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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.

2010

Citywide

Christo with LEAP Student Artists

LEAP, A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
May 5, 2010 to September 2010
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 school lunchroom tables into personalized canvases and created colorful works of public art that touch upon critical social issues in their community and across the globe. The tables, which have been installed in ten community parks across the five boroughs, are a way of giving young teens the chance to voice their opinions and reach out to the public in hopes of inspiring social change through their art. This exhibition was created by LeAp’s Public Art Program in cooperation with NYC Parks and marks the largest student exhibition in the history of NYC Parks and the first to span five boroughs. The program included visits with distinguished artists such as Tom Otterness, Christo, Chuck Close, and Vito Acconci, among many others. For 33 years, LeAp (Learning through an Expanded Art Program) has provided arts–based education to over two million students K-12 throughout New York City.

Artworks can be found through August at: Sheltering Arms Park and St. Nicholas Park in Manhattan; Fermi Playground and Irving Square Park in Brooklyn; Crotona Park and Claremont Park in the Bronx; Juniper Valley Park and Forest Park in Queens; and Silver Lake Park and Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island.

For more information visit the LEAP website.

Luke Jerram, Play Me, I'm Yours
June 21, 2010 to July 5, 2010

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

Description:
​Play Me, I’m Yours will bring live art to the center of commercial Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island with the installation of 60 upright pianos placed at strategic locations throughout the five boroughs. For the two-week duration of the project ( and in conjunction with Make Music New York), the pianos will feature formal and impromptu concerts by students, tourists, children, nannies, lawyers, doctors, merchants, and artists in an open festival of music involving all elements of New York’s culturally diverse population.

Play Me, I’m Yours implements Sing for Hope’s central vision of uniting artists and communities by making the arts accessible and visible within our urban centers. By making pianos available to all who pass by, Sing for Hope democratizes the arts and encourages exploration of music by all individuals.

Every piano in New York City’s Play Me, I’m Yours will be supervised by neighborhood associations and community organizations. Entrusting each piano to the supervision of local residents generates civic pride and utilizes art as a catalyst for positive change in urban settings.

This is a project by Sing for Hope.

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

Patrick Dougherty's sculpture <em>Natural History</em> in late September. Photo by Rebecca Bullene. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Patrick Dougherty, Natural History
August 5, 2010 to August 31, 2011
The Plant Family Collection near Magnolia Plaza
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn

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

Description:
​For three weeks in summer 2010, artist Patrick Dougherty and a team of volunteers constructed a monumental woven-wood sculpture in honor of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's centennial. The result, which the artist titled Natural History, will be on display for the next year, complementing the beauty of the Garden through the seasons.

Dougherty crafts large-scale sculptures from saplings: weaving, snagging, and flexing sticks into playful, nestlike architectural forms that evoke themes of shelter, habitat, and sustainability. Created of organic matter, his works have a natural life cycle, changing over time as the sticks settle and decay, eventually returning to the earth they grew from.

The sculpture at BBG is woven from nonnative woody material that was collected from Ocean Breeze Park on Staten Island. The harvesting site was chosen by BBG's director of Science because of its proximity to the Garden and its large population of nonnative willow which is designated an invasive species in New York State. Removal of saplings of this species helped protect the site's excellent assemblage of herbaceous plants. The park is owned by the City of New York and is targeted for restoration under the City's PlaNYC sustainability initiative.

This is a project of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Seth Aylmer, The Helper

Seth Aylmer, The Helper
December 11, 2010 to April 20, 2011
Brooklyn

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

Description:
The Helper is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which has historically housed shipping and industry. The sculpture reconfigures bricks lying dormant on the Brooklyn shoreline into a figure with an ancient past and a contemporary method of construction. The original model was made from brick and mortar, and then a mold was made out of urethane rubber, into which the final concrete sculpture was poured and reinforced with rebar at the joints.

The form of the Helper is based on a 2000 year old Native American rock carving from the Passamaquoddy tribe of Maine. Early archaeological studies on the carving have suggested that the Helper is a benevolent spirit who aides powerful shamanic spirits through visitation to the tribal hunters during their sweat lodge rituals.

Daniel Goers and Jennifer Wong, Myrtle Avenue Bird Town
May 3, 2010 to December 10, 2010
Person Square and the NW corner of Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:
Goers and Wong will employ recycled materials and experimental building techniques to add flair to the micro-community of birdhouses. As colorful and as energetic as the birds that inhabit them, this collection of birdhouses will be the stage for an ongoing performance as birds feed, nest, build, and care for offspring. This exhibition will attract and promote the public to observe their native avian neighbors and the ecological relationship between the birds and the urban environment.

Throughout the duration of the exhibition, Goers and Wong will enact a number of educational workshops, including the South of the Navy Yards Artists stroll in May 2010, in and around the community that will teach children and adults about local bird species and environment awareness. Participants will be encouraged to build their own bird houses with supplies provided by the artists. The installation will also be regularly documented on the exhibition’s website. The artists will provide information and images of the planning, fabrication, and installation, as well as chronicle the lives of the feathered inhabitants of Myrtle Avenue Bird Town.

This is a project of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership. For more information on this exhibition please visit the Myrtle Avenue Bird Town website.

Humanity Fountain, Anne McClain & Friends

Anne McClain & Friends, Humanity Fountain
August 9, 2010 to November 5, 2010
Msgr. McGolrick Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:
​With the knowledge that scent conveys memories and feelings in an impactful way, artist and perfumer Anne McClain created Humanity Fountain, a monument to everyday compassion. The fountain emits a subtle fragrance composed of all natural plant materials (white lotus, sandalwood, mate tea and diluted water).  This exhibition also serves as a backdrop for educational programs by local artists, ranging from natural perfumery and botanical sciences to informative sessions on creative ways to participate in volunteer opportunities in North Brooklyn neighborhoods. For information on these program, visit trustart.org.

Commissioned by TRUST ART. In collaboration with Lance McGregor, Alan Iwamura, Isaac Tecosky, Facundo Newbery, and Jarek Klim. Supported by the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn.

Yeo Shih Yun and Paul Campbell, Coney Island Abstract: Continuity/Discontinuity

Yeo Shih Yun and Paul Campbell, Coney Island Abstract: Continuity/Discontinuity
July 16, 2010 to July 18, 2010
West 21st Street in front of the Childs Building
Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk, Brooklyn

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

Description:
​Yeo Shih Yun and Paul Campbell will work with the public to create a series of large scale canvases. The public is invited to participate in the painting process using roller blades, remote control cars, feet, balls, and balloons.

The artists first met at a conference in Seoul, South Korea in October 2009. Conversations revealed that even though they live in different parts of the world and are separated by differences in culture, language, age, gender, and experience their art practices share a common link. They have both combined the use of traditional art materials with radically unconventional methods of mark making. These unusual approaches to painting simultaneously pay homage to and offer a parody of the works of Jackson Pollock, Yves Kline, and other Abstract Expressionist artists. Their work in turn was informed by the East Asian art of calligraphy and popular writings on Zen and its principles of direct action.

Scott Taylor, Bike Guy

Scott Taylor, Bike Guy
June 28, 2010 to July 12, 2010
North 12th Street and Bedford Avenue
McCarren Park, Brooklyn

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

Description:
​Scott Taylor takes the familiar bicycle lane insignia and transforms Bike Guy into three dimensions. McCarren Park and the neighborhood of Williamsburg are known for their heavy bike usage and the community’s reliance on the two-wheeled vehicle for daily transportation. Taylor’s sculpture highlights the neighborhood’s growing use of alternative transportation.

Taylor utilizes universal symbols in his artwork, intrigued by their simplicity.  Clear, Concise and stripped of clutter, universal symbols transcend language, race, age, gender and geography—the most simplistic form of human communication.

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.

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