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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.

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LEAP opening reception in Union Square, Courtesy of NYC Parks

LEAP, A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
June 4, 2013 to August 31, 2013
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 has included visits with distinguished artists such as Emma Amos, Mark di Suvero, Audrey Flack, Christo, Mel Kendrick, and Sanford Biggers, 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 Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan; Kaiser Park and Detective Joseph Mayrose Park in Brooklyn; Van Cortlandt Park and Claremont Park in the Bronx; Juniper Valley Park and Forest Park in Queens; and Willowbrook Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

For more information visit the LEAP website.

Deanna Aguinaga, piano for Pelham Bay Park: Orchard Beach, Bronx

Sing for Hope, Pop-Up Pianos
June 1, 2013 to June 15, 2013
Various Locations

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

Description:

This summer, from June 1st through June 16th, the Sing for Hope Pianos return to our city streets. In one of New York City’s most vibrant public art installations, 88 artist-designed pianos (one for each key on a piano) are placed in parks and public spaces throughout the 5 boroughs for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Once on the streets, neighborhood associations and community organizations serve as “piano buddies” and supervise each piano throughout the duration of the project, making sure they are protected from inclement weather. The Sing for Hope Pianos unite our city, as artists from all walks of life create daily spontaneous concerts and neighborhoods come together around the shared gift of music and art.

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.

Art Students League, Flock
May 14, 2013 to May 13, 2014
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 the monumental sculpture, Flock, 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. In its third year, ASL created a 15-foot swirl of birds in flight—making note of the amazing bird watching opportunity in the Bronx park. Flock, a collaborative piece also uses the birds to represent the diversity of the Bronx. Included in the exhibition are Beñat Iglesias Lopez, Anna Kuchel Rabinowitz, Anne Stanner, Sherwin Banfield, John N. Erianne, Reina Kubota, and Morito Yasumitsu.

A collaborative installation created by the team is also on concurrently on view in Riverside South Park in Manhattan. This exhibition is presented with the Art Students League.

Dianne Smith, The Couple, courtesy of the West Harlem Art Fund

Dianne Smith, Organic Abstracts
March 7, 2013 to April 15, 2013
Bartow Pell Mansion
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The West Harlem Art Fund and Bartow Pell present two works by artist Dianne Smith on the grounds of this historic house. The Couple is two androgynous heads approximately twenty feet wide and ten feet tall. The heads rest on one another and are made from everyday discarded materials such as, packaging, paper, cans, fabric and magazines, bound together with string and rope. The Couple represents the idea of the environment, community and family respect. The concept of heads resting on one another, plays on the old adages “two heads are better than one” and “it takes a village.” They symbolize the idea that we all need each other and the environment to live harmonious and balanced lives.

Flying High is a site specific installation constructed out of brown butcher paper. The varnished paper, hanging between two trees, is crunched, crumpled, rolled, twisted, interlocked, woven and manipulated. For Smith butcher paper is a metaphor for the treatment of people in developing countries, as well as consumption in the global market. People use butcher paper for many everyday activities and throw it away once they are done with it. Some of its uses include wrapping meat, crafting, and packing shipped.

This project is presented by the West Harlem Art Fund and Bartow Pell Mansion.

Akihiro Ito, Tomorrow.  Image courtesy of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

Akihiro Ito, Tomorrow
September 27, 2012 to August 2013
Northeast Corner at Myrtle Avenue and Washington Park
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:

The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership presents Tomorrow, a temporary installation by Akihiro Ito. From September 27, 2012 through August 2013, the piece will be installed at the northeast corner of Fort Greene Park (Myrtle and Washington Park).

Akihiro Ito’s sculpture, Tomorrow, illustrates the harmony between humans and their natural surroundings, and reminds us of the importance of preserving our environment. Tomorrow is made of 600 pieces of laminated dimensional wood (Douglas fir) which form the shape of a baby – a symbol of future generations. He used this material to draw the connection between people and nature. Wood is environmentally friendly as it emits no pollutants, is a familiar resource that has been utilized for millennia, and instills feelings of warmth, serenity, and relief in people. Mr. Ito says, “Nowadays, we are facing serious environmental problems such as global warming, waste and resource depletion. We have to preserve nature and save our earth for our future generations and for all living beings. I hope this sculpture provides an opportunity for people to think about humanity’s connection to nature, and reminds us that we are all part of earth’s family.”

“Bringing sculpture to Myrtle Avenue is part of the Partnership’s larger public art initiative to underscore the neighborhood’s creative spirit and highlight our public spaces with art,” says Meredith Phillips Almeida, the Partnership’s Deputy Director. Throughout the duration of the installation, an informational card about the artist and work, designed by the Partnership, will be available at the site. The Partnership will also develop a site visit guide for local schools.

Please visit the Partnership’s website for more information about the organization and their initiatives.

Kate Newby, How Funny are You Today, New York
July 12, 2012 to January 13, 2013
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:

Fort Greene Park welcomes New Zealand artist Kate Newby’s latest site-specific sculpture exhibition, “How funny are you today, New York.” The new work builds on her ongoing interest in creating work that is ephemeral and often peripheral that is integrated into public environments.  Situated in the historic setting of Fort Greene Park, a place where art, life, tradition, and culture have coalesced for centuries, Newby finds her muse in a pronounced boulder locals call “the Grey Painted Rock.” Creating a space where semi-precious and industrial materials get integrated seamlessly into the urban landscape, Newby’s installation invites park visitors to stop and rest or play while simultaneously forcing the viewer to address the artist’s reconsideration of the environment’s norms.

This exhibition is presented by the International Studio and Curatorial Program.

Benat Iglesias Lopez The Bathers photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Art Students League, Model to Monument (M2M)
June 2013 to May 2014
Riverside Park South, Manhattan
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 eight sculptures on view along Riverside Park South from 59th to 72nd Streets. The sculptures were created by an international team of selected League students during a nine-month program led by master sculptor Greg Wyatt. The pieces explore "The Function of the Public Square: Role and Responsibility of the Artist Relative to Riverside Park South." The artists are: Sherwin Banfield, John N. Erianne, Reina Kubota, Beñat Iglesias Lopez, Anna Kuchel Rabinowitz, Anne Stanner, and Morito Yasumitsu.

This work was made possible by the Art Students League’s Model to Monument Program and the Riverside Park Fund.

Carol Bove, Celeste, 2013. Part of the HIGH LINE COMMISSION Caterpillar. On view at the High Line at the Rail Yards. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Carol Bove, Caterpillar
May 16, 2013 to April 20, 2014
Rail Yards
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:

Public Walks Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
Free admission. Advance reservations required, RESERVE ONLINE!

High Line Art presents Caterpillar by artist Carol Bove, a HIGH LINE COMMISSION featuring seven sculptures that punctuate the wild landscape on the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the High Line. Bove’s commission is the last opportunity to see this section of the elevated railway in its natural state before it opens as public parkland in 2014. The commission will be viewable during public walks on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until May 2014. Advance reservations are required. Admission is free and reservations can be made online.

For the High Line, Bove continues her research on the role and function of art in the public space, by creating seven new sculptures which are installed within the self-seeded landscape on the High Line at the Rail Yards. Bove’s site-specific installation highlights the uniqueness of its location and opens a magical environment for viewers. Installed along a 300-yard stretch of the untouched terrain of the High Line, Bove’s sculptures reveal themselves among the unruly vegetation, like mysteriously pristine ruins of a lost civilization or a contemporary version of a Zen garden. Abstract shapes and enigmatic forms are carefully placed along the High Line, creating a unique viewing experience surrounded by the wilderness of the High Line and the stunning views of the Hudson River.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

Image credit: Carol Bove, Celeste, 2013. Part of the HIGH LINE COMMISSION Caterpillar. On view at the High Line at the Rail Yards. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

Frank Benson, Human Statue (Jessie), 2011. Photo by Timothy Schenck. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Busted
April 1, 2013 to March 30, 2014
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 is pleased to announce Busted, the HIGH LINE COMMISSION that includes figurative sculptures, celebratory portraits, and commemorative monuments installed on and around the High Line. Featuring nine acclaimed international artists, Busted will be on view from April 2013 to April 2014.

Drawing its inspiration from the dedicatory sculptures that punctuated the streets of ancient Rome, Busted plays with the popular tradition of urban monuments and civic landmarks that have defined public spaces for centuries. Who are today's heroes and who does the public expect to see memorialized in monuments? Busted will raise some of these questions by bringing together a group of artists who are questioning the tradition of commemorative sculpture and the format of the celebratory monuments. The invited artists will touch upon – at times with levity and sense of humor – issues of democracy, taste, and representation of the self in the public space.

Busted will feature nine international artists including: Frank Benson, Steven Claydon, George Condo, Mark Grotjahn, Sean Landers, Goshka Macuga, Ruby Neri, Amalia Pica, and Andra Ursuta.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

Iran Do Espirito Santo, Playground, courtesy of NYC Parks.

Iran do Espirito Santo, Playground
September 10, 2013 to February 16, 2014
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:

One of Brazil’s most highly regarded contemporary artists, Iran do Espírito Santo (b. 1963) is known for his austere yet sensuous drawings, wall paintings, and sculptures. Playground is his first public work in the United States. At first glance it looks like a massive cube made from large stone blocks – but with a number of blocks missing at the corners. On closer examination it becomes evident that the work hasn’t been constructed out of individual elements but rather cast in stone-like concrete as a unified form. We see that the “mortar” is exactly the same as the “block” itself and that the entire sculpture is consistent in color, texture, and finish. The “missing” corner elements were never there but are instead deliberately composed openings that allow transparency and access to the interior space.

Do Espírito Santo speaks of the work as a kind of “idealized ruin” that is also a metaphorical playground. As a child the artist loved to play with building blocks. Given its architectural materials and oversized scale, Playground is a bit like a blown up cartoon image of a child’s fantasy building. At the same time, the artist has created a subtle and elegant play between perception and reality, construction and destruction, and between idealized form and everyday objects and materials.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

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