forum for experimental sculpture and principally installation artworks free from the constraints of a commercial viewpoint. This non-profit tax exempt organization has been functioning under the auspices of the New York Foundation for the Arts for the past 42 years.

This exhibition is sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Rockaway Artist Alliance.

Santiago Calatrava, S4, Photo courtesy of the artist

Santiago Calatrava, Calatrava on Park Avenue
June 8, 2015 to November 1, 2015
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan

Description:

Seven monumental sculptures represent the artist’s continued exploration of expressive forms and structure abstracted from nature. In the artist’s own words, “their relation to the natural world suggests a link between man and nature, implying the sculptures are found objects in a human forest.”

Santiago Calatrava’s work continues to shape and redefine the boundaries that have historically separated the visual arts, particularly sculpture, from architecture and engineering. Two of the new works, S2 and S3, are complex tension compression structures wherein each element is held in place through the utilization of very fine, almost invisible cables.  Calatrava’s intention is for the sculptures to “simply grow from the ground. Within each sculpture, an internal logic of autonomy delivers lyrical forms and implies a sense of elevation and spiritual uplifting.” Santiago Calatrava builds basswood models to evaluate the aesthetic and structural characteristics of each work before moving to full-scale metal sculptures.  The largest of these, S1, is 40’ across and approximately 20’ tall. From the side, its rib-like structure appears as a thin arched line. When approached, the massive layered roof reveals its architectonic depth. As a whole, these works express a unified aesthetic anchored in the artist’s continuing exploration of the relationship between the origins of creativity and the evolutionary structure of the natural world.

This exhibition is presented by the Fund for Park Avenue and Marlborough Gallery.

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.

caesura: a forum by Jessica Feldman, Jerome W Haferd & K Brandt Knapp, 2015, courtesy of the artists

Jessica Feldman, Jerome W Haferd & K Brandt Knapp, caesura: a forum
June 20, 2015 to October 31, 2015
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Located on the Acropolis of Marcus Garvey Park, caesura: a forum by artist Jessica Feldman and architects Jerome W Haferd & K Brandt Knapp is inspired by the park’s iconic antebellum Mount Morris Fire Watchtower, and by Harlem’s vibrant tradition of activism and rallies. The bell is silent now, as the tower was temporarily dismantled in 2015 as the first phase for its reconstruction. Simultaneously, Harlem is undergoing dynamic change and New York City is experiencing a resurgence of public culture. caesura seeks to temporarily fill an architectural gap – and create a social space – by echoing and inverting the form and function of the absent tower. Like the bell, caesura aims to call up the neighborhood, to preserve and revitalize Harlem’s histories, and to connect newer and older community members to each other, by reactivating this site for congregation, viewing, and listening. The installation will reframe history with a temporary structure and sound. A “caesura” is a break or pause, a place to catch your breath, most specifically in ancient spoken-word art.

The architectural component of this piece begins at the Acropolis ground as an open-air, steel frame that supports a “horizontal tower”, which the viewer can pass through and meander under. In the center of the piece, a flattened “bell” made of reflective steel.

The sonic component of the piece consists of Feldman’s interactive composition, made up of bell sounds and voices. Historical and contemporary recordings and live-streaming voices from speeches, rallies, chants, and assemblies in Harlem are alternated with a through-composed layer of echoing bells. Analogous to a megaphone, the formal profile of the tower has been tipped sideways, allowing sound to be projected outward. Taut, translucent film runs through this shape and is mounted with electromagnetic transducers that turn the material into a speaker, allowing sound to pour down from the spaces in between the arches above visitors. A microphone mounted at the entrance to the installation allows visitors to broadcast their own voices through the piece. Those not present can participate through an interactive online component, allowing them to trigger the bell and contribute their own live audio to the arches. New and old histories are recorded, spliced, and digitally scripted together, activating the acropolis throughout the day.

This exhibition is co-presented with the Harlem Arts Festival, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, and Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association (MMPCIA).

Courtesy of Paths to Pier 42

Chat Travieso with University Neighborhood High School, Untitled
July 18, 2015 to October 25, 2015
Pier 42, Manhattan

Description:

The Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council invited artists and design professionals to participate in a community-driven, site-responsive design process for the temporary activation of Pier 42 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

University Neighborhood High School students worked together with Chat Travieso, a teaching artist at Hester Street Collaborative, to build a shaded seating area out of used wooden wine crates. These crates are stacked to create an interesting landscape of boxes that can function as stepped seating, climbing areas, tables, etc.

For more information on the project please visit Paths to Pier 42.

Courtesy of Paths to Pier 42

Leroy Street Studio, Water's Edge Canopy
July 18, 2015 to October 25, 2015
Pier 42, Manhattan

Description:

The Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council invited artists and design professionals to participate in a community-driven, site-responsive design process for the temporary activation of Pier 42 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Building on two years of past work as Pier 42 site advisors, the Leroy Street Studio (LSS) team is creating a space that captures the power of the park’s waterfront. This spring, conversations and meetings with local community organizations revealed a shared interest in creating an outdoor learning and gathering space near the water’s edge. Workshops at the Pier with Henry Street Settlement’s GED Class at the Boys and Girls Republic explored specific uses and how the sun, sound, wind and views can play a part in the design.

Incorporating shade and seating, the space is a great place to read a book or enjoy the sound of the water, and will also be used for classes workshops, poetry rehearsals and more. As the summer progresses, community collaborations and use will continue to contribute to the making of a place that is truly our own.

For more information on the project please visit Paths to Pier 42.

Courtesy of Paths to Pier 42

Combo Colab, Drumreef Watercycle
July 18, 2015 to October 25, 2015
Pier 42, Manhattan

Description:

The Lower East Side Waterfront Alliance & Lower Manhattan Cultural Council invited artists and design professionals to participate in a community-driven, site-responsive design process for the temporary activation of Pier 42 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Motivated by active engagement with the public and their surrounding environment, Combo Colab’s work displays their interest in repurposing and recycling existing resources. Informed by site-specific conditions and work with surrounding communities, their installations materialize as effective high-impact, low cost projects.

Building upon their 2014 Paths to Pier 42 project, Drumreef, Combo Colab created Drumreef Watercycle: a new installation that explores the idea of topography on Pier 42. Made from multiple re-purposed rain barrels, Drumreef Watercycle provides much needed shade and seating, and incorporates water features including rain water collection and a pedal-powered water pump for cooling and irrigation. Satellite structures in the form of independent rain collectors will be installed at the M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden in Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

For more information on the project please visit Paths to Pier 42.

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

Nicolas Holiber, Head of Goliath
May 4, 2015 to October 8, 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.

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

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.

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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