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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

Brooklyn

Hinge Figures, image courtesy of [v]vital[ny]

[v]vital[ny], Hinge Figures
September 2, 2011 to September 5, 2011
North 12th and Bedford
McCarren Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​Hinge Figures is a sculptural sound installation that explores the complex histories of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Repurposed doors incorporate found sounds, historical recordings and original compositions. Ring a doorbell and listen in on a segment of that door’s potential history, representing a century of home-making in many languages. Open the mailbox, chose a postcard, and send us your own experiences of living in your neighborhood. And, visit the website to browse an extensive timeline of North Brooklyn from 1850.

For more information visit www.vvitalny.com.

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.

Lusia Rabbia, Rendering of Emergence, Courtesy of the artist

Luisa Rabbia, Emergence
May 12, 2011 to May 15, 2011
Brooklyn

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

Description:

​Rabbia envisions this piece extending the roots of a tree into branches wrapped in fabrics with porcelain faces emerging from their folds. She sees this sculpture as symbolically linking people to their own past and culture. Every branch of the tree will become an extension of life.

This installation is programmed by the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP). Spring Open Studios is a four day exhibition of international contemporary art. The 36 artists, artist collectives and curators from 25 countries currently in residence at ISCP will present work in their studios. Accompanying Open Studios, In back of the real, organized by Necmi Sönmez, ISCP curator-in-residence, presents newly commissioned site-specific works, including Emergence by Rabbia.

Uri Aran, Untitled (Horse Drawing)

Uri Aran, Untitled (2010)
May 12, 2011 to May 15, 2011
Brooklyn

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

Description:
Uri Aran will install a short sound piece in the Powers street Garden. Untitled (2010), is a two minute audio loop in which a man’s voice reads a list of "Good animals" and then a list of "Bad animals". For Aran, animals are a moral, they are free of culture and respond to instinct. In this way, they reflect the ‘myth of the artist’. Animals occupy an idealized, primordial domain from the perspective of society. Like children before a certain age, animals can be called good or bad and can, in turn, understand those designations, but they cannot be described as or comprehend right and wrong.

This installation is programmed by the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP). Spring Open Studios is a four day exhibition of international contemporary art. The 36 artists, artist collectives and curators from 25 countries currently in residence at ISCP will present work in their studios. Accompanying Open Studios, In back of the real, organized by Necmi Sönmez, ISCP curator-in-residence, presents newly commissioned site-specific works, including Untitled (2010) by Aran.

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.

Manhattan

Lu Chun-Hsiung and Michel Kang, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, 2011, Columbus Park, courtesy of CCBA

Lu Chun-Hsiung and Michel Kang, Dr. Sun Yat-sen
November 12, 2011 to November 12, 2012
Columbus Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
​To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Republic of China, New York’s Chinese-American community has erected a statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the leader of the Chinese revolution in 1911. Dr. Sun lived in America and visited New York City a number of times before the Revolution. In fact, in the months leading up to the Revolution, he lived in New York City’s Chinatown where he finalized the plans for the Revolution and delivered an important speech at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) in March 1911.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) government donated the statue to the community.  Designed by Mr. Lu Chun-Hsiung, famous Taiwanese sculptor, the statue was manufactured in Taiwan.  The Chinese-American community in New York City graciously contributed donation for the base of the statue, designed by local architect Michael Kang.

This project is proposed and managed by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) of New York.

Peter Woytuk, Bulls, Aluminum, 2011, courtesy of Morrison Gallery

Peter Woytuk, Peter Woytuk on Broadway
October 21, 2011 to July 27, 2012
Columbus Circle to Mitchel Square
Broadway Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
Peter Woytuk on Broadway brings to the Broadway Malls the vigorous yet endearing sculptures that Woytuk is known for worldwide. This is the artist’s first outdoor exhibition in New York City. The exhibition begins in Columbus Circle at 59th Street, the start of the Broadway Malls, with the monumental, life size Elephant Pair. A bronze Woytuk menagerie of sheep, ostriches, crows, hens and other fanciful sculptures continues at intervals along the Malls, concluding at Mitchel Square at 168th Street with two 2,500-pound seated Bulls.

Peter Woytuk (American, b. 1958) is recognized internationally for his sculptures of animals. Woytuk cleverly reduces their shapes to essential forms, allowing the power and elegance of his subjects to become both graceful and whimsical expressions of mass. Using a style that is at once descriptive and expressive, Woytuk also enjoys altering the scale of everyday objects such as tools or fruit, which in his hands are transformed into animated participants in the composition.

Sculptures can be found along Broadway at: 72nd Street, Verdi Square; 73rd Street, Verdi Square; 75th Street; 79th Street; 86th Street; 96th Street; 103rd Street; 107th Street; 114th Street; 117th Street; 137th Street, Montefiore Park; 139th Street; 157th Street; and 168th Street, Mitchel Square.

The ambitious exhibition is a collaboration by the Broadway Mall Association, the New York City
Department of Parks & Recreation, and the Morrison Gallery of Kent, CT.

Rachel Owens, Inveterate Composition for Clare, repurposed replica humvees (steel and fiberglass), humpback whale songs, lights, Image courtesy of Parks Art & Antiquities.

Rachel Owens, Inveterate Composition for Clare
November 13, 2011 to June 15, 2012
1st Avenue and 47th Street
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
Placed in Manhattan’s Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, the historic “Gateway to the UN” and designated protest site, this piece is composed of dissembled parts from two replica "kit" military Hummer shells, recomposed and welded together in a monumental pyramid-shaped stack. Sprayed with metallic icy-white paint, the piece also evokes the form of an iceberg. Additional parts welded between the two create a more cohesive form and refer to extra armaments that American soldiers have recently added to their own Hummers and equipment.

The moody songs of whales will emanate from the speakers – the haunting sounds act as a universal cry. In accordance with this soundtrack, the headlights of the cars will be set to dim and brighten.

With its rearranged parts, Inveterate Composition also places itself in recent art history dialogue. The crashed car has become an iconic form of the violence and excesses of contemporary culture as seen in work from John Chamberlain's car part sculptures and Andy Warhol’s infamous Death and Disaster series, to Charles Ray’s Untitled sculpture and Jeremy Deller’s Conversations about Iraq. Summoning references from the political strife and conflict overseas to our planet’s general discord, Rachel Owens’s latest sculpture continues this discourse, while adding focus on environmental distress to the pile of ruins. However, her abstract, melodious form also has a hulking beauty and calming presence that speaks to an undertone of optimism and the potential for change and renewal.

This work was originally developed with the enthusiastic support of the late Clare Weiss, curator for the New York City Parks Department, who passed away in January 2010 after a long battle with breast cancer. This piece is dedicated to her.

This project was completed with ZieherSmith Gallery.

Sarah Sze, Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat), image courtesy of the artist

Sarah Sze, Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat)
June 8, 2011 to June 2012
On the High Line between West 20th and West 21st Streets
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​Artist Sarah Sze is world-renowned for her intricate installations that shape space with hundreds or thousands of interconnected sculptural elements.

For the High Line, Sze will create an elaborate metropolis of perspectival architectural models that will be bisected by the High Line path itself. The sculpture forms an open archway that visually frames the views to the north and south, as well as allows park visitors to physically enter and pass through the space it outlines. The architecture, complex and dynamic, will act as a bird, butterfly and insect observatory, with perches, feeding spots and birdbaths throughout.

Emerging from the shooting perspective lines of the landscape of the High Line, the sculpture will extend through space like a perspective drawing in three dimensions. The structure will climb, spin and accelerate emphasizing the open trajectory of the High Line and modeling systems of development and growth. The artwork is simultaneously an observatory, an experiment, and a metropolis, evoking urban construction, scientific models, and attempts to capture nature in situ.

This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line.

Julianne Swartz's Digital Empathy. Image courtesy of the artist.

Julianne Swartz, Digital Empathy
June 8, 2011 to June 2012
Select locations throughout Sections 1 and 2 of the park
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

​Julianne Swartz's sound installation, Digital Empathy, will greet High Line visitors with a variety of messages. At some sites, computer-generated voices will speak messages of concern, support, and love, intermingled with pragmatic information. In other sites, those same digitized voices will recite poetry and sing love songs to park visitors.

Installed in 11 different locations throughout the park, the sound will be transmitted through the park's bathroom sinks, water fountains, and elevators. These sites are not only unexpected places in which to encounter public art, they are places designed for individuals or small numbers of people, allowing for intimate encounters within an otherwise sprawling, communal space. The locations for Swartz's sound interventions will be indicated by graphic—based signage created by the artist that mimics standard public information signs.

Digital Empathy plays on the notion that, in our culture, we turn to technologies like online social networking, blogs, and instant messages to meet our basic human need for friendship and personal connection.

This High Line Art Commission is presented by Friends of the High Line.

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