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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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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.

Roberto Franzone, Red Arches, courtesy of NYC Parks & Recreation

Art Students League,2nd Annual Model to Monument (M2M)
June 22, 2012 to May 2013
59th to 72nd Streets
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:

In its second consecutive year, The Art Students League of New York’s “Model to Monument” program will return to Riverside South with seven new sculptures designed by its students. These accomplished artists, though quite varied in their chosen themes and media, are addressing the over-arching theme of flux.  This emerged naturally during the course of discussions about what the participating artists find unique and inspirational in the public space of Riverside Park. Included in the exhibition are Sequoya Aono, Roberto Franzone, HakSul Lee, Damien Armondo Vera, Olga Rudenko, Michael Cloud Hirschfeld, and Renata Pugh.

A collaborative installation created by the team is also on concurrently on view in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The sculpture titled, Mask, by M2M’s previous roster, has been altered- revamping the object into a new work they call, BioMask- a more tree like version of last year’s monumental sculpture.

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

Tony Smith, One-Two-Three, Courtesy of the Art Production Fund

Tony Smith,One-Two-Three
March 13, 2013 to April 10, 2013
Bryant Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:
​This installation of One-Two-Three, created in 1976, is part of a series of exhibitions commemorating the artist’s centennial.  Consisting of three geometrical modular painted steel black units weighing a total of 2,700 pounds, One-Two-Three asserts a presence that requires viewers to respond to the work in physical terms as well as visual. Smith found his sculptures most appreciated and “accepted” in an environment involving nature, as opposed to the confining walls of an institution or gallery.

This is Tony Smith’s second public art installation in Bryant Park. His 1967 installation in Bryant Park inaugurated the public arts programming in New York City parks. Tony Smith (1912-1980) was born in South Orange, New Jersey. A leading figure of American Minimalism, his work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at prestigious museums including a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1998.

This exhibition is presented by the Art Production Fund and the Bryant Park Corporation.

Courtesy of First Street Green

World Policy Institute,The 12 x 12 Project
August 6, 2013 to September 1, 2013
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

The 12x12 Project originated from a book by author and World Policy Insitute Senior Fellow, William Powers. Powers chronicled his season living in a "tiny house" in the 2010 award-winning, national "green living" bestseller: Twelve by Twelve: A One Room Cabin, Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream. Inspired by the book, artists Betsy Damon, Simon Draper, Erik Ajemian and Christy Rupp formed a creative team to engage the public in dialogue about how smarter consumption might change their lives - and the planet. The 12x12 installation is a simple space that houses panels containing text and questions from the Twelve by Twelve book. Participants and park visitors to the installation will engage with the question "What's your 12x12?" in order to spark new thinking around what smart consumption means for each person. Throughout the exhibition there will be a series of artists in residence which will include Ivy Haldeman, Mario Chamorro, Catalina Parra, Pablo Gnecco, Jonathan Koh, and Shawn Shafner.

The installation will be open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays from 12:00pm to 7:00pm August 6 through September 1, 2013.

The exhibition is presented by Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc), World Policy Institute, and First Street Green.

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.

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.

Albert Paley, Progression, Park Avenue, Courtesy of NYC Parks

Albert Paley,Paley on Park Avenue
June 17, 2013 to November 8, 2013
52nd Street - 67th Street
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Thirteen of Albert Paley’s monumental, abstract steel sculptures, created specifically for Paley on Park Avenue, will be featured on Park Avenue, at sites between 52nd Street and 67th Street. Impressive in size and scale, these steel works range in weight from 2.5 to 7.5 tons with dimensions as large as 21 feet high and 40 feet long.

Albert Paley stated, “There can be few exhibition platforms in the world to equal the distinction, visibility and excitement of Park Avenue. I look forward to this installation as an opportunity to reflect the dynamism of New York, with sculptures that rise as high as twenty feet and evoke the city’s movement through their gesture and balance. Although these new works are not technically site-specific, I have placed each one where it can bring into focus the ambiance of the location. A horizontal sculpture will be situated opposite the Seagram Building, for example, accentuating the open plaza areas of the site. A pair of tall, vertical sculptures, one expressing its energy with swirling loops and the other with bursting lines, will stand on either side of 57th Street, matching the scale and vibrancy of this widest expanse on Park Avenue.”

This exhibition is presented by Paley Studios, The Fund For Park Avenue, and Gerald Peters Gallery.

Paley on Park Avenue web series

Kenneth Pietrobono, (Re)Development, 2013

Kenneth Pietrobono,Selections From The Modern Landscape (Jackson Square)
June 4, 2013 to September 2, 2013
Jackson Square, Manhattan

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

Description:

The Jackson Square Alliance presents Selections From The Modern Landscape (Jackson Square) by artist Kenneth Pietrobono. This commissioned project uses botanical signage to rename the existing plant life of historic Jackson Square Park to reflect the narratives and dynamics of its cultural environment.

With names such as Displacement, Pleasure and Class Barrier, Pietrobono works to acknowledge the complex forces at play in Jackson Square and its adjoining neighborhoods while creating space for consideration, understanding and thought on the public’s role in the modern landscape.

While many of the elements may prove challenging, by aligning them with the calm, neutral presence of the natural environment, Pietrobono encourages a tone of honesty, patience and empathy. In conjunction with the installation, the artist will be present at scheduled times to engage with the public through discussion and response. Detailed information may be found online.

This exhibition is presented by the Jackson Square Alliance

Jieun Yang and Ji Young Kim, Urban Forest, Photo courtesy of Superfront

Jieun Yang and Ji Young Kim and Super front,Urban Forest
July 15, 2013 to August 15, 2013
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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

Description:

Urban Forest is a threshold where a fast-paced urban path and a slow meandering of natural oasis are extended and integrated. As a reflector of public exchange and movement, the pavilion facilitates the intimacy of bodily interaction and accentuates urban and community context. Urban Forest is a network of flexible responses to the changing time, weather, and environment that subverts the fixed nature of the architectural form and embraces the agility of urban life.

This exhibition is presented by SUPERFRONT and First Street Green

NYC Parks

Thomas Houseago,Lying Figure
May 18, 2012 to March 14, 2013
At Little West 12th Street
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:
Known for using materials like wood, clay, plaster, steel, and bronze, Houseago creates monumental sculptures that reveal the process of their making through unique details – the varying texture of a molding, the hidden creases within a cast – despite their imposing size and towering forms. His sculptures also incorporate drawing in the form of sketches on plaster and wood panels. Houseago’s work explores abstract lines and figurative forms, and in doing so he joins a long tradition of sculptors that spans from Giacometti to Picasso, engaging viewers with qualities that are at once impressive and enchanting.

For the High Line, Houseago presents Lying Figure, a 15-foot-long bronze sculpture of a headless giant resting on its elbows on the wooden rail ties between the High Line’s original rail tracks. As the third project in the HIGH LINE COMMISSIONS series for spring, 2012, Houseago’s Lying Figure will juxtapose Lilliput, the group exhibition that debuted on Thursday, April 19. Lilliput takes its title from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, and conjures a magical world populated by fairy tale creatures, mysterious idols, and dreamlike landscapes. Houseago’s Lying Figure will introduce the presence of a giant – the park’s own Gulliver – into Lilliput’s diminutive sculptures installed along the park’s pathway and amidst the plants.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line

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