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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.

2009

Citywide

Students from PS 219 gather behind their work at Claremont Park, Bronx. Photo courtesy of LEAP.

LEAP, A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
May 28, 2009 to September 2009
Various Locations

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

Description:

Students from ten New York City public middle schools, with two schools representing each borough, have transformed lunch school tables into personalized canvases and created colorful works of public art that touch upon critical social issues in their community and across the globe. The tables, which have been installed in ten community parks across the five boroughs, are a way of giving young teens the chance to voice their opinion and reach out to the public in hopes of inspiring social change through their art. LEAP (Learning through an Expanded Art Program), which has provided public arts–based education to over two million students K-12 throughout New York City, has empowered its students with this project. The program included visits with artists such as Tom Otterness, Christo and Jeanne–Claude, Dennis Oppenheim, and Kenny Scharf.

Artworks can be found at: Inwood Hill Park and Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan; Commodore Barry Park and Green Central Knoll in Brooklyn; Crotona Park and Claremont Park in Bronx; Juniper Valley Park and Parsons Greenstreet in Queens; and Silver Lake Park and Stapleton Playground in Staten Island.

For more information, download a PDF with all of the artwork or visit the LEAP website.

Bronx

Katie Holten, Tree Museum

Katie Holten, Tree Museum
June 21, 2009 to February 15, 2010
Grand Concourse, Bronx

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

Description:
Celebrating the 2009 centennial of the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, Katie Holten's Tree Museum requires no admission fee. The outdoor project features 100 trees along a four–and–a–half–mile stretch of the Concourse. Each tree is marked off with a vinyl sign indicating its species and a phone number linked to an audio program featuring stories, sounds, and knowledge of each tree and its surrounding site. 100 audio files correspond to the 100 trees and are each recorded by various locals, poets, artists, and musicians from the Bronx community, while other segments record the sounds of trees, animals, insects, and water. In the words of Katie Holten, the museum is intended to “give a voice to the inhabitants, the streets, and neighborhoods from the past, present, and future,” which are all interconnected. The Tree Museum is a collaborative project by the Bronx Museum of Arts and Wave Hill, in cooperation with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Brooklyn

Jason Krugman, Living Objects

Jason Krugman, Living Objects
December 13, 2009 to January 30, 2010
McCarren Park
McCarren Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:
This exhibition of three LED sculptures by Jason Krugman has been organized by the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition in conjunction with the Parks Department and Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn. Living Objects are beacons of light that are composed of hundreds of bulbs radiating through a translucent skin. Krugman’s whimsical, enchanting sculptures greet passersby along Union Avenue and Driggs Avenue asking Brooklynites to participate in their cultural and public landscape.

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.

Julia Vogl, Leaves of Fort Greene

Julia Vogl, Leaves of Fort Greene
May 23, 2009 to July 9, 2009
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:
Leaves of Fort Greene relies on the movement of sunlight. In this work, people can walk between large panels of Plexiglas to catch the light streaming through painted images of enlarged foliage. The images painted on the Plexiglas mimic the diversity of the park's foliage and symbolically represent the diverse population of the Fort Greene community. Come picnic and play near this project and encounter the ever-changing combinations of pattern, color, and light!

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.

Manhattan

Valerie Hegarty, Autumn on the Hudson Valley with Branches

Valerie Hegarty, Autumn on the Hudson Valley with Branches
November 11, 2009 to November 2010
West 20th Street, northern perimeter fence
The High Line, Manhattan

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

Description:
Autumn on the Hudson Valley with Branches imagines a nineteenth-century Hudson River School landscape painting that has been left outdoors, exposed to the elements. The canvas is tattered and frayed, and its partially exposed stretcher bars appear to be morphing into tree branches, as if reverting to their natural state. The painted portion of the work is based on Jasper Francis Cropsey's Autumn on the Hudson River (1860), a bucolic landscape that shows none of the effects of the Industrial Revolution of its day. Since the nineteenth century, the Hudson River has been associated with both Arcadian beauty and industrial development, despite the contradiction between the two. Today, along Manhattan’s Hudson River, one can view fading remnants of the waterfront as an active shipping port, as well as recent efforts to return it to a more “natural” state through the development of park areas and walking paths, including the High Line. The focus of Hegarty’s work is the collision of nature and culture, past and present.


This is a project of Friends of the High Line. For more information, visit Friends of the High Line's public art page.

Fritz Koenig, The Sphere. Photo by Malcolm Pinckney, NYC Parks.

Fritz Koenig, The Sphere
March 11, 2002 to Present
Battery Park, Manhattan

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

Description:
Fritz Koenig's The Sphere, a 45,000 pound sculpture made of steel and bronze, adorned the fountain at the World Trade Center's Tobin Plaza from 1971 to September 11, 2001. Bent and damaged, but still recognizable, the sculpture has been relocated to Battery Park, where it stands as a powerful temporary memorial commemorating the lives of those lost in the World Trade Center attack and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. On September 11, 2002, a dedication was held to officially recognize the artwork as an interim memorial and to light an eternal flame in memory of those lost.

The Sphere is on long-term loan from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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