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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

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

Ruth Hofheimer, Lenape Variations, Photo by the artist

Ruth Hofheimer,Lenape Variations
November 15, 2015 to November 15, 2016
Washington Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Ruth Hofheimer’s design contains imagery of the Lenape tribe that once inhabited the Brooklyn area, as well as native plant life and abstract forms. These elements are rendered in a flat style to evoke Native American art and pattern which was typically flat and symbolic.

This project is presented by Arts Gowanus  and the Old Stone House & Washington Park

Photo credit: Etienne Frossard

Deborah Kass,OY/YO
November 11, 2015 to August, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Walking the line between respectful homage and brazen appropriation, Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass mimics and reworks the signature styles of iconic 20th century male artists —including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Indiana – often with a feminist twist. OY/YO is sourced from urban and Brooklyn slang, the statement “I am” in Spanish, and the popular Yiddish expression, as a riff on Ruscha’s iconic word paintings.

OY/YO has been a significant and reoccurring motif in Kass’ work since its first appearance in 2011, taking form in paintings, prints, and tabletop sculptures. Set alongside the iconic bridges of Brooklyn’s waterfront and visible to viewers from Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street lawn is an apt location for a monumental installation of OY/YO. Similar to the City of New York’s “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” sign at the Williamsburg Bridge and the “Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit” sign on the BQE, OY/YO references Brooklyn’s ethnic communities with whimsy and warmth.

Commissioned by Two Trees and presented in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park, the work will be on view through August 2016 and is presented on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition No Kidding opening at Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea December 9, 2015. For more information about this artwork, please visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s website.

Michael Clyde Johnson, Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground), photograph by Patryce Bak

Michael Clyde Johnson,Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground)
August 31, 2015 to August 30, 2016
Ennis Playground, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

As a parklet within a park, the goal of Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground) is to provide additional public amenities to Ennis Playground, and by extension to the wider Gowanus neighborhood. These amenities are multi-faceted: the project includes three modular components – patios, benches, and planters – which, when combined, serve to create additional distinct lounge and play areas within the park. By extending the idea of a parklet – generally conceived as an extension of sidewalk space into the street to provide additional seating and green space – to encompass the extension of these same functions within an existing public space, Parklet for Ennis Playground serves to augment existing facilities.

This project was made possible with funding from Councilmember Brad Lander, in partnership with Arts Gowanus and the Old Stone House & Washington Park

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 April 15, 2016
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.

Manhattan

Tom Friedman, Looking Up; photo by Daniel Avila, NYC Parks

Tom Friedman,Looking Up
January 28, 2016 to July 2016
Park Avenue Malls at 53rd Street
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Looking Up, a 33.3-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture by the American artist Tom Friedman, is by far the most ambitious sculpture from Friedman’s ongoing body of work involving the use of crushed aluminum foil roasting-pans to create figures, which, through a process of molding and lost wax casting, retain the original material’s imprint and markings. A charming yet magnificent piece, the quasi-human figure gazes up to the heavens, inviting others to stand at its base and do the same. The first example of this edition is permanently installed at the Laguna Gloria Campus of The Contemporary Austin in Texas.

This exhibition is presented with Luhring Augustine, New York; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; NYC Parks; and the Fund for Park Avenue.

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).

Mike Whiting, Bomber, Photo by NYC Parks

Mike Whiting,Bomber
December 12, 2015 to June 10, 2016
Finn Square
GREENSTREET, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Michael Whiting creates playful sculptures drawing from the forms and imagery of early video gaming and computer graphics. Whiting attempts to communicate as much visual information as possible with his essential forms that combine the reductive simplicity of the minimalist movement and the sensibility of pop art in re-contextualizing cultural icons.

The exhibition is presented by Causey Contemporary.

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

Beverly Pepper, My Circle, Photo by Devon Johnson, © Beverly Pepper, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York.

Beverly Pepper,My Circle
October 23, 2015 to May 31, 2016
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

In special recognition of Beverly Pepper’s 93rd birthday, the monumental sculpture My Circle, 2008 is on view in Union Square. The sculpture continues the artist’s contemplation of time, materiality and place, and is part of Curvae, her series of curved forms. By using Cor–Ten steel, a corrosion–resistant material that naturally and quickly develops a weathered–looking patina, Pepper is able to speed up the oxidation process, and in so doing suggest the concept of elapsed time through the sculpture’s skin of rust.

Like many of her monumental works, My Circle engages the viewer through the interplay of convex and concave forms. The use of opposing forces – vertical and horizontal, interior and exterior – creates a lyrical meditation of space that is at once dominant and intimate. The artist has stated that “Seeing, touching, and the physical sensory engagement is the way into my sculpture; my intention is that the meaning of my work rests in experiencing it, similar to the performing arts where listening and seeing the moments of a performance where meaning is revealed through experience.” She notes that My Circle, standing at fourteen feet tall in Cor–Ten steel, for her recalls an image from years ago relating to the symbolic character in Zen Buddhism where it is known as the Enso, a drawing in ink of an open or closed circle. The closed circle represents the totality of experience and life. The open circle represents the imperfection found in all things, and is known as the circle of enlightenment, its symbolism referring to the beginning and end of all things, the circle of life, and the connectedness of existence. What Pepper is drawn to within this narrative is the notion of the “connectedness of existence” and how we can connect people and populations through art.

This exhibition is presented by Marlborough Gallery and the Union Square Partnership.

Henry Kielmanowicz, The Space Between Us, photo courtesy of the artist

Henry Kielmanowicz,The Space Between Us
December 2015 to May 2016
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Henry Kielmanowicz creates sculptures from manmade objects that enter the waste cycle, specifically glass bottles. The bottles are transformed in a labor-intensive process by breaking, crushing and separating the glass into multiple sizes creating a new raw material. Not only is Kielmanowicz reusing waste from society, he also incorporates waste produced in his own studio.

The Space Between Us, a sculpture of a moon that has been created with repurposed bottles and resin, lights the park at night.

This exhibition is presented by First Street Green.

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.

Stuart Ringholt, Signpost (2007-2015), Photograph courtesy of OSMOS Adress

Stuart Ringholt,Signpost (2007-2015)
November 10, 2015 to May 3, 2016
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

In conjunction with his exhibition nudes, signs, and a contract at OSMOS Address, Stuart Ringholt, Ringholt installed an accompanying large-scale sculpture entitled Signpost (2007-2015) in nearby in First Park. Using the standard materials for a street sign, the artist facilitates an unexpected encounter with the range of emotions named on arrows pointing in different directions.

This exhibition is presented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane, OSMOS Address and First Street Green.

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.

Mazeredo, Dialogue, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Mazeredo,Dialogue
November 30, 2015 to May 1, 2016
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Babel, Butterfly, Dialogue, and Communication, four sculptures by Brazilian artist Mazeredo are on view in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. She translates the sounds she hears in Brazil into vibrant colors and shapes that make up her sculptures. One of her most ubiquitous shapes is the abstracted mouth form. For example, Babel depicts mouths arguing as they ascend the tower to discuss the harmony of human dialogue to solve differences.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold.

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.

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 April 15, 2016
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).

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.

Don Gummer, Mondrian, photograph by Jane Feldman

Don Gummer,Don Gummer on Broadway
May 4, 2015 to March 31, 2016
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.

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.

Collective-LOK, Heart of Hearts, Photo by NYC Parks

Collective-LOK,Heart of Hearts
February 9, 2016 to March 6, 2016
Father Duffy Square, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Over the last eight years, the Times Square Alliance has invited architecture and design firms to submit proposals for a romantic public art installation celebrating Valentine’s Day in Times Square.

CLOK’s Heart of Hearts, a faceted ring of twelve golden, mirrored hearts, will create an alternative pavilion that reflects and multiplies the pulsating activity of Times Square, creating a kaleidoscopic interior that dissolves the boundaries between viewing and performing. Within the ring, diamond-shaped spaces inside each heart will create six “kissing booths” where couples will find their activities mirrored, allowing both privacy and publicity in the Heart of Hearts. This room within the room of Times Square is the most site-specific Heart installation to date and will be the first time a Valentine Heart will reach 10 feet.

This exhibition is presented with Times Square Alliance and Center for Architecture.

Alicja Kwade, Against the Run, Photo by NYC Parks

Alicja Kwade,Against the Run
September 10, 2015 to February 22, 2016
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Nature provided us with a general way to measure time: dividing it into days, lunar months, and seasons. Since ancient times, however, we have invented ways of measuring time in smaller units with ever–increasing precision — from the sundial to the hourglass to the atomic clock. As clock making technology advanced during the Renaissance, handsome public clocks became a source of civic pride, as well as a useful amenity. In today’s digital age, they more often evoke a sense of nostalgia for another era.

In Against the Run, Alicja Kwade (b. 1979, Katowice, Poland) has created a clock that tells the correct time, but does so in a way that confounds expectations. Adapting a nineteenth–century design that we might typically see in New York City, the artist has reversed the conventional mechanism. The face of the clock rotates backwards while the second hand appears to stand still, pointing vertically at all times. Our understanding of how a clock should run is second nature, making this variation almost impossible to read, even as it continues to tell the right time. Kwade’s whimsical clock captures her interest in the systems we invent to make sense of our lives and the world. In doing so, it prompts us to see “reality” from a new perspective.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Khurshid Saleem, Sculpture Commemorating International Mother Language Day, photo by NYC Parks

Khurshid Saleem,Sculpture Commemorating International Mother Language Day
February 1, 2016 to February 19, 2016
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

In celebration of International Mother Language Day (February 21st), Muktadhara Foundation presents a sculpture that commemorates the importance of mother language and the determination of people to uphold their right to speak in their own mother tongue.

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.

Wendy Klemperer,Shadow Migration
November 7, 2015 to November 7, 2016
Court Square Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Shadow Migration exhibits animal silhouettes cut from steel plates and installed throughout the park. Klemperer investigates animal populations that were threatened in the 20th century, but are now rebounding and showing up in “our backyard.” Wild animals are finding their way into suburban and urban environments as human populations sprawl into their natural habitats. While many species have been devastated, some are adapting and thriving on the largesse of urban life. Hawks dive from high rise cornices to feast on the rich urban population of pigeons and rats; bears walk through New Jersey neighborhoods; and just several blocks from Court Square Park, a coyote found its way to a rooftop in Long Island City.

Klemperer’s animal silhouettes are steel forms, punctuated with cutouts in the shape of countries from around the world. Each animal is a melting pot, bearing countries on its body that are also represented in Queens’ population—the most diverse community in the world.

This exhibition was made possible by the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award.

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

Fanny Allie,A Bench for the Night
May 18, 2015 to May 1, 2016
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.

Charlotte Becket and Roger Sayre, Full Tilt, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Various Artists,EAF15: 2015 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition
September 27, 2015 to March 13, 2016
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Fifteen years ago Socrates Sculpture Park inaugurated the Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF) Exhibition and launched what would become an annual exhibition of “artists to watch.” By providing an open studio along with financial, administrative, and technical support, the EAF program offers a rare opportunity for the realization of original, large–scale complex work. From May through September EAF artists work on–site, negotiating the physical and conceptual challenges of production in the park’s outdoor studio space, becoming energetic fuel for the park’s popular summer programming.

This year’s Emerging Artist Fellows were selected through a highly competitive process that attracted over 350 applications, a record number for the program, by the park’s 2015 Curatorial Advisors, Gary Carrion–Murayari (Curator, New Museum) and Nora Lawrence (Curator, Storm King Art Center). The 2015 Emerging Artist Fellows are: Kenseth Armstead, Charlotte Becket & Roger Sayre, José Carlos Casado, Torkwase Dyson, Carla Edwards, Davey Hawkins, Lena Henke, David Horvitz, Charlotte Hyzy, Melanie McLain, Kirsten Nelson, Freya Powell, Leah Raintree, Aaron Suggs, and Noa Younse.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

Duke Riley, El Primero Desfile de San Patricio en la Habana, Cuba, image courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park.

Duke Riley,El Primero Desfile de San Patricio en la Habana, Cuba
September 27, 2015 to March 13, 2016
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Socrates’ latest “Broadway Billboard” is by artist Duke Riley and is titled El Primero Desfile de San Patricio en la Habana, Cuba, or, The First St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Havana, Cuba.

St. Patrick’s Day marks the celebration of the life of the patron saint of Ireland and is observed by people of Irish descent around the world. But, as Riley states, “the tradition of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is entirely American.” The first parade in honor of St. Patrick’s Day was organized by Irishmen serving in the British army stationed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737. It began as nothing more than drunken revelry, singing, and a shared sense of homesickness. 200 years later the tradition was adopted in Ireland and today there are St. Patrick’s Day parades in 15 nations across six continents.

During a 2007 visit to Havana, Riley discovered that his Irish roots had Cuban connections. In fact, one of of the city’s main streets is called Calle O’Reilly, named for Alejandro O’Reilly, an Irishman and early abolitionist who served as a general in the Spanish army in 18th–century Cuba and later served as governor of Spanish–occupied Louisiana. Like O’Reilly, many Irish settled in Cuba in the 18th and 19th centuries, leaving a legacy of prominent historical figures of Irish–Cuban descent and there are still a great number of current day Cuban residents with Irish heritage.

With this history in mind, Duke Riley returned to Cuba in 2009 to stage the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Havana, a performance for ‘Chelsea Visits Havana’ at Museum Nacional de Bellas Artes as part of the Havana Biennial. The Broadway Billboard on view at Socrates Sculpture Park consists of a section of a larger drawing the artist did as a record of his 2009 performance, along with representations of iconic American cartoon characters marching through the streets of Havana.

Like the first parades in America, Riley’s St. Patrick’s Day performance reminded participants of the positive potentials of social inclusion and cultural exchange from the earliest parades and commemorations. Riley’s 2009 parade displayed a romanticized vision of a distant land – Ireland, Cuba, and America – separated by the sea. With today’s warming of relations between historically cool American and Cuban governments, El Primero Desfile de San Patricio en la Habana, Cuba presciently experiments with the merging of the two cultures.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park

Kuang-Yu Lee, Empty Processing

Various Artists,THE MOMENT
September 27, 2015 to February 29, 2016
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

To draw a Contemporary Art forum is to separate from both modern and historical perspectives, to immerse oneself in current time and space. A meeting point in the processing time from past and to the future. We might call it the “moment;” it is short and creative. It entails catching an idea when it appears like a flash of light. It can — and must — disappear in the next femtosecond. A “moment” can mean a minute portion of time, or the product of quantity (as a force) and the distance to a particular point. THE MOMENT in contemporary art can be ideally a philosophical term and scientific necessity.

In 2015, the Taiwanese American Arts Council takes THE MOMENT as a theme, and develops it to a series of multi–disciplinary programs taking place in various venues. The traditional format of painting shares space with the latest interactive technology. These are threads expressing multiple directions, meeting in this MOMENT. The MOMENT investigates the play of the virtual and the real, inward and outward, our intimate reflection on a surface, dark and light, or a view of self in the outside environment. The Moment visualizes a picture, an object, a location, a person, or a fanciful collective memory of how we evolved as creatures. We are about to investigates the artist’s relation to society and himself.

Artists on view in Flushing Meadows Corona Park as part of THE MOMENT include Ya-Hon Chang, Tang-Wei Hsu, Kuang-Yu Lee, Wen-Fu Yu.

This exhibition is presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei and the Taiwanese American Arts Council

Staten Island

DB Lampman, The Dance, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

DB Lampman,The Dance
November 9, 2015 to November 9, 2016
Conference House 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 Staten Island and has embraced the diverse community made up of residents from around the world. 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.

Many 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 neighborhoods’ 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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