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Art in the Parks

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

Current Exhibits

Bronx

Courtesy of the Art Students League

Art Students League, Tree of Life
June 12, 2014 to June 1, 2015
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

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

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

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

Manhattan

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

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

Description:

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

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

This exhibition is presented by Friends of the High Line

Image Courtesy of the artist

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

Description:

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

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

Art Students League, Model to Monument (M2M)
June 12, 2014 to May 15, 2015
Riverside Park South, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The Art Students League of New York, one of America’s premier art schools, presents the Model to Monument Program (M2M), a collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation that has culminated in the installation of seven sculptures on view along Riverside Park South from 59th to 69th Streets.

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

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

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

Description:

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

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

Juan Soriano, Bronze Dove, Photo Courtesy of NYC Parks

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

Description:

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

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

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

Various, Broadway Morey Boogie
September 17, 2014 to April 3, 2015
Broadway Malls, Manhattan

Description:

Broadway Morey Boogie borrows its title from Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s 1942-43 masterpiece Broadway Boogie Woogie. The painting, which today is one of the Museum of Modern Art’s most popular artworks, once mobilized the avant-garde ideals of abstraction in the service of a brash ode to the dynamism and vitality of New York City street life. This exhibition aims to do the same by populating the backbone of Manhattan—surfing down Broadway from 166th Street to Columbus Circle—with a group exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary American artists. The first of its kind on twelve highly-varied neighborhood sites, this show spans a variety of mediums and methods employed by artists both emerging and established. The works were selected in an attempt to engage audiences at street level with accessible, thought-provoking artworks of modest to monumental scale.

Broadway Morey Boogie is curated by Marlborough Chelsea and produced in collaboration with the Broadway Mall Association and NYC Parks.

Artists included:
Matt Johnson at 166th Street (Mitchel Square); Drew Heitzler at 157th Street; Dan Colen at 137th Street (Montefiore Park); Davina Semo at 117th Street; Paul Drueke at 96th Street; Lars Fisk at 79th Street; Tony Matelli at 73rd Street (Verdi Square); Devin Troy Strother at 72nd Street; Sara Braman at 64th Street (Dante Park); and Joanna Malinowska at 59th Street (Columbus Circle).

Sara Braman’s piece at Dante Park (Broadway and 64th Street) has been temporarily removed for Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square and will return on December 5, 2014.

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

Various Artists, Archeo
April 17, 2014 to March, 2015
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

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

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

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

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

Gimhongsok, Bearlike Construction, Photo Courtesy of NYC Parks

Gimhongsok, Bearlike Construction
May 5, 2014 to March 31, 2015
Tribeca Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Humorous and ironic, Gimhongsok’s work challenges the viewer to consider the contradictions and blurred boundaries of fact and fiction, originality and the copy, banality and the spectacular. He often uses everyday materials to engage his audience in a dialogue about preconceived and conventional values found in communities and in art. In Bearlike Construction, the form is immediately recognizable as a teddy bear, but is assembled out of cast bronze garbage bags rather than the conventional soft fur. The piece, which measures over five feet square also wittily echoes the ubiquitous piles of garbage bags found on street corners throughout New York City.

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

Anthony Heinz May, Txiti Hitkuk
October 5, 2014 to March 31, 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

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portraits, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Sui Jianguo, Blind Portraits
October 28, 2014 to February 20, 2015
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

These monumental cast bronzes are not portraits in the traditional sense. All of them have features that resemble faces, but none depict specific people. This is not surprising given that they were enlarged from small clay models created by Sui Jianguo while blindfolded. The “portraits” are the intuitive results of the artist manipulating his material without the benefit of sight.

For Sui, this apparent limitation is a means of finding a different – and equally valid – method of creating sculpture. In this way, the artist brings together traditions of Chinese aesthetics and Western modernism, both of which share an interest in exploring the essential nature of materials and the effects of chance.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund

Tony Smith, Points of View, Photo by Yasunori Matsui

Tony Cragg, Walks of Life
September 18, 2014 to February 8, 2015
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Tony Cragg’s Walks of Life consists of three monumental bronze sculptures on three lawns in the Park. His work supplants any longstanding art historical division between abstraction and figuration: his sculptural innovation is to fuse both styles in one work and to make bronze into a malleable material. Cragg’s sculpture is characterized by repeated facial profiles and torqueing imagery that reshapes the experienced world. These forms intermingle to create vital objects where contours shift and morph, provoking the viewer to differentiate between a work of humanism and a work of dynamism.

Installed on the west gravel section of the Park, Cragg’s Caldera is a strapping, tumultuous sculpture that rests on three points. Viewers will have the opportunity to walk beneath the work to experience its massive presence. At eighteen feet high, Mixed Feelings will command a northern lawn. Three times human height, the object is simultaneously immense and elegant. Points of View is a tripartite work of sinuous forms which interact with one another and with the viewer on the Park’s Oval Lawn. Facial profiles zig and zag across each column’s surface. All three sculptures in this exhibition were cast specifically for Madison Square Park.

This exhibition is presented by Mad.Sq.Art

Queens

Courtesy of the artist

Bundith Phunsombatlert, Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures
May 15, 2014 to March 27, 2015
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures is a site-specific project that invites the public to embark on guided journeys through NYC to find public sculptures. Phunsombatlert researched all existing public sculptures in New York City and identified 100 sites to be incorporated in his final work. He then created small drawings of each sculpture and developed directional signs and maps that resemble standard U.S. National Park Service signage. The artwork is made up of signage for 100 public sculptures that contain distances drawn from GPS coordinates between each sculpture and the group of wooden posts outside of the Queens Museum at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The project is made possible by the generosity of the Athena Foundation, Awesome Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Location One, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Opportunity Grants, Puffin Foundation, Ltd., Puffin Foundation West, Ltd., Socrates Sculpture Park, Mark di Suvero, Anne Dunning, Rob Herschenfeld, James T. MacGregor & Claire Montgomery, Ivana Mestrovic, and Jan Mun.

Various, Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition
September 7, 2014 to March 22, 2015
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Artists: Matt Callinan, Jordan Griska, Meredith James, Fitzhugh Karol, Lilian Kreutzberger, Zaq Landsberg, Heidi Lau, Amanda Long, Christopher Mahonski, Kimberly Mayhorn, Eto Otitigbe, Brie Ruais, Edward Schexnayder, David Wilson, Dane Winkler

The annual Emerging Artist Fellowship (EAF) Exhibition is a cornerstone of Socrates Sculpture Park’s visual arts programming and is widely acclaimed for the ambition, breadth, and innovation of the works on view. Featuring fifteen artists, EAF14 is a survey of the compelling and diverse state of sculpture today.

Each EAF14 artist has engaged with the larger narrative of public space in a dynamic and daring way, building upon Socrates Sculpture Park’s goal to present socially aware, inspiring art in the public realm. EAF14 artists were selected through a high competitive process that attracted a broad field of nearly 300 candidates, reviewed by the park’s curatorial advisors Anne Barlow (Executive Director, Art in General) and Joe Sheftel (Joe Sheftel Gallery, New York). Selected EAF14 artists were awarded a 2014 Emerging Artist Fellowship, including 24/7 access to the park’s outdoor studio and facilities, as well as the financial, technical, and curatorial support to realize his or her most ambitious work possible.

This project is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park

Kate Gilmore, Wall Bearer
September 7, 2014 to March 22, 2015
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Kate Gilmore’s sculptural and performance-based works raise questions about feminine identity and contemporary power dynamics. Wall Bearer, the park’s current Broadway Billboard, is documentation from the eponymous performance at The Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro North Carolina in 2011. For that project, six performers, dressed in identical pink outfits, stood in individual alcoves within a matching pink wall.Ã??Ã? The performers, all women, stood perfectly still for three hour stretches, during which time visitors to the exhibition could walk through the space, viewing the performance as a still-life or a sculpture to be briefly admired.

In Wall Bearer, the live female body is transformed into a sculptural element, referencing 1970’s performance art and later feminist artworks.Ã??Ã? Here Gilmore presents a parade of pink and a rotating cast of all-female performers. The pink’s Pepto-Bismol-like hue borders on saccharine and feels imposed and thus unattractively burdensome for each woman. Camouflaged, anonymous, and uncomfortable, each woman may be a column of support and essential to the overall tableau, but she is also easily overlooked, suggesting that there is more than a physical wall to be overcome.

This project is presented by Socrates Sculpture 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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