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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.

2015

Citywide

LeAp, A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
June 1, 2015 to September 13, 2015
Various Locations

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 Jenny Holzer, Crash, Kehinde Wiley, Emma Amos, Christo, and Lorna Simpson among many others. For 34 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 September in Seward Park and Morningside Park in Manhattan, Fort Four Playground and Crotona Park in the Bronx, Washington Park and Tiger Playground in Brooklyn, Juniper Valley Park, Forest Park (Dry Harbor Playground), in Queens, and Silver Lake Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

This exhibition is presented by LeAp.

View a map of all of the LeAp installations

Courtesy of Sing for Hope

Sing for Hope, Pop-Up Pianos
June 5, 2015 to June 21, 2015
Various Locations

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

Description:

This summer, from June 5th through June 21st, the Sing for Hope Pianos return to our city streets. In one of New York City’s most vibrant public art installations, 50 artist-designed pianos 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.

Bronx

Chat Travieso, Boogie Down Booth
June 25, 2015 to June 24, 2016
Seabury Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Boogie Down Booth, a colorful new public installation bringing Bronx music, solar–powered lights, seating, and community art to the area under the elevated tracks is on view at Seabury park on Southern Boulevard and 174th Street in the Bronx. The second Boogie Down Booth follows last year’s temporary pop–up at Southern Boulevard and Freeman Street, under the 2/5 line.

This new rendition features an updated, linear design from Chat Travieso, designer of the first Booth. Like the previous installation, the Booth provides seating, solar–powered LED lighting, and speakers streaming music from Bronx artists. The playlist, curated by the Bronx Music Heritage Center, covers a variety of genres born in or inspired by the Bronx, including salsa, jazz, Afro–Caribbean, hip–hop, Garifuna, and blues.

New to this booth are interactive elements like a community bulletin board to learn about local events, and a mural wall painted by middle and high school students from East Bronx Academy for the Future and youth from the Children’s Aid Society, who will host community events at the Booth. The installation, which recycles much of the material from the previous Booth, will be open until July 2016.

This exhibition is presented by WHEDco and the Bronx Music Heritage Center.

The Art Students League of New York, Water, Gift of life
June 11, 2015 to June 10, 2016
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

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 NYC Parks that has culminated in the installation the sculpture, Water, Gift of Life, at Van Cortlandt Park.

In response to this year’s theme of Patterns in Nature, the artists created a sinuous steel twisted sculpture. The fluke of a tail runs down like a rolling wave and culminates to form the head of a water drop. The downward flow of the fish-wave form echoes the landscape of the hill of the Van Cortlandt House Museum, which drops quickly down a Southward hill, and the south-running Tibbett’s Brook through Van Cortlandt Park down to the City.

The shiny stainless-steel sculpture reflects the park in a similar way that water’s surface reflects the surrounding trees. Additionally the sculpture is a nod to the water sources that surrounds the piece–the Nature Center to the North which provides an exploratory, scientific perspective of the parks ecosystems. To the West, the Pool is run with engineered water systems. By contrast, Van Cortland Lake is located to the east and wetlands to the south.

This collaborative installation was created by artists Lee Apt, Caroline Bergonzi, Kate Jansyn, Sukyung Kim, Donat King, Paola Morales, and Ken Shih. The group also has works concurrently on view in Riverside South Park in Manhattan.

This exhibition is presented with the Art Students League.

Gaston Lachaise, Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock

Gaston Lachaise, Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock
May 7, 2015 to May 7, 2016
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

These elegant and graceful peacocks designed in 1920 were intended for a formal garden such as that on the grounds of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. The garden was conceived and constructed circa 1916 by the prominent architectural firm of Delano & Aldrich and recently restored in 2013.

Animals were a theme to which Lachaise returned throughout his artistic career. He sculpted peacocks, seagulls; swans, dolphins. The animals he chose to represent were generally peaceful animals. The commissions for his animal works came through his employer, the artist, Paul Manship (1885-1956) or architects with whom he worked, including Welles Bosworth (1868-1966) and Philip Goodwin (1885-1958).

In the case of the short-tailed peacock, John Deering commissioned Lachaise in 1920 to make two sculptural peacocks in stone to sit atop eight decorative spiral columns in the Marine Garden of the home he was building outside of Miami, called Vizcaya. Philip Goodwin commissioned the long-tailed peacock for a fountain on the wall of his mansion on Long Island. In a poetic twist, Goodwin worked for Delano & Aldrich between 1914-1916.

This exhibition is presented by the Lachaise Foundation, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and the Historic House Trust.

Courtesy of the Art Students League

Art Students League, Tree of Life
June 12, 2014 to June 1, 2015
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 NYC Parks that has culminated in the installation of the monumental sculpture, Tree of Life, at Van Cortlandt Park.

The sculpture was created by an international team of seven selected League students during a nine-month program. In its fourth year, ASL created worked closely with the naturalists from Van Cortlandt Park to identify specific invertibre that are native to the area. The information they discovered was used by the artists to recreate artistic interpretations of the specimens. These interpretations are attached to a 12 foot tree-like structure. Tree of Life will be an educational experience for park visitors. The artists are: Laura Barmack, Janet Fekete-Bolton, Ana Sofìa Martì, Lindsay McCosh, Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Natsuki Takauji, and Minako Yoshino.

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.

Brooklyn

Beka Goedde, Fictitious Force, photograph courtesy of the artist

Beka Goedde, Fictitious Force
April 20, 2015 to April 19, 2016
Washington Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Constructed from nearly 1,000 colorfully dyed concrete tiles, Fictitious Force is a temporary public art installation by artist Beka Goedde embedded in the lawn of the Old Stone House & Washington Park. The piece is arranged in concentric circles to resemble an early American hooked or braided rug, and intended to be trod upon like paving stones. This historic site of the American Revolution is particularly suited to host a work that references traditional American craft. While meditative and still, the pattern of the piece conveys a sense of movement that echoes the energy of the nearly 3,000 people attracted to the park daily.

Fictitious Force is presented with The Old Stone House & Washington Park. This exhibit is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Jeppe Hein, Please Touch the Art
May 17, 2015 to April 17, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Three bodies of work are represented in the exhibition by Danish artist Jeppe Hein. Appearing Rooms is a systematically changing installation with walls of water that create rooms which appear and disappear. Visitors may move from space to space as the jets of water rise and fall. Mirror Labyrinth NY is made with equidistantly spaced vertical planks of mirror-polished stainless steel. Arranged in three radial arcs, the alternating rhythm and uneven heights of the steel elements echo the Manhattan skyline. Connecting these two works and continuing along the length of the park, the artist has installed sixteen bright red Modified Social Benches. These witty sculptures reinvent the form of the park bench, turning it into a lyrical and evocative work of art. Like each of his installations, they generate spontaneous expression and social connection, giving us new perspectives on ourselves and the world we share.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Leonard Ursachi, Fat Boy at the Ringling Museum of Art.

Leonard Ursachi, Fat Boy
May 1, 2015 to November 10, 2015
Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Description:

The latest in Ursachi’s decades-long “bunker” series, Fat Boy is an oversized head embedded with three recessed bunker windows fitted with mirrors instead of glass. Measuring 9.5 feet tall and 8.5 feet wide, the artwork was carved from styrofoam and covered in a weatherproof, cementitious material. Fat Boy is Ursachi’s first bunker sculpture in the form of a head. His previous bunkers, one of which was on view in at the entrance of Prospect Park off Grand Army Plaza in 2007, have been cylindrical and made with a variety of materials such as turkey feathers, willow branches, and ceramic tiles. “My bunkers reference not only war but also nests, shelter and refuge. They are as much about longing for home as they are about conflict, ” states Ursachi.

Fat Boy is based on a classical Western putto, or male child often depicted in Renaissance and Baroque artworks. “Since antiquity,” says the artist, “putti have been malleable signifiers, representing, among other things, Eros, panic, abandon, and joy.” Fat Boy’s title derives not only from his plump, cherubic face, but also from the WWII atomic bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man, giving the sculpture twin references to Eros and war.

Fat Boy was first exhibited at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, which is a partial sponsor of this exhibit. The exhibition is also in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.

Stereotank, HeartSeat, Photo courtesy of the artists.

Stereotank, HeartSeat
May 28, 2015 to October 30, 2015
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Heartseat is a striking red sculptural seat fabricated from a repurposed water tank. This work was originally commissioned for the juried Times Square Valentine Heart Design Competition. In its original orientation, the work was a participatory installation in the form of a massive heart glowing to the rhythm of a strong, deep and low frequency heartbeat sound and visitors were encouraged to move around and engage with it by playing various percussion instruments. Now, the once united heart is split in half in order to form innovative public seating.

Stereotank is founded by architects Marcelo Ertorteguy and Sara Valente, and is dedicated towards creating a fusion between architecture, music, design and environmental science with their public art projects.

This exhibition was originally commissioned presented by the Times Square Alliance and The Architectural League of New York.

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