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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.

2013

Manhattan

Image courtesy of NYC Parks.

Monika Sosnowska, Fir Tree
October 24, 2012 to February 17, 2013
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

This 40-foot-tall steel sculpture by Monika Sosnowska marks the threshold between the urban environment of midtown Manhattan and the landscape of Central Park. The artist has used pulleys, cranes, and other heavy machinery to manipulate a spiral staircase to resemble an evergreen tree. No longer climbable, its stairs cascade around the central shaft of the sculpture like weighted tree limbs. The ribbon-like railing forms a twisting red line against the black silhouette of the sculpture. As if piercing the pavement with industrial force, Fir Tree (2012) conjures an image of skyscrapers with steel roots below the city.

For more than ten years, Sosnowska’s work has explored our psychological relationship to the built environment, creating complex installations that alter our perceptions of familiar objects and spaces. Based in Warsaw, Sosnowska often works with architectural elements associated with Eastern Europe during the Soviet period. Fir Tree echoes the industrial steel staircases found on the exterior walls of Polish housing blocks. Here, this once-functional object refuses to serve its intended purpose. Instead it becomes an animated and outsized metaphor, testing the bounds of a familiar form as it reaches toward the urban skyline.

This Exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Richard Artschwager, blps
October 25, 2012 to February 3, 2013
Various Locations. Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th & 11th Avenues
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:
High Line Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art present a series of blps by acclaimed artist Richard Artschwager, in conjunction with the artist’s retrospective Richard Artschwager! at the Whitney. These public interventions consist of black or white lozenge-shaped marks that inspire focused looking, and draw attention to architecture, structures, and surfaces that usually go unnoticed.

Leo Villareal, Buckyball
October 25, 2012 to February 1, 2013
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art presents a monumental sculpture by acclaimed artist, Leo Villareal. Largely inspired by the work of Buckminster Fuller, Villareal’s BUCKYBALL will apply concepts of geometry and mathematical relationships within a towering 30-foot tall, illuminated sculpture.

A commission of the Mad. Sq. Art program, Villareal’s BUCKYBALL will feature two nested, geodesic sculptural spheres comprised of 180 LED tubes arranged in a series of pentagons and hexagons, known as a “Fullerene,” referring to the form’s discovery by Buckminster Fuller. Individual pixels located every 1.2 inches along the tubes are each capable of displaying 16 million distinct colors and will be specifically tuned by the artist’s own software, creating a subtle and sophisticated palette to enliven the Park. Relying on LED technologies driven by chance, BUCKYBALL’s light sequences will create exuberant, random compositions of varied speed, color, opacity, and scale. BUCKYBALL will trigger neurological processes within the brain, calling on our natural impulse to identify patterns and gather meaning from our external environment.

Through basic elements such as pixels and binary codes, Villareal allows for a better understanding of the underlying structures and systems that govern everyday function. As he builds these simple elements into a full-scale sculptural installation that moves, changes, and interacts, this work ultimately grows into a complex, dynamic form that questions common notions of space, time, and sensorial pleasure.

This exhibition is presented by Mad. Sq. Art.

Saint Clair Cemin, Vortex Rendering, courtesy of Paul Kasmin Gallery

Saint Clair Cemin, Saint Clair Cemin on Broadway
September 5, 2012 to January 25, 2013
W. 57th Street to W. 157th Street
Broadway Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Spanning 100 blocks to various locations along Broadway, Cemin’s monumental mirrored stainless steel sculpture, Vortex, will tower 40 feet high, embodying mankind’s desire for transcendence, whisking up into the clouds all that it reflects on its surface. Along with six additional Broadway malls, stretching to W. 157th Street, Cemin will present sculptures in a range of material. These sculptures include: The Four, 1997, a Corten steel sculpture that longs to be at once both geometric and organic; In The Center, 2002, an ominous archetypical creature existing at the core of our minds; Portrait of the Word Why, 2008, a mirrored stainless steel portrait of one of the most mysterious words in the English language; Aphrodite, 2006, a copper depiction of the ancient goddess in primitive form, representing the female figure simply and hieratically; and The Wind, 2002, a large white marble sculpture which appears like putty, kneaded and manipulated by giant hands.

This project is presented by The Broadway Mall Association in collaboration with Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, Department of Transportation and the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District.

Queens

Jade Chan, In Flight, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Jade Chan, In Flight
July 2013 to July 2014
Shorefront Parkway between Beach 77 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayorâ??s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

Jade Chan's design for the Rockaway barriers is titled In Flight. When she visited Rockaway Beach, she was inspired by the warmth, the sun and the colors that jumped out at her from the sky, water and sand. The sound of the surf and the breeze upon her skin was exhilarating. She observed the birds in flight and was inspired by this free and liberating vision. Chan sees In Flight as a representation of the freedom and strength of the human spirit.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

Patty Harris, Ride the Wave, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Patty Harris, Ride the Wave
July 2013 to July 2014
Shorefront Parkway, Between Beach 74 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

As an artist, Patty Harris has created animations of floods and is fascinated by the way water moves. Experienced in looking closely at the sea, she pulled a few simple forms that suggest the movement and pattern of a wave. For the Shore Parkway barrier, Patty painted shapes that express the undulating movement of a wave. She added curved shapes that hold water of a slightly different color—just as actual water displays a range of hues. To this rhythmical simple pattern, Harris included the silhouetted forms of surfers at the crests of the waves.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

John Garcia, Untitled, Courtesy of NYC Parks

John Garcia, Untitled
July 2013 to July 2014
Shorefront Parkway, Between Beach 74 Street and Beach 107 Street, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project is the longest mural in New York City, covering a 1.5 mile stretch of road along the beach in Rockaway, Queens. NYC Parks invited artists and designers to envision the surface of these ordinary barriers as canvases for art. Members of the community helped to select the top three designs that grace the surface of these barriers and paint the murals.

This project was made possible thanks to a partnership between NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Transportation, the Community Affairs Unit (CAU) of the Office of the Mayor, NYC Service, and community groups, including the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, Rockaway Artists Alliance, and Friends of Rockaway Beach. Benjamin Moore generously donated 420 gallons of paint to the Mayorâ??s Fund to Advance New York City for this initiative.

As a surf regular of Rockaway Beach, John Garcia pays tribute to Rockaway Beachâ??s surf culture in his barrier mural. He has painted images of Rockaway surfers riding waves, along with the birds that often keep them company on the water and on the shore. These images of birds and surfers sit on top of an aquatic abstract backdrop that captures the mystery and beauty of the ocean. The barriers also include the text â??Welcome to the Rockawaysâ? as an invitation for others to experience the waves and serenity of Rockaway Beach.

Learn more about the Rockaway Barrier Beautification Project.

Toshihiro Oki architect, FOLLY: tree wood
May 12, 2013 to March 31, 2014
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens

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

Description:

Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York are pleased to announce the selection of Toshihiro Oki architect for tree wood as the winner of this year’s “Folly” competition – an extraordinary opportunity for emerging architects and designers to experiment and build large-scale projects for outdoor exhibition.

tree wood will be a rigid yet airy geometrical wooden structure placed within a grove of trees – a lush and dense area at Socrates Sculpture Park. Visitors will peer into the structure through the floor beams where a formal, ornate chandelier will be suspended. The installation creates a dialogue between built structures and systems with the irregular and organic.

Toshihiro Oki architect consists of team members Toshihiro Oki, Jen Wood and Jared Diganci.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York

Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Wangechi Mutu, A Sunset Satire
September 8, 2013 to March 31, 2014
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The latest Broadway Billboard was designed by artist Wangechi Mutu. Located at the park's main entrance, Wutu's 11' x 28' billboard is a vibrant scene that can be seen as visitors approach the park from Broadway.

Broadway Billboard is supported through generous contributions from Agnes Gund, Charina Endowment Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mark di Suvero, and Lambent Foundation.

This exhibition is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and by public funds from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

Courtesy of Socrates Sculpture Park

Various Artists, EAF13: 2013 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition
September 8, 2013 to March 31, 2014
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Socrates is pleased to announce the opening of its fall exhibition featuring the latest works of artists to watch. In EAF13: 2013 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition, 15 new commissions on view respond very specifically to the park's unique waterfront, urban environment with conceptual and formal artworks that are visually compelling, subtly mysterious and, at times, provocative. Local and global subjects are presented alongside one and other, with topics such as the history, ecology, and panorama of the park confronting broader topics of international politics, militarization, and culture. Rather than being a thematic exhibition, each artist has a distinct artwork (and in some cases performance) that embodies his or her innovative exploration of sculpture.

This exhibition features the collective works of the park's 2013 Emerging Artists Fellows, each chosen through a rigorous application process; they are: Thordis Adalsteinsdottir; Diann Bauer; Michael DeLucia; Tamara Johnson; Anthony Heinz May; David McQueen; Kenneth Pietrobono; Aida Šehovic Sandy Smith; Edouard Steinhauer; Christopher Taylor; Justin Randolph Thompson; Hong-An Truong; Gustabo Velazquez; and Myung Gyun You.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

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