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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.



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)


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.


Adrian Villar Rojas, The Evolution of God, photo courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Adrian Villar Rojas, The Evolution of God
September 21, 2014 to Summer 2015
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)


Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas is known for his large-scale, site-specific sculptural installations that transform their environs into a vision of their own potential future. Employing a unique mixture of cement and clay, Villar Rojas imbues his sculptures with a material destined to crumble while on view. His works combine the daunting scale of conventional public sculptures with a precarious fragility, keeping viewers mindful of the ephemerality of even the most imposing monoliths.

For the High Line, the artist presents The Evolution of God, a new, site-specific installation composed of thirteen abstract sculptures which punctuate the wild, self-seeded landscape of the High Line at the Rail Yards, and creates a sculptural progression and a rhythmic sequence of forms, reminiscent of a musical score. This new project extends the artist’s own traditional treatment of materials, by integrating organic elements such as seeds, vegetables, and other perishable components inspired by the natural landscape on the High Line as well as non-perishable items such as clothing, sneakers, and rope. Seemingly sturdy, the sculptures will instead turn into living organisms, revealing the passage of time through vegetal sprouts and tectonic cracks, which will slowly return the sculptures to the surrounding landscape.

This exhibition is presented by Friends of the High Line

Tatiana Trouve, Desire Lines, Photo by NYC Parks

Tatiana Trouve, Desire Lines
March 3, 2015 to August 30, 2015
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)


For her first public commission in the United States, Tatiana Trouvé has made a work that responds to Central Park. She came to see the miles of pedestrian paths that traverse its landscape as similar to the arteries of a living being. There’s no singular way to walk through the park, but rather a multitude of possible routes that may be followed according to our own desires.

Drawing on existing maps, Trouvé isolated all of the marked pathways in the park and estimated their distances. She identified 212, from secluded paths to prominent thoroughfares, ranging in length from around 60 feet to four miles. Translating her research into three-dimensional form, Trouvé created three large-scale storage racks that house a total of 212 spools. Each spool is wound with rope equivalent in length to a corresponding pathway and labeled to identify its location in the park.

Trouvé’s work is also a reflection on the broader cultural significance of walking. It’s an activity that ranges from personal recreation to political statement, and has inspired poets, musicians, writers, and artists. Thus, Trouvé has associated each pathway with a title drawn from culture and history that relates to walking. In this way, Desire Lines is both a systematic inventory of the park and an invitation to explore the political and poetic resonance of the simple act of taking a walk.

This exhibition is presented by the Public Art Fund.

Image Courtesy of the artist

Jarrod Beck, Uplift
August 20, 2014 to August 19, 2015
Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)


Uplift sits on a tree–lined terrace in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Made from recycled rubber conveyor belts once used to cart ore out of West Virginia mines, the work suggests stratified rock or a grouping of recently unearthed tectonic plates. Uplift is both memorial and artifact, reminding us of loss, but also rooted in a deep time beyond our memories.

Courtesy of the artist

Rudy Shepherd, Black Rock Negative Energy Absorber
May 22, 2014 to May 15, 2015
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)


Black Rock Negative Energy Absorber is from a series of sculptures Rudy Shepherd has been working on since 2006, the first having been installed in Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NY. Shepherd describes the Black Rock Negative Energy Absorbers as a group of sculptures with magical functions: to expunge negative energy from viewers – in the form of prejudice, racism, or even quotidian disdain – and allow them to respond to life with the more open, compassionate, and positive aspects of their personalities. The series reinterprets practices culled from new age mythology and ancient religions to heal the negative energies in society.

The exhibition is brought to you by First Street Green.

Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Atabey's Land Haven, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Art Students League, Model to Monument (M2M)
June 12, 2014 to May 15, 2015
Riverside Park South, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)


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 seven sculptures on view along Riverside Park South from 59th to 69th Streets.

The sculptures were created by an international team of selected League students during a nine-month program. The pieces for this exhibition explore “The Architecture of Nature.”  The artists are: Laura Barmack, Janet Fekete-Bolton, Ana Sofìa Martì, Lindsay McCosh, Phyllis Sanfiorenzo, Natsuki Takauji, and Minako Yoshino.

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

Jim Rennert, THINK BIG
June 3, 2014 to May 4, 2015
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)


Jim Rennert’s THINK BIG stands at over 12-feet tall serving as an inspiration to everyone who works hard every day to achieve their dreams and goals. The monumental businessman gazes up at the sky and the Manhattan skyline, reminding us that if we “think big” we can attain anything and that the American Dream is still very much alive and possible. Businessman or not, everyone can still relate to the themes in their own personal ways. THINK BIG is the culmination of positive thinking, as the original concept started as a two-inch sculpture. Rennert is excited to bring the sculpture to New York so that everyone can indeed, “think big.”

The project is made possible by the Cavalier Gallery and Union Square Partnership.

Juan Soriano, Bronze Dove, Photo Courtesy of NYC Parks

Juan Soriano, Juan Soriano in New York City: Monumental Sculpture at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
October 28, 2014 to April 26, 2015
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)


Three of Juan Soriano’s sculptures are now in New York City: Pájaro III (Bird III), Pájaro de Dos Caras (Bird with Two Faces), and Paloma de Bronce (Bronze Dove). Soriano, a deeply committed Mexican artist from an early age, was an independent voice during the years that the murals of Rivera, Siqueiros and Orozco dominated Mexican art. Putting distance between his art and theirs, he created an individual vision in painting, ceramics, stage and costume design, and monumental sculptures.

Placed in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, on East 47th Street between First and Second Avenues, they bring to New York City Juan Soriano’s unique perspective on art and society. Inspired by the popular and indigenous arts of Mexico, he drew on Cubism, German Expressionism, Fauvism and the Paris artists of the interwar period. His individuality is clearly on view in the three sculptures now in New York.

This exhibition is presented by The World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, The Consulate General of Mexico in New York, The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and the Fundación Juan Soriano y Marek Keller

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015,Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photographs by Yasunori Matsui.

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes
February 19, 2015 to April 19, 2015
Madison Square Park, Manhattan


Gazing Globes features eighteen crystal balls that hold the detritus of contemporary culture, including used batteries, computer parts, and other remnants of technology sprinkled with fairy dust made of pulverized CDs.

The winter months are the perfect time to view Paula Hayes’s Gazing Globes exhibition, which is made up of eighteen transparent spheres that hold the detritus of contemporary culture. The globes, says Hayes, will give the park “an arctic feeling, a winter wonderland.” Formed into beauteous objects, Hayes’ crystal balls positioned on elegant fiberglass pedestals summon the present and predict the future. Each see-through globe lit from within will house used batteries, tossed-out computer parts, castoff electronic transistor parts, vacuum tubes, shredded rubber tires and recycled plastic flotsam. To these mixed remnants of technology and culture the artist adds crystals and minerals. A shimmering fairy dust made from pulverized CDs will coat the bottom and sides of each sculpture’s interior. Hayes, who typically works with varieties of plant materials, is determined that everyday castoffs are indicative of a society’s behavior and value system and symptomatic of the current landscape.

Gazing globes are a decorative form first used in outdoor gardens in the Middle Ages. These orbs were made of hand-blown glass, and were considered to hold magical power and to foster good luck or ward off evil. Hayes conjures the mystical character of the historic object but makes the form fully contemporary as she creates work with present-day scrutiny and a nod to clairvoyance.

This exhibition is presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy

Various, Broadway Morey Boogie
September 17, 2014 to April 3, 2015
Broadway Malls, Manhattan


Broadway Morey Boogie borrows its title from Dutch painter Piet Mondrian’s 1942-43 masterpiece Broadway Boogie Woogie. The painting, which today is one of the Museum of Modern Art’s most popular artworks, once mobilized the avant-garde ideals of abstraction in the service of a brash ode to the dynamism and vitality of New York City street life. This exhibition aims to do the same by populating the backbone of Manhattan—surfing down Broadway from 166th Street to Columbus Circle—with a group exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary American artists. The first of its kind on twelve highly-varied neighborhood sites, this show spans a variety of mediums and methods employed by artists both emerging and established. The works were selected in an attempt to engage audiences at street level with accessible, thought-provoking artworks of modest to monumental scale.

Broadway Morey Boogie is curated by Marlborough Chelsea and produced in collaboration with the Broadway Mall Association and NYC Parks.

Artists included:
Matt Johnson at 166th Street (Mitchel Square); Drew Heitzler at 157th Street; Dan Colen at 137th Street (Montefiore Park); Davina Semo at 117th Street; Paul Drueke at 96th Street; Lars Fisk at 79th Street; Tony Matelli at 73rd Street (Verdi Square); Devin Troy Strother at 72nd Street; Sara Braman at 64th Street (Dante Park); and Joanna Malinowska at 59th Street (Columbus Circle).

Sara Braman’s piece at Dante Park (Broadway and 64th Street) has been temporarily removed for Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square and will return on December 5, 2014.

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