Art in the Parks

Through collaborations with a diverse group of arts organizations and artists, Parks bringsto the public both experimental and traditional art in many park locations. Please browse ourlist of current exhibits below, explore our archives of past exhibits or readmore about the Art in the Parks Program.

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Current Exhibits

Citywide

Photo credit: Courtesy of Photoville

Various Artists, Photoville NYC 2020
September 17, 2020 to March 30, 2021
Various Locations

Description:
Now in its ninth year, Photoville NYC2020 expands the beloved festival, for the first time ever, to all five boroughs, offering increased access to art and storytelling as so many facets of society remain on pause, and as New York’s open public spaces provide vital, safe ways of being out in the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With Photoville’s focus on the power of visual storytelling, many exhibitions respond to and candidly capture realities both intimate and global from this historic, harrowing year.

In addition to the public displays, Photoville has also put together an abundant calendar of virtual events surrounding the festival, including artist talks, workshops, demonstrations, educational programs, storytelling events, and community programming.

Locations: Exhibitions in parks can be found in Soundview Park and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx; Anchorage Plaza in Brooklyn; Chelsea Park, Jackie Robinson Park, and St. Nicholas Park in Manhattan; Astoria Park and Travers Park in Queens; and South Beach Promenade in Staten Island. For more more locations, please visit photoville.nyc.

This exhibition is presented by Photoville.

Bronx

Image courtesy of Publicolor

Publicolor, Fractured Spectrum
November 9, 2020 to November 8, 2021
Franz Sigel Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This mural’s abstract design captures motion with colors that convey an abundance of energy and brings life to this exterior retaining wall along Walton Avenue. Residents in the community and park visitors will develop a joy and appreciation of color, and how it affects our moods and behavior. This mural was painted by Publicolor, a youth development program that fights poverty by aggressively addressing the alarming dropout rate and low levels of educational attainment and youth employment in New York City. The program engages high-risk, low-income students, ages 12-24, in a multi-year continuum of design-based programs to encourage academic achievement, college preparation, job readiness, and community service.

Photo: Fitzhugh Karol, Field’s Jax Thicket, Courtesy of the artist.

Fitzhugh Karol, Field’s Jax Thicket
September 2, 2020 to September 1, 2021
Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Field’s Jax Thicket, by Brooklyn-based sculptor Fitzhugh Karol, consists of four works created using steel recycled from a previous single large sculpture, now re-conceived as smaller and more interactive sculptures. Previously exhibited at four locations around the DUMBO neighborhood in Brooklyn, the sculptures are reunited in a playful arrangement on the lawn of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in Pelham Bay Park. For the Field’s Jax series, Karol worked with nine parts from his monumental sculpture Eyes, which was on view in Staten Island’s Tappen Park in 2017.

Brooklyn

Photo credit: courtesy of the artist

Rocko Rupert, TimberWolf
October 31, 2020 to October 25, 2021
Maria Hernandez Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

TimberWolf takes utilitarian materials like reclaimed lumber to beautify this corner of the park and serves as a metaphor for how everyday materials can be repurposed. It plays into the importance of resourcefulness, breathing use back into what is considered to be “used-up.” The artwork takes the form of a dog’s head, a nod to the popular nearby dog park. At the end of the public art installation period, TimberWolf will be donated to another public space to be enjoyed. The possibility to be reused or repurposed with additional functionalities gives this living installation another life.

Image credit: Photo by David Andrako

Brooklyn Hi-Art! Machine (Mildred Beltre and Oasa DuVerney), Inspired By “What Is Left”
October 3, 2020 to May 2, 2021
Prospect Park Bandshell
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
This installation comes from the 1993 Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) poem, “won’t you celebrate with me.” Clifton's words offer a reminder of the daily struggle for survival that Black women endure and of the work for racial equality that still remains to be done. Through the word "celebrate," the quote provides a more nuanced understanding of the ongoing struggle for equality and connects to the artwork’s call for both joy and work, anger and love. Known as a host for many joyous and powerful celebrations, this installation continues Prospect Park and the Bandshell’s history as a gathering space and platform where Brooklyn can unite under a common cause. This has come even more to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, where it has served as the backdrop for moments of protest and joy, celebration and memorialization, making it the perfect location for this installation.   

This exhibition is presented by BRIC and Prospect Park Alliance.

Manhattan

Image credit: Sam Moyer, “Doors for Doris,” 2020, Bluestone, poured concrete, assorted marble, and steel, Presented by Public Art Fund at Doris C. Freedman Plaza, September 16, 2020-September 12, 2021, Courtesy Sam Moyer Studio and Sean Kelly, New York, Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy Public Art Fund, NY

Sam Moyer, Doors for Doris
September 16, 2020 to September 12, 2021
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
To mark the threshold between Central Park’s boulder-filled terrain and Midtown Manhattan’s built environment, Sam Moyer has created a massive three-part sculpture, with a title that pays homage to Public Art Fund founder, Doris C. Freedman (1928-1981). Moyer’s hybrid sculpture unites imported stone with rock indigenous to the New York region. The artist inlaid marble fragments into three double-sided vertical concrete slabs and framed them with contrasting rough-hewn bluestone monoliths. Each stone in Moyer’s mosaic compositions takes on an even more striking hue against the others and the locally-quarried rock, an apt metaphor that encourages us to consider the diverse character of our city and our interconnected lives within it. Their final arrangement demonstrates her impressive skill in composing sculptural forms, with its “doors” pivoted ajar to evoke the dynamism of the bustling city. 

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Photo credit: courtesy of the artist

Noa Bornstein, Peace Gorilla
November 30, 2020 to August 15, 2021
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Cast in bronze in 2020, this sculpture was originally created by Brooklyn-based artist Noa Bornstein ten years ago out of sisal fiber and burlap in structolite and plaster over an armature of wire mesh and plumbing sections. The sculpture is mounted on a low concrete base inscribed with the word for ‘friend’ in 90 languages—beginning with the six official languages of the UN--all learned or verified with speakers of the languages over the last year. For additional/interactive content please visit peacegorilla.noabornstein.com.

Image credit: Photo by Aliyah Blackmore, courtesy of Harlem Needle Arts

Alex Reynoso, I AM FREE
July 6, 2020 to June 24, 2021
Col. Young Playground, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

What does it mean to create space for reflection and visioning? What does it mean to know your past, present and future? What does it mean to know that you are more than enslaved people? Harlem Needle Arts is pleased to present We the People | Disrupting Silence, a public art installation that pays tribute to the ingenuity, creativity and sacrifices of Africans of the Diaspora, who suffered the atrocity of enslavement, marginalization and disenfranchisement. This installation by Alex Reynoso joins Nacinimod Deodee’s A Long Walk to Freedom and Reflection on the opposite side of the park.

This project is presented by Harlem Needle Arts.

Photo by Tina Sokolovskaya

Gillie and Marc, King Nyani
August 25, 2020 to May 24, 2021
Bella Abzug Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
In collaboration with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, artists Gillie and Marc Schattner have brought another version of King Kong’s story to the streets of New York, this time with love. Gorillas are one of our closest relatives sharing 98% of our DNA. They share many of the same behaviors as humans such as laughter and sadness. But there may be only 1000 mountain gorilla left in the wild and fewer than 3800 eastern lowland gorilla. On a trip to Uganda, the artists were able to see a family of mountain gorillas in the wild and were moved to tears at the loving family unit. Their sculpture is based on the head of the family, a dominant silverback gorilla. King Nyani, Swahili for gorilla, is the largest bronze gorilla statue in the world and gives an interactive experience unlike any other. With his hand large enough to fit 2-3 people, the public can get up close and personal with this gentle giant and fall in love with him.

Photo credit: Courtesy of NYC Parks

Luciano Garbati, Medusa With The Head of Perseus
October 13, 2020 to April 18, 2021
Collect Pond Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Medusa With The Head of Perseus is a seven-foot bronze sculpture that inverts the narrative of Medusa, portraying her in a moment of somberly empowered self-defense. In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Medusa was a maiden in the temple of Athena, who was stalked and raped by Poseidon. Athena, in a rage, banishes and curses Medusa with a monstrous head of snakes and a gaze which turns men to stone. Medusa is herself blamed and punished for the crime of which she was the victim; she is cast away as a monster and then with the cruel assistance of Athena and Poseidon, eventually is hunted-down and beheaded by the epic hero Perseus, who displays her head as a trophy on his shield. Garbati’s sculpture speaks directly to the 16th Century Florentine bronze masterpiece Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini (1545-1554). Through this work, Garbati asks “how can a triumph be possible if you are defeating a victim?”

This exhibition is presented by MWTH Project.

Image courtesy of the artist

Manuel Ferreiro Badia, Compostela Fractal Study of a Shell
February 3, 2020 to February 2, 2021
Finn Square, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
The sculpture Compostela Fractal Study of a Shell is based on origami studies and is composed of broken steel planes that cause the sculpture to change or live with sunlight. It reflects in an abstract way the fractal system of matter, looking for a simplicity that reflects the interior of every being. It is a work inspired in the study of the nature, in particular of a shell: the volume is reduced to its fractal structure, to its geometry.

Abigail DeVille, Light of Freedom
October 27, 2020 to January 31, 2021
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Abigail DeVille’s Light of Freedom reflects the despair and the exultation of a turbulent period of pandemic and protest. DeVille has filled a torch with a timeworn bell, a herald of freedom, and with the arms of mannequins, beseeching viewers. The scaffold, which prevents access physically and metaphorically, recalls a work site, an insistent image on the urban landscape. But the scaffold is golden, summoning the glory of labor and the luminosity in the struggle that can lead to change.   The torch refers to the light of democracy and its foundation in ancient systems of government by citizens. In this project, DeVille conjoins significant crossroads in African-American history in New York to create a sculpture that is inspiring and introspective. She recognizes and hallows the earliest enslaved Africans who were brought to New Amsterdam, critiques the unfulfilled promise of American liberty and justice for all, and summons the current Black Lives Matter movement as a source for the work.

This exhibition is presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Image Credit: Photo by Johnathan Kuhn, courtesy of NYC Parks

Various Artists, To Each Their Own
October 31, 2020 to January 8, 2021
Clement Clarke Moore Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This exhibition captures how students are coping with the pandemic. In their own unique, visual voices, they have incorporated many things: still images, poetry, words, drawing, and whatever else they needed to communicate their ideas. In reaction to the murder of George Floyd and the swell of protests all over the world, they are also speaking loudly about race in this country.

Image Credit: Photo by Robert Katz, courtesy of the Morris-Jumel Mansion

Andrea Arroyo, CoVIDA- Homage to Victims of the Pandemic
November 2, 2020 to December 31, 2020
Roger Morris Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This is an artistic tribute to the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, honoring the lives of people from the local community and around the world who have died of COVID-19. The piece is inspired by a range of traditional memorials from around the world, including Day of the Dead altars and New York City street memorials. The title combines the word “COVID” with Vida, meaning “life” in Spanish.

<p>Photo credit: Courtesy of NYC Parks</p>

Various Artists, Hear Me
December 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020
NYC AIDS Memorial at St. Vincentâ??s Triangle, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This original sound-based installation in recognition of World AIDS Day will be broadcast from within the New York City AIDS Memorial nightly at 7 p.m. through December, accompanied by a distinctive lighting installation. The hour-long soundtrack composed of historical texts, poetry, speeches, music, and more that capture the history of the epidemic is preceded each day, beginning at 10 a.m., by a recording featuring the names of over 2,000 New Yorkers lost to AIDS. The names are read by What Would an HIV Doula Do?, a group of activists, caregivers, friends, long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS, and people living with HIV today.

Hear Me is the third exhibition under the NYC AIDS Memorial Arts and Education Initiative. This initiative supports interactive, experiential, digital, and site-specific educational and arts programming and furthers the Memorial’s aim throughout the world.

This exhibition is presented by the NYC AIDS Memorial.

Images courtesy of Harlem Needle Arts

Nacinimod Deodee, A Long Walk to Freedom and Reflection
December 7, 2019 to December 6, 2020
Colonel Charles Young Triangle, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Nacinimod Deodee has created a colorful three-part public art exhibition in this small triangular park, with the aim to activate the park during the cold winter months and compliment the arrival of warmer weather in the spring. A Long Walk to Freedom is a fence installation measuring 100 feet in length and runs along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. The horizontal, abstract composition is bookended by the numbers 1619 which refers to the year when American slavery began, and an infinity symbol. The artist has also created colorful yarn installations for the park’s lampposts and benches to make the space more inviting. This installation is part of Harlem Needle Arts’ larger We the People | Disrupting Silence textile series and public art initiative honoring African Diasporic peoples past and present.

This project is presented by Harlem Needle Arts.

Queens

Photo credit: Courtesy of the artists

Jeannine Han and Dan Riley,, Another way it could go
October 20, 2020 to October 15, 2021
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This work pays homage to the incredible universe of possibilities present at every moment. The reality we find ourselves in is just a glimpse or sliver of an epic landscape of decisions that constantly eludes us. This work illustrates a bit of this conundrum by constructing a living model from a computer simulation in which multiple dimensions of decisions have been overlaid. It is dedicated to the infinite histories taken and untaken that have led everywhere and nowhere. The embedded hand-laid mosaic refers directly to the location of the sculpture in Corona, Queens and illustrates a hand placing a cube and “sprinkling some sauce all over,” as a local resident described.

This exhibition is made possible by the Art in the Parks: Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park Grant, which supports the creation of site-specific public artworks by Queens-based artists for two sites within Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Image Credit: Photo by Jorge Marrón, courtesy of The Rockaway Hotel

Shantell Martin, Big Yard Mural
October 11, 2020 to October 10, 2021
Seaside Playground, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The artist is best known for her dynamic, category-defying, larger-than-life drawings. Her work explores identity as a critical pathway to self-expression and often asks, who are you? Martin uses her signature lines, iconic shapes, and primarily monochromatic black and white imagery to reflect the vibrancy of Rockaway’s community and urban beach landscape. The transformed 16,000 square foot outdoor recreational space is now a 360-degree activation where text and images appear out of her fluid and interconnected lines.

This project was made possible by Friends of Seaside Playground (FOSP), in collaboration with 7G Group, and The Rockway Hotel.

Image Credit: Daniel Avila / NYC Parks

Gaston Lachaise, Floating Woman (Floating Figure)
September 24, 2020 to September 23, 2021
Hunter's Point South Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The work is one of Lachaise’s best-known, monumental works dating from the late twenties. The buoyant, expansive figure represents a timeless earth goddess, one Lachaise knew and sought to capture throughout his career. This vision was inspired by his wife, who was his muse and model, Isabel, that “majestic woman” who walked by him once by the Bank of the Seine. This work is a tribute to the power of all women, to ‘Woman,’ as the artist referred to his wife, with a capital W.

Gaston Lachaise devoted himself to the human form, producing a succession of powerfully conceived nude figures in stone and bronze that reinvigorated the sculptural traditions of Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol.

This exhibition is presented by Hunters Point Parks Conservancy and the Lachaise Foundation.

Image Credit: Photo by Reiko Yanagi, courtesy of the artist

Jack Howard-Potter, Torso II, Swinging II, Messenger of the Gods (medium)
September 13, 2020 to September 12, 2021
Court Square Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Long Island City based sculptor, Jack Howard-Potter, makes large, often kinetic, figurative steel sculptures that can  be seen in city governments, sculpture parks and public art shows around the country.  The outdoor public arena is the perfect setting for the academic roots to be easily recognizable and accessible, bridging the gap between the fine art institution and the public. It all comes together in an effort to brighten the landscape and shift someone's gaze to break the daily routine with something beautiful.  

Image credit: courtesy of the artist

Laura Lappi, 7 x 7 (HOPE)
September 12, 2020 to September 5, 2021
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Finnish-born, Queens-based artist Laura Lappi’s 7 x 7 (Hope) explores issues of space in New York City and the cost of living and housing, and how that impacts many communities. With this sculpture, Lappi draws attention especially to immigrant communities and their living conditions in Queens. While Queens is the New York City’s most culturally diverse borough welcoming immigrants from different backgrounds, its housing affordability is often out of a reach for many people.  The sculpture consists of a black wooden house structure that measures seven feet long, five feet wide and seven feet high, referring to the size of the average illegal basement room. Each wall has an embedded letter, creating a word H-O-P-E. Inside the structure a light is making the sculpture visible and glowing during the night.

This exhibition is made possible by the Art in the Parks: Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park Grant, which supports the creation of site-specific public artworks by Queens-based artists for two sites within Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Image credit: photo by Angus Mordant, courtesy of the artist

Kris Perry, Mother Earth
August 12, 2020 to August 11, 2021
Beach 98 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:
Mother Earth draws on an array of architectural elements,  from temples, mosques, and churches to the open columned spaces of Classical Greek buildings. The spire directs the viewer’s gaze skyward while its reflected shape points back down towards the Earth. Visitors are encouraged to occupy the sculpture’s central space where one can look outward upon the landscape in a moment of introspection. The 35-foot-tall sculpture is made of Corten steel, a material that will evolve with the seasons and site.

Image credit: Photo by Ne

Nancy Baker Cahill, Liberty Bell
July 4, 2020 to July 3, 2021
Beach 108 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk and the Rockaway Ferry Landing, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Liberty Bell is an animated, monumental, and richly sonorous augmented reality (AR) drawing in 360 degrees. The public artwork will be geolocated at a series of sites and experienced on smartphones and tablets through Baker Cahill’s free 4th Wall app. This project, which is two years in the making, lives at the vibrant intersection of public art, social consciousness, and tech. It is being presented simultaneously in six cities in the United States: Boston, MA, Charleston, SC, Philadelphia, PA, Rockaway, NY, Selma, AL, and Washington, DC.

In this polarized and tumultuous election year, many concerns persist around the founding principles of American freedom and democracy. Inequality, structural racism, injustice, and the ability to vote are chief among them. Inspired by the original cracked Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, the drawing hovers beyond viewers, swaying with the rich and layered sound of bells tolling. The Liberty Bell soundscape morphs from the rhythmic lulling of a tolling bell, into a harmonious and dissonant sequence of ringing as it becomes increasingly unpredictable and arrhythmic. The richly textured brushstrokes and bell sounds resemble loosely knitted threads that unravel and come together in an uncomfortable, but cohesive moment. They reflect the evolution and transformation of liberty over time into the complex reality we face today. This exhibition is presented by Art Production Fund, in partnership with 7G Foundation and the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy, a project of the Fund for the City of New York.

Image: Jeffrey Gibson; ‘Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House’ 2020; Image by Scott Lynch

Various Artists, MONUMENTS NOW
July 10, 2020 to March 31, 2021
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

In this turbulent moment when we find ourselves reevaluating American identity and values, the MONUMENTS NOW exhibition seeks to address the role of monuments in society and commemorate underrepresented narratives such as diasporic, Indigenous, and queer histories.

The exhibit evolves over three cumulative parts. Part I opens summer 2020 with major new commissions for contemporary monuments by acclaimed artists Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, and Xaviera Simmons. Then Part II and Part III of the exhibition open together on October 10, 2020. Part II encompasses ten monument sculptures by the Park’s 2020 Artist Fellows and Part III features a multi-faceted monument project collectively realized by high school students. The park’s Broadway Billboard will also feature a monuments-related artwork by artist Nona Faustine. Furthermore, in acknowledgment of how monuments are shaped by society as well as by artists, the public is invited to share their reactions on-site and online over the course of the exhibition. All three parts of the exhibition remain on view through March 2021. This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

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