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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.

2008

Citywide

Students from PS 79 in front of their work at Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan (courtesy LEAP)

LEAP, A View From the Lunchroom
June 1, 2008 to August 29, 2008
Various Locations

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

This exhibition, entitled A View From the Lunchroom : Students Bringing Issues to the Table, is part of LEAP’s Public Art Program. LEAP (Learning through an Expanded Arts Project) brings teaching artists and experts to approximately 300 schools per year in the greater New York metropolitan region. The program uses the arts and hands-on activities to teach the academic curriculum.

As part of the program, LEAP’s instructors challenged the students to explore vital social issues in their communities and to reflect aspects of those issues, using common lunchroom tables as their canvas. In this program, students had the opportunity to meet with and study the works of esteemed artists, including Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Audrey Flack, and Tom Otterness. The goal was for students to learn about the historical power and influence of public art and how to incorporate this knowledge in their creations.

Artworks can be found at St. James and Crotona parks in the Bronx; Herbert von King and Maria Hernandez parks in Brooklyn; Marcus Garvey and Sara D. Roosevelt parks in Manhattan; Marconi and Court Square parks in Queens; and Silver Lake Park and Stapleton Playground in Staten Island.

For more information, please visit the LEAP website.

Bronx

Henry Moore, Reclining Nude, bronze. Photo by David Finn.

Henry Moore, Moore in America: Monumental Sculpture at The New York Botanical Garden
May 24, 2008 to November 2, 2008
New York Botanical Garden, Bronx

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

This exhibition is the largest outdoor presentation of Henry Moore's sculpture ever presented in a single venue in the United States. The 20 colossal works are displayed throughout the Garden's 250 acres and among its 50 gardens and plant collections, providing for an impressive interaction of nature and art, such as Moore envisioned. Henry Spencer Moore (July 30, 1898–August 31, 1986), born in the coal-mining town of Castleford, Yorkshire, in England, is one of the world’s most known and beloved 20th-century sculptors.

Moore began studying sculpture as an art student in 1919. Today, his distinctive bronze works are displayed around the world. His subject matter is often a reclining woman, a mother and child, or a relationship in nature. His sculpture makes reference to the landscape and flowing hills of the countryside. Moore intended that his monumental works be presented in expansive landscapes where their mass and size could be seen from many angles, in a great variety of light, and in differing seasons. He wanted people to get up close and touch them.

Lo! The Fiery Whirlpool
Courtesy of artist

Anna Craycroft, Lo! The Fiery Whirlpool
October 17, 2007 to June 9, 2008
Barretto Point Park, Bronx

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Anna Craycroft’s Lo! The Fiery Whirlpool is a study in contrasts. The thick base of the smaller-than-life-size corten steel lighthouse suggests permanency and a certain ruggedness that seems at odds with the filigree, almost lacy, cut-out at the apex of the structure. The form of the work suggests a lighthouse, a structure that is meant to be impervious to the weather. In contrast to this is the velvety, rusted texture of the steel, a literal testament to the structure’s vulnerability to water and air.

Craycroft’s work was previously shown at Socrates Sculpture Park as part of the Emerging Artists show in 2004, at P.S.1/MoMA, and at Governor's Island, among other locations.

Brooklyn

Wiktor Szostalo and Agnieszka Gradzik, Tree Huggers Project
September 1, 2008 to July 12, 2009
Person Square (Myrtle and Carlton avenues), Brooklyn

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, NYC Parks & Recreation (Parks), and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) have collaborated to inaugurate the Partnership's new Myrtle Avenue Public Art program with the 11-month installation of pieces from the Tree Hugger Project at the park triangle at Carlton and Myrtle, and on NYCHA Ingersoll housing development grounds near Myrtle and Prince.

Tree Hugger Project artists Wiktor Szostalo and Agnieszka Gradzik's ongoing public art project combines sculpture made of natural, found, and free materials such as twigs, vines, and tree branches with a simple environmental message. The Project is an ongoing work of Environmental Art designed to help us rediscover our relationship with nature at a very personal and intimate level.

These art installations are part of the larger Myrtle Avenue Arts & Enterprise Initiative which represents a multi-faceted effort to establish the retail corridor as an access point to visual art and cultural activities for community members of diverse socio-economic backgrounds. The Tree Hugger Project serves as a kick-off for the Partnership's new public art program, launching both an open call for proposals for temporary sculpture pieces for locations along Myrtle Avenue as well as a request for sponsors to support future artists and their installations. Seed funding for the new program was provided by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation and Myrtle's Business Improvement District.

Roxy Paine, Erratic. Courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance.

Roxy Paine, Erratic
Septemeber 2008 to June 4th 2009
Litchfield Villa
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Internationally acclaimed artist Roxy Paine’s Erratic is a stainless steel boulder measuring 7 feet high by 15 feet wide, part of a larger series of works by the artist. In geology, the term “erratic” refers to a rock that has been carried by a glacier hundreds of miles away from its original geographic location. Erratic’s slick exterior leaves its origin unexplained. It is a boulder displaced from somewhere between a mountain and a steel factory. The work reflects the artist’s interest in the interactions between humans and nature and specifically from Paine’s examination of nature through the lens of industrial processes. The work was previously seen in Madison Square Park. The current installation was organized by the Prospect Park Alliance and James Cohan Gallery.

Paine was born in New York in 1966 and is currently based in Brooklyn and Treadwell, NY. His work has been shown internationally and is included in major collections.

Samuel Nigro, The Strategic Placement of Stone

Samuel Nigro, The Strategic Placement of Stone
June 26, 2008 to May 15, 2009
Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

This sculpture is a 9-ton block of granite that has been split in two and then recombined. The work encourages visitors to think about the way massive pieces can come apart and fit back together. It is the artist's largest stone sculpture to date. Rough, polished, and beveled surfaces provide a contrast of textures.

Nigro lives and works in DUMBO, and he hopes to bring to his neighborhood a "fresh look at an old medium" while contributing to the vibrant artistic culture there. His work has been shown in numerous national and international venues, and he has benefitted from residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, and The Vermont Studio Center, and grants from Artist's Space, The Sculpture Center, and Socrates Sculpture Park.

Nelson Hancock Photography

Tom Otterness, Large Covered Wagon
April 15, 2008 to April 10, 2009
Brooklyn

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

A large, humorous bronze sculpture with historical references, Tom Otterness's Large Covered Wagon depicts a smiling, pipe–puffing pioneer woman steering a covered wagon with the assistance of her yoked bull. Located at Clumber Corner at the entrance to DUMBO, Large Covered Wagon will be on view through January 2009. The installation was made possible by the Walentas Foundation LLC, Two Trees Management Co. and the DUMBO Improvement District.

Tom Otterness has exhibited widely and completed commissions in the U.S. and abroad. His stylized bronze figures combine into sculptural ensembles that explore the range of human experience, from grand ambition to common foibles, plucking imagery and themes from popular culture and subtly transforming them into humorous commentary.

Courtesy of the artist

Rebecca Pollock, Urban Ornament
October 8, 2007 to September 2008
JJ Byrne Park
J.J. Byrne Playground, Brooklyn

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

The artist says: “Decoration is often inspired by nature. For those of us living in the city, however, nature can be hard to come by. We surround ourselves with abstractions of flowers on wallpaper and silhouettes of birds on tote bags, but we often ignore the elements native to our everyday environment. The city, like nature, is filled with ordered and jumbled, messy, and lovely things--all of which deserve notice."

"The goal of this ongoing project is to showcase how the imperfect, charming objects found on the sidewalks of New York can be a source of inspiration every bit as compelling as traditional starting points. The images used for this installation are all derived from things found in and around Park Slope.”

Rebecca Pollock created a temporary mural entitled Become at Taffee Playground in 2006.

Funded by Forest City Ratner Companies.

Photo by Ken Ek
Courtesy of Steve Tobin

Steve Tobin, Steelroots
October 15, 2007 to May 18, 2008
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Monumental sculptures of sinuous root forms are part of Tobin’s practice of exploring and recreating nature. Nature’s transient forms, like plant roots, are translated by the artist into the vernacular of bronze—making reference to classical sculpture and comparing nature’s forms with human-made beauty.

Tobin has worked in various media throughout his career, including glass, clay, bronze, and steel. His work often explores natural forms, and the artist cites nature as his earliest influence, one that continues to inform his work to date. The artist previously exhibited another of his works, Termite Mounds and Roots, at Theodore Roosevelt Park and Montefiore Park in 2001.

Photo by A. Dorlester, NYC Parks & Recreation

Arthur Simms, Real Estate for Birds?
October 6, 2007 to March 17, 2008
Grand Army Plaza entrance
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Please note: This is a past exhibit that is no longer installed in the park.

Description:

Arthur Simms takes mundane artifacts of daily life and industrial waste and turns them into creative objects loaded with cultural memories and spiritual references. Like many of his works, Real Estate for Birds? is made from found materials: a telephone pole, rope, wood, wire, bird houses, glue, skateboards, bamboo, screws, nails, and bottle caps. Simms’s work frequently examines the cross-cultural dialogue between his native Jamaica and the United States. He lives and works in Queens, where he collects the various cast-off objects—bottles, rocks, wire, and scrap metal—that he incorporates into his work.

Simms was born in 1961 in Saint Andrews, Jamaica. He holds an MFA and BFA from Brooklyn College and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His sculpture has been exhibited widely, including group shows at the Queens Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, and P.S.1/MoMA. He is a recipient of the 2002-2003 Rome Prize, a 1999 Guggenheim fellowship, and was featured in the prestigious 2001 Venice Biennale, representing Jamaica. Just a short walk from Prospect Park, a new work by Simms is included in the exhibition Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Brooklyn Museum until January 27, 2008.

This project was presented in cooperation with the Prospect Park Alliance and made possible with funding by Forest City Ratner Companies and in-kind assistance from Con Edison.

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