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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.



Gaston Lachaise, Long-Tailed Peacock and Short-Tailed Peacock, Photograph Courtesy of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

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)


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)


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.


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)


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)

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.

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

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


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.

Sari Carel, Borrowed Light, Photo courtesy of More Art

Sari Carel, Borrowed Light
May 8, 2015 to October 5, 2015
Sunset Park, Brooklyn


Borrowed Light is an outdoor sound installation and sculpture by artist Sari Carel in Sunset Park. The project features abstract geometric architectural forms, incorporating field recorded sounds from the park’s local fauna. A series of related community workshops and performances will accompany the project throughout the summer.

Sari Carel worked with Sunset Park’s stewards to gather data on the park’s native species and created a richly layered soundscape for the installation. The piece is played from speakers embedded in the sculpture, and park visitors are invited to engage with both sound and sculpture.

Made out of several free-standing wood elements, this grouping draws on a Modernist vocabulary, using forms that are anchored in a utilitarian past, but also depart from that. The forms echo the grid lines of the city, and create a drawing in space, conversing with the emblematic image of the Manhattan skyline visible from the highest elevated locations of Sunset Park.

Borrowed Light is part of Carel’s continued investigation into alternative relationships between sound, image and audience. More importantly, Borrowed Light will give participants an opportunity to form a personal experience with an art piece and get a palpable sense of the creative process as both a private and public practice. Throughout the duration of the project, More Art will be collaborating with local organizations and education centers to hold workshops and performances at the installation. Please for information on upcoming events.

This exhibition is presented by More Art. For more information about this exhibition and related events visit the project website.

Rebecca Hackemann, The Public Utteraton Machine, Courtesy of the artist

Rebecca Hackemann, The Public Utteraton Machine
May 2, 2015 to June 26, 2015
Pvt. Sonsire Triangle, Brooklyn


The Public Utteraton Machine is an interactive work that aims to engage the local community in a discussion about public art in New York. The piece, created in part with an antique phone speaker and ear piece, is a no-dial phone that automatically connects to a conversation prompt that asks the user about the value of public art in the city and in their specific neighborhood. Do locals want it, need it, appreciate it? What role and purpose does public art play in public spaces and neighborhoods? The Utteraton Machine revives public utterances and will help examine this hotly debated topic discussed by art, design and public administrators around the world. This solar-powered device will use an innovative paper display screen to guide the conversation and will record responses, which will remain anonymous and will ultimately be publically available online at and possibly some public libraries.


Kris Martin, Altar, Courtesy of the Friends of the High Line.

Various Artists, Panorama
April 23, 2015 to March 2016
The High Line, Manhattan


Panorama is an open-air exhibition that takes inspiration from the High Line as an urban park cutting straight through the city, creating new vistas and vantage points onto the surrounding natural and man-made landscapes. The High Line is the ideal stage for this series of sculptures and installations, all of which explore the act of seeing and understanding the spectacle of nature. The exhibition challenges historical notions of the sublime, quasi-religious experiences of “untouched” nature, and the debate on the manicured versus the ostensibly natural garden, opening up the possibility for experiencing nature in its necessarily human-impacted state. *Olafur Eliasson’s The Collectivity Project will be on view from mid-May to mid-September 2015.

Panorama will feature eleven international artists: Mariana Castillo Deball, Olafur Eliasson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ryan Gander, Kris Martin, Damián Ortega, Gabriel Sierra, Katrín Sigurðardóttir, Yutaka Sone, Kaari Upson, Andro Wekua,

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line.

Rashid Johnson, Plateaus, 2014. Steel, spray enamel, plants, ceramic, concrete, plastic, brass, burned wood, grow lamps, CB radios, shea butter, rugs, books; 228 x 180 x 180 inches. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

Rashid Johnson, Blocks
May 2015 to March 2016
The High Line, Manhattan


Inspired by a childhood steeped in African American cultural influences, Rashid Johnson creates layered artworks that engage a conversation between personal biography and the implied gravitas of larger cultural and historical narratives. Johnson works predominantly in mixed media sculptures and paintings, combining bare materials such as mirror, wood, and shea butter with loaded iconic objects including record covers, CB radios, historical books, and common domestic objects. Throughout his career, Johnson has explored the ways in which we form our sense of belonging to races and communities, investigating the relationship between familiar objects and identity.

For his High Line Commission, Johnson will build one of his minimalist three-dimensional steel black grids, which will house a variety of objects including busts painted to resemble shea butter (a material commonly used by the artist), and will act as a living greenhouse as plants on the High Line begin to intertwine with the sculpture over the year of its installation. Playing with forms taken from the Minimalist tradition – Sol LeWitt’s white open cubes come to mind – Johnson turns them into a reflection on blackness by breaking the rational structure open and embedding loaded objects within it.

Installed in an oblong island of plants growing between pathways on the High Line just south of The Standard, High Line, the sculpture will change over the course of its installation, the empty rectilinear vessel becoming a horticultural container as the seasons pass. The work reflects the artist’s ongoing interest in a line from a book by Lawrence Weiner called “Something to Put Something On,” in which the concept “table” is explained as “something to put something on.” This semiotic explication resonates with Johnson, who pushes its implications toward thinking about the ways in which lives, cultures, and historical arcs are a mere practice of putting some things on top other things that are imagined to be taken as given, such as the exemplary case of the table.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the High Line.

Teresita Fernández, Fata Morgana, Photograph by Daniel Avila, NYC Parks

Teresita Fernandez, Fata Morgana
June 1, 2015 to Winter 2015/16
Madison Square Park, Manhattan


Fata Morgana by New York-based artist Teresita Fernández, consists of 500 running feet of golden, mirror-polished discs that create canopies above the pathways around the Park’s central Oval Lawn.

In nature, a Fata Morgana is a horizontal mirage that forms across the horizon line. Alluding to this phenomenon, Fernandez’s project introduces a shimmering horizontal element to the Park that engages visitors in a dynamic experience. The installation is a mirror-polished, golden metal sculpture that hovers above the Park’s winding walkways to define a luminous experiential passage for Park visitors. The metal forms, perforated with intricate patterns reminiscent of foliage, creates abstract flickering effects as sunlight filters through the canopy, casting a golden glow across the expanse of the work, paths, and passersby. The project is Mad. Sq. Art’s first to fully utilize the upper register of a visitor’s space.

Fata Morgana is a site-specific work designed for, and inspired by, Madison Square Park,” said Ms. Fernández. “My concept was to invert the traditional notion of outdoor sculpture by addressing all of the active walkways of the Park rather than setting down a sculptural element in the Park’s center. By hovering over the Park in a horizontal band, Fata Morgana becomes a ghost-like, sculptural, luminous mirage that both distorts the landscape and radiates golden light.”

This exhibition is presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

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