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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.

2011

Citywide

Mark di Suvero, Mark di Suvero on Governors Island: presented by the Storm King Art Center
May 27, 2011 to September 25, 2011
Governor's Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The exhibition is the largest outdoor presentation of Mark di Suvero’s sculptures to be shown in New York City since the 1970s and includes loans from public and private collections, including a number of sculptures from Storm King’s own celebrated installation of the artist’s work. The exhibition is free and located throughout the island’s vibrant public spaces.

For more information on events and exhibitions at Governor’s Island, visit the Trust for Governor’s Island. Learn more about the Storm King Art Center.

FIGMENT 2011, Bittertang, Burble Bup Pavilion
May 27, 2011 to September 25, 2011
Governor's Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
Come together in the Burble Bup Pavilion, winner of the second annual City of Dreams pavilion competition. Burble Bup invites people to lounge and mingle in its soft and magical interior, upon plush soil tubes. The City of Dreams pavilion competition is sponsored by FIGMENT, ENYA, and SEAoNY.

For more information on events and exhibitions at Governor’s Island, visit the Trust for Governor’s Island. Learn more about Figment www.figmentproject.org/pavilion.

FIGMENT 2011, Sculpture Garden
May 27, 2011 to September 25, 2011
Liggett Hall, Governor's Island
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
The FIGMENT summer long sculpture garden is back! Engage with amazingly creative, interactive, and sustainable sculpture projects in the Liggett Hall courtyard. The FIGMENT Terrace Sculpture Garden is free.

For more information on events and exhibitions at Governor’s Island, visit the Trust for Governor’s Island, or learn more about Figment.

Speakers at LEAP's opening event in Union Square. Pictured above: LEAP students, Emma Amos, Sr. Counsel & Sr. Policy Advisor Wendy Gellman, NYC DOE Visual Arts Coordinator Karen Rosner, Audrey Flack, NYC School Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, Commissioner of NYC Cultural Affairs Kate Levin, Christo, and Commissioner of NYC Parks Adrian Benepe

LEAP, A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
May 30, 2011 to August 26, 2011
Citywide

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 Emma Amos, Tom Otterness, Audrey Flack, 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: Central Park and Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan; Ft. Greene Park and Sunset Park in Brooklyn; Crotona Park and Claremont Park in the Bronx; Juniper Valley Park and Forest Park in Queens; and Silver Lake Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

For more information visit the LEAP website.

Sing for Hope's Pop-Up Pianos located at 88 locations citywide.

Sing for Hope, Pop-Up Pianos
June 18, 2011 to July 2, 2011
Citywide

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

Description:

​Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos are coming to a street near you to celebrate our vision: that all New Yorkers — from Rockaway to Riverdale, Stapleton to Sunset Park — have access to the arts. Each one of the 88 pianos you find on New York City streets, in parks and on boardwalks, has been painted by a Sing for Hope Volunteer Artist who shares our mission of bringing the arts to all.

From June 18 to July 2, enjoy impromptu performances on the pianos by members of our Volunteer Artist Roster – maybe a Broadway star, a local songwriter, or a ballerina.  These individuals share one thing: a desire to give back through their art, and to unite artists with their local communities.  We invite you to join in the fun by visiting your local piano, playing a tune, and spreading the word.

After the project ends on July 2, Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos will be donated to the local schools, hospitals, and community organizations that we serve year-round.

The 2011 Sing for Hope Pop-Up Pianos, inspired by British artist Luke Jerram, is the world’s largest street piano installation to date, and is expected to reach over two million people.

For more information and a list of locations visit Sing for Hope’s Pop-Up Pianos website. Sing for Hope is presented in cooperation with the City of New York.

Bronx

Merián Soto, Branch Dances

Merián Soto, Branch Dances
October 2011 to June 2012
Wave Hill, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Wave Hill has commissioned award-winning choreographer Merián Soto to return to the Bronx, her artistic home, to develop and perform Branch Dances at Wave Hill. This year-long work consists of an outdoor performance each season, with the first in October. Five dancers, Beau Hancock, Shavon Norris, Jumatatu  Poe, Olive Prince and Marion Ramirez, and musician Robert (Tigger) Benford connect body, mind, place and natural elements to stillness in locations that respond to Wave Hill’s brilliant foliage, sweeping vistas and sculptural trees.

Schedule of Performances

  • Saturday, October 29, 2011 (Target Free Morning)
  • Saturday, January 7, 2012 (Target Free Morning)
  • Sunday, April 22, 2012*
  • Saturday, June 23, 2012 (Target Free Morning)*

*Dates are tentative

This is a project by Wave Hill

Art Students League, Mask, Van Cortlandt Park

Art Students League, Mask (Model to Monument)
June 28, 2011 to May 2012
South of Van Cortlandt House
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

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 one monumental sculpture, Mask, at Van Cortlandt Park.

The sculpture was created by an international team of seven selected League students during a nine-month program led by master sculptor Greg Wyatt.  The decision to sculpt a theatrical mask grew out the artists’ visits to Van Corltandt. The site is near the Red Steps below the Van Cortlandt House Museum, where public theater events are being introduced by Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy. The artists are: Elizabeth Allison, John Balsamo, Allston Chapman, Akihiro Ito, Selva Sanjines, Noa Shay, and Matthew White.

Model to Monument provides a project-driven program, site-specific for the students that focuses their artistic and professional development and their ability to respond to an environment. The artists’ experience working with the City gives them the ability and background to create new public works for people to contemplate and enjoy in the years and decades to come.

Mask is made possible by the Art Students League’s Model to Monument Program

Brooklyn

Leonard Ursachi, Well, Cadman Plaza, 2011, Courtesy of the Artist

Leonard Ursachi, Well
October 29, 2011 to August 25, 2012
Cadman Plaza Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Leonard Ursachi’s sculpture, with its wellhead, lever and bucket, is suggestive of a traditional rural well. “The well is a shared resource and gathering place. Its iconography is mythic—the source from which life and knowledge spring; a receptacle for our dreams and desires. I’m interested in the significance of the well today,” states Ursachi.  “There are still communities that depend on wells, the health of which is affected by conditions that originate both locally and across the globe—pollution, industrial waste, climate change, wars.”

For the wellhead, Ursachi cast blocks in transparent, water-blue acrylic with embedded crushed, empty plastic water bottles. He created the mold for the blocks from an antique cobblestone salvaged from a Brooklyn street when it was being torn up. The bottom surface of the wellhead is mirrored and like a traditional well, viewers will see their own reflections when they peer into the opening. Ursachi made the wellhead’s base, bucket, and lever from wood he salvaged from the East River, a block from his DUMBO studio.

Ruth McKerrell, Ancient, 2010, aluminum

Ruth McKerrell, Ancient, Goatie Boy, and Goat as Wolf
June 1, 2011 to May 30, 2012
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​McKerrell’s three sculptures, originally made of reclaimed Styrofoam, have been cast in aluminum, giving them a timeless presence reminiscent of traditional garden statuary. Two sprightly goats and an alert deer will animate this welcoming space. Attracted to the naiveté and purity of animals, McKerrell has focused on them in her recent drawings and sculptures.  A native of Scotland, she frequented local farms as a child and even owned a pet goat, which inspired Goatie Boy. A regular visitor to the Central Park Children’s Zoo, she creates studies from direct observations, as well as historical paintings, and anatomical reference books.  However, her final works are made entirely from memory, working intuitively as she imbues her playful subjects with plasticity, life, and undeniable charm.  McKerrell is attracted to the “freeness and rawness” of her modeling materials, which permit her to work spontaneously, and comments that they enable her to “create textured surfaces suggestive of an animal’s tactile form.”

McKerrell is the recipient of the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Clare Weiss (1966-2010) was the former Public Art Curator for Parks. During her tenure she curated more than 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city and organized complex, thought-provoking, and visually compelling thematic exhibitions for the Arsenal Gallery. The Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award will be granted annually to one emerging artist. The location will change annually, and will be determined based on the site’s visibility and location within a neighborhood historically underserved by public art.

This exhibition was made possible through generous support by the Claire Weiss Emerging Artist Award and the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

Robert Lobe, Antique Jenny, courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance

Robert Lobe, Nature in Nature
May 14, 2011 to November 20, 2011
Prospect Park Boathouse and Lullwater
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
The exhibition Nature in Nature features three works, Invisible Earth, Antique Jenny and Nature’s Clock, located around Prospect Park’s historic Boathouse and Lullwater, in the heart of this masterpiece of landscape art designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

Lobe uses a variation of the ancient metalworking technique repoussé, in which metal is hammered around an object to obtain shapes and patterns. He encases trees and boulders in malleable aluminum, and with countless mallet strikes and a pneumatic air compressor he gathers and tools the metal snuggly around their shapes. This unique process enhances the textures and shadowy contours of the life-sized sculptures, blurring the line between abstraction and realism.

 Lobe reflects on geographical, historical and mythological representations of the natural world, including the tradition of Romantic landscape painting in American art. These hollow reliefs also allude to the less bucolic 17th century vanitas or still-life paintings that addressed life’s emptiness and decay. Lobe embraces nature while using materials that contrast with his subject. He stitches together metal sheets and leaves exposed the joints, seams and bolts, revealing the underlying beauty of his sculpture’s mechanical construction.

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