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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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Current Exhibits

Citywide

LEAP,A View from the Lunch Table: Students Bringing Issues to the Table
June 3, 2016 to September 13, 2016
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 LEAPâ??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 included visits with distinguished artists Sebastian Blanck, Christo, Daze, Bradley Hart, Mel Kendrick, Stephen Powers, Orlando Richards, Lorna Simpson, Federico Solmi, and Chat Travieso. Since 1977, LeAp (Learning through an Expanded Art Program) has provided artsâ??based education to over two million students K-12 throughout New York City.

Artworks can be found through September in Seward Park and Riverside Park in Manhattan, Tremont Park and Crotona Park in the Bronx, Washington Park and Fermi Playground in Brooklyn, Evergreen Park and Forest Park (Dry Harbor Playground) in Queens, and Clove Lakes Park and Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

This exhibition is presented by LEAP.

Bronx

Chat Travieso,Boogie Down Booth
May 17, 2016 to May 17, 2017
O'Neill Triangle, Bronx
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This colorful new public installation brings music, solar–powered lights, seating, and community art to an underutilized space in Morrisania. This is the third Boogie Down Booth, designed by artist Chat Travieso. The first booth was installed at Southern Boulevard and Freeman Street, under the 2/5 line, in 2014, and the second was installed in Seabury Park in 2015 and will remain on view through June 24, 2016.

This booth Boogie Down Booth has solar–powered speakers that stream music that originated in the Bronx, including salsa, jazz, Afro–Caribbean, hip–hop, Garifuna, and blues. The playlist, curated by the Bronx Music Heritage Center, both celebrates the rich musical heritage of the borough and masks construction and vehicular traffic noise on the 161st Street corridor. The installation also provides much–needed picnic–style seating and solar–powered lighting to the park, which is located close to a bus stop, Boricua College, and 1,000+ units of housing. The booth also incorporates interactive elements like a community bulletin board and artwork by local artists and students. Community partners including DreamYard, BronxWorks, and Boricua College, who will collaborate on various activities at the booth throughout the year.

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

Brooklyn

Carole Eisner,Monumental Sculptures at Prospect Park
May 2016 to May 2017
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

For more than 45 years Eisner has been welding massive abstract sculptures from scrap and recycled metal. The four works that will be on view in Prospect Park are from a series Eisner created in the past 10 years from I–beams, rolled and twisted to create lyrical, elegant forms. This yearlong exhibition utilizes four key sites throughout the Park, chosen to maximize visitor access. The grassy triangle entrance facing Grand Army Plaza is home to Dancer, a 17–foot tall sculpture which spirals and soars upwards. Zerques, one of the smaller sculptures standing six and half feet tall will be placed on the lawn in front of the historic Litchfield Villa on 5th Street. Skipper, rising 13 feet and also constructed with curved I–beams, will greet visitors entering the Park from Bartel–Pritchard Square. Valentine II, named for its elegant heart shaped form, will be placed on the Peninsula in front of the Lake.

This exhibition is presented by Susan Eley Fine Art and the Prospect Park Alliance.

Ruth Hofheimer, Lenape Variations, Photo by the artist

Ruth Hofheimer,Lenape Variations
November 15, 2015 to November 15, 2016
Washington Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Ruth Hofheimer’s design contains imagery of the Lenape tribe that once inhabited the Brooklyn area, as well as native plant life and abstract forms. These elements are rendered in a flat style to evoke Native American art and pattern which was typically flat and symbolic.

This project is presented by Arts Gowanus  and the Old Stone House & Washington Park

Martin Creed,Understanding
May 4, 2016 to October 23, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Times Square marquees, roadside signs, and advertising logos are the stock–in–trade for giant neon signs. Martin Creed has adapted the medium for his own colossal sign, proclaiming a word rather than selling a product. His chosen word, “understanding,” is fundamental to communication between people. Spelled out in ten–foot–tall letters mounted on a 50–foot–long steel I–beam, Understanding rotates 360 degrees, constantly shifting perspective on the work. The beam spins at varying speeds, the rhythm determined by a computerized program designed by the artist. 

A prolific interdisciplinary artist and musician, Martin Creed has become one of Britain’s best known artists for his playful, poetic, and sometimes provocative work. Simple and direct, Understanding invites us to make our own interpretations. Creed has designed the base of his sculpture as a social space, a stepped platform on which visitors may gather to enjoy the view – and perhaps debate the limits and possibilities of human understanding.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund and Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Juanli Carrion,OSS#02 Brooklyn
June 2, 2016 to September 30, 2016
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

OSS#02 Brooklyn, the latest installment of an ongoing project by Spanish artist Juanli Carrión, is a temporary living sculpture and community garden located at Fort Greene Park’s entrance at Myrtle Avenue and Washington Park. This is Carrión‘s second public installation with Parks, the first of which was in Manhattan in 2014. Â The threefold public art installation, community garden, and educational center for community discussion derives from a series of videotaped, at-home interviews conducted by Carrión with immigrants living in Brooklyn. The interviewees are asked about their personal experiences with cultural adaptation and coexistence since arriving in New York. At the end of the discussion, each interviewee selects a plant that exists in both their country of origin and the United States to be planted in the garden.

This 230-square-foot garden is in the shape of Brooklyn and features 36 different plants chosen by immigrants living in the borough. Placed according to the interviewees’ physical locations within Brooklyn, the plants represent the immigrants, their communities, and the diversity of the borough. All these plants will coexist side-by-side in this impossible garden. The survival of the garden is dependent on its free public programs that include weekly hands-on gardening workshops organized in partnership with local organizations and institutions.

This project is presented by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), Fort Greene Park Conservancy, and Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

Photo credit: Etienne Frossard

Deborah Kass,OY/YO
November 11, 2015 to August, 2016
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Walking the line between respectful homage and brazen appropriation, Brooklyn-based artist Deborah Kass mimics and reworks the signature styles of iconic 20th century male artists —including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Indiana – often with a feminist twist. OY/YO is sourced from urban and Brooklyn slang, the statement “I am” in Spanish, and the popular Yiddish expression, as a riff on Ruscha’s iconic word paintings.

OY/YO has been a significant and reoccurring motif in Kass’ work since its first appearance in 2011, taking form in paintings, prints, and tabletop sculptures. Set alongside the iconic bridges of Brooklyn’s waterfront and visible to viewers from Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Main Street lawn is an apt location for a monumental installation of OY/YO. Similar to the City of New York’s “Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!” sign at the Williamsburg Bridge and the “Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit” sign on the BQE, OY/YO references Brooklyn’s ethnic communities with whimsy and warmth.

Commissioned by Two Trees and presented in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park, the work will be on view through August 2016 and is presented on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition No Kidding opening at Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea December 9, 2015. For more information about this artwork, please visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s website.

Michael Clyde Johnson, Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground), photograph by Patryce Bak

Michael Clyde Johnson,Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground)
August 31, 2015 to August 30, 2016
Ennis Playground, Brooklyn
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

As a parklet within a park, the goal of Untitled Benches, Patios, Planters in Arrangement (Parklet for Ennis Playground) is to provide additional public amenities to Ennis Playground, and by extension to the wider Gowanus neighborhood. These amenities are multi-faceted: the project includes three modular components – patios, benches, and planters – which, when combined, serve to create additional distinct lounge and play areas within the park. By extending the idea of a parklet – generally conceived as an extension of sidewalk space into the street to provide additional seating and green space – to encompass the extension of these same functions within an existing public space, Parklet for Ennis Playground serves to augment existing facilities.

This project was made possible with funding from Councilmember Brad Lander, in partnership with Arts Gowanus and the Old Stone House & Washington Park

Manhattan

Kenny Scharf,TotemOh
June 22, 2016 to June 21, 2017
116th street
East River Esplanade, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This vibrant mural by internationally renowned artist Kenny Scharf is installed along the waterfront at 116th Street on the East River Esplanade in Harlem. Painted on an idle brick column, the totem of colorful faces is designed in Scharf’s recognizable cartoon-inspired style. A banner spanning over 50 feet, NEVERENDINGOGO, is installed adjacent to the column and will be on view through September 30, 2016. This public artwork corresponds with an exhibition of the artist’s work at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, NY.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the East River Esplanade (60th-120th Streets).

Markus Rudolph Holtby, Leaves of Grass

Art Students League,Model to Monument (M2M)
June 16, 2016 to May 16, 2017
Riverside Park South, Manhattan
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 of seven sculptures on view along Riverside Park South from 59th to 69th Streets. This is the sixth year at Riverside Park for the M2M program, which has installed nearly 50 monumental works in NYC parks since 2011.

The sculptures were created by an international team of selected League students during a nine-month program. The pieces for this exhibition explore Art in the Public Square. The artists are: The sculptors participating in the M2M program this year are Aaron Bell (Stand Tall, Stand Loud), Sheila Berger (AVIS GLORIAE ET LAVDIS MMXVI and Nature Eternal), James Emerson (Bridge), Tanda Francis (Everyone Breaks), Markus Rudolph Holtby (Leaves of Grass), Shiho Sato (Fragments) and Sarah Thompson Moore (Everything Between). The collaborative sculpture in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx for 2016 is entitled …And We Breathe.

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

Lionel Smit Studio, Courtesy of CYNTHIA-REEVES

Lionel Smit,MORPHOUS
June 13, 2016 to April 30, 2017
Union Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

MORPHOUS is an exploration of hybrid identity and its ever-changing nature within South Africa’s social landscape. This bronze sculpture, featuring the conjoined heads of two outward-gazing young women, evokes the question of time, of past and future, and a societal commentary without judgment. The “double-vision” portrayed in this work is simultaneously a foretelling of things to come and an acknowledgement of what has already passed. The figures are charged with an emotive and gestural energy, a hallmark of Smit’s evocative work. The spontaneous gestures in his three dimensional figural forms animate the beauty and grace of the faces he sees in the neighborhoods around his studio. The scale of his work invokes both a sense of celebration and power.

This is the South African artist’s first public art installation in the United States, and will be complemented by an exhibition of his work at CYNTHIA-REEVES’ gallery in North Adams, MA in July and August 2016. This exhibition is presented by CYNTHIA-REEVES, Union Square Partnership, and Art New York/Art Miami.

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Blind Idealism Is...), 2016

Barbara Kruger,Untitled (Blind Idealism Is...)
March 21,2016 to March 2017
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Barbara Kruger is an American artist who works with pictures and words. Kruger uses the fluency she developed as a graphic designer for publications such Mademoiselle, House & Garden, and Aperture, to inform her work as an artist, insistently addressing the issues of power, property, money, race, and sexuality. Over the past three decades her work has ranged from the photographic merging of image and text, to immersive video installations, to room-wrapping textual exhibitions, to large-scale outdoor displays of words and images. Two of her best-known works – Your body is a battleground and I shop therefore I am – also showcase the feminist overtones of her artworks, and her concentration on women as a lucrative site for advertising and consumerism.

For the High Line, Kruger presents Untitled (Blind Idealism Is…), a new work realized as a hand-painted mural. Continuing her unabashed criticism of culture and power, the mural features the slogan “BLIND IDEALISM IS REACTIONARY SCARY DEADLY,” an adaptation of a quote from Afro-Caribbean philosopher and revolutionary thinker Frantz Fanon, which has appeared in multiple works by the artist. The original statement by Fanon, “Blind idealism is reactionary,” suggests that political and religious convictions stem from the situations from which they grow, not from the inherent nature of individual human beings. According to Kruger, the work reflects “how we are to one another” within “the days and nights that construct us.” These texts, along with Kruger’s own writings, resonate with particular potency in today’s political climate.

Dee Briggs, 6 Plates, 5' x 10' x .5

Dee Briggs,Dee Briggs in Foley Square
April 11, 2016 to March 31, 2017
Thomas Paine Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Dee Briggs’ three new sculptures for Dee Briggs in Foley Square directly address her fascination with geometry and the particular operation of symmetry called chirality or three-dimensional handedness. Chirality is defined by a three dimensional entity that has no internal plane of symmetry along the x, y or z-axis.

Briggs states that her work “grows out of mathematics and architecture – geometry, symmetry and rhythm – line, plane and volume – visual perception and spatial understanding. They are three-dimensional patterns that are at once familiar and foreign. Heavy forms that imply weightlessness creating a tempting and engaging spatial experience.”

Nari Ward,Smart Tree
April 2016 to March 2017
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Inspired by a building adjacent to the High Line that had been transformed into an indoor parking lot, Nari Ward reconfigures a memory from his childhood for his High Line Commission, Smart Tree. Returning to his father’s home in Jamaica after fifteen years away, Ward remembers finding one of two abandoned cars in the front yard sprouting a lime tree. He reimagines this fantastical story for the High Line in the form of a Smart car refinished with strips of tire treads and propped up on cinder blocks. In place of a lime tree, Smart Tree will feature an apple tree growing out of its roof, adapted out of necessity for its North American context. With the car’s cinderblock base representing stasis, and its coating of tire treads suggesting perpetual movement, Ward’s Smart Tree holds up a mirror to the flux surrounding the High Line itself and reminds viewers of the High Line’s history as a major transportation artery in Manhattan.

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

Kathryn Andrews,Sunbathers I & II
May 2016 to March 2017
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

For the High Line, Kathryn Andrews presents her first public art commission, responding to two contrasting aspects of the elevated park: its relationship to nearby billboards and to the natural landscape. Andrews describes the High Line’s environment as a “hyper-surreal image world,” composed of large-scale advertisements and commercial signs that surround park visitors as they stroll high above the bustling cityscape. Andrews notes, by contrast, that the High Line’s physical design offers visitors a chance to develop awareness of the body in relation to extreme natural weather conditions including intense winds, rain, snow, and sun.

Andrews’s first sculpture, Sunbathers I, is a towering box-like structure, silkscreened with a black-and-white stock image of a public beach sign that announces, “Beyond This Point You May Encounter Nude Sunbathers.” Installed at West 18th Street, the sculpture houses misting nozzles that spray water intermittently at passers-by. Placing this work on the High Line, where nudity is not allowed draws attention to the more risqué social mores displayed on nearby billboards. The second sculpture, Sunbathers II, installed under The Standard, High Line, is a large, horizontal aluminum box containing a giant fan and featuring a photograph of an ice cream cone. The fan’s movement is juxtaposed with the adjacent static image, mirroring the park itself.

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

Various Artist,Wanderlust
April 21, 2016 to March 2017
The High Line, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Wanderlust is a group exhibition that explores the themes of walking, journeys, and pilgrimages. Inspired by the High Line as an ambulatory space experienced most naturally in motion, Wanderlust extends the tradition of Conceptual art wherein the act of walking served as an inspiration for many artists who explored life both in the urban context and in an ambivalent confrontation with nature.

On the High Line, itself an urban promenade that combines nature and architecture, the act of walking is both celebrated and taken for granted. Wanderlust invites viewers to remember the many implications of the journeys and walks they take every day, placing them within a secular tradition that expands beyond art into both everyday life and our shared cultural histories.

Wanderlust will feature eleven international artists: Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Valentin Carron, Iman Issa, Matt Johnson, Marie Lorenz, Tony Matelli, Paulo Nazareth, Mike Neslon, Roman Ondak, Susan Philipsz, and Rayyane Tabet.

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

Martin Puryear,Big Bling
May 16, 2016 to January 8, 2017
Madison Square Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This temporary outdoor work, the thirty–third public art exhibition mounted by Mad. Sq. Art, the free contemporary art program of Madison Square Park Conservancy, is a multi–tier wood structure wrapped in fine chain–link fence. A gold–leafed shackle is anchored near the top of the structure. At forty feet high, Big Bling achieves colossal scale and elicits a range of readings, stimulating diverse and profound interpretations of its meaning.

The largest temporary outdoor sculpture Puryear has created, Big Bling is part animal form, part abstract sculpture, and part intellectual meditation. The artist’s signature organic vocabulary appears in a graceful, sinewy outline and an amoeboid form in the work’s center. Big Bling’s architectural language suggests a building that is accessible by ascension through its levels. Its stories are obstructed by chain–link fence, a barrier to entry, which covers all visible surfaces of the sculpture. In contrast to the coarse materials employed throughout most of the work, the gold shackle is a shimmering beacon that simultaneously adorns and restrains.

This exhibition is presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Henry Kielmanowicz, The Space Between Us, photo courtesy of the artist

Henry Kielmanowicz,The Space Between Us
December 2015 to December 1, 2016
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Henry Kielmanowicz creates sculptures from manmade objects that enter the waste cycle, specifically glass bottles. The bottles are transformed in a labor-intensive process by breaking, crushing and separating the glass into multiple sizes creating a new raw material. Not only is Kielmanowicz reusing waste from society, he also incorporates waste produced in his own studio.

The Space Between Us, a sculpture of a moon that has been created with repurposed bottles and resin, lights the park at night.

This exhibition is presented by First Street Green.

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Denise Treizman,Spartan Follies, FLOW.16
May 2016 to November 2016
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Inspired by the concept of a fitness “boot camp” and by Randall’s Island Park’s history and role as a site for sports, Denise Treizman’s Spartan Follies lures visitors into physical and recreational interaction. Her work offers an ironically un–“Spartan” invitation through flashy forms, playful materials, and saturated colors; more than the idealized promise of a gym or a workout, her “follies” evoke a children’s playground, calling viewers to explore, play and be creative with these non–precious, interactive works of art. The works stand as objects for both contemplation and active use, shifting from object to tool, depending on public interaction, and thus invite visitors to explore the intersection between objectification and functionality. This shifting – and the playful reuse of leftover, inexpensive and readymade materials –also reflects the continued adaptation, transformation and reinvention of Randall’s Island, in its different historical roles within New York City.

FLOW.16 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance and The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Tracie Hervy,Untitled, FLOW.16
May 2016 to November 2016
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Tracie Hervy’s Untitled is installed on a hill along the southeast waterfront of Randall’s Island Park. In the piece, three wooden frames echo Randall’s Island’s major geographical axes – thruways connecting the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. The frames reflect not only the physical reality of the geometries of Randall’s Island, but also the role it plays in knitting together the fabric of the city. The frames help define how visitors see the world across the river. When viewers look through the frames at skyline on the other side, they are looking through Randall’s Island.

FLOW.16 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance and The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Samantha Holmes,Hell Gate Cairns, FLOW.16
May 2016 to November 2016
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Samantha Holmes’ Hell Gate Cairns are a series of stacked stone pillars, or cairns, that stand watch over the southern coastline of Randall’s Island Park. They are a monument to the human creativity and industry with which we have shaped the world around us, from land reclamation projects to the construction of buildings and cities. Through their simplicity of structure, Holmes embodies our impulse to imaginatively construct – stacking stones first in play, then as architecture. Their verticality mirror that of the city beyond. The surface of the cairns are covered in stone mosaic with flickers of glass and gold, reflecting the light of sun and water, and turning the medium of mosaic upon itself: stone celebrating stone, a symbol of the creative relationship between man and nature.

By focusing on the forms of natural stone, the piece draws attention to the boulders that line the Park’s paths and fields, remnants of the great earthmoving projects of the 20th century that cleared the city’s waterways – most notably the perilous “Hell Gate”, the narrow stretch of water between Randall’s Island and Queens responsible for hundreds of early shipwrecks. The monument’s placement at the water’s edge recalls these feats of human engineering, while further calling upon the cairns’ symbolism as both a memorial to the deceased, and an ancient sign of treacherous waters.

 

FLOW.16 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance and The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Photo courtesy of NYC Parks

Tim Clifford,Monument to a Missing Island, FLOW.16
May 2016 to November 2016
Randall's Island Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Tim Clifford’s Monument to a Missing Island commemorates the destruction of the East River island known as Flood Rock, which took place on October 10, 1885. Flood Rock was the largest impediment to shipping in the East River, slowing commercial traffic to and from Long Island Sound. The explosion that eliminated Flood Rock, overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers, was the largest man-made explosion in human history prior to the atom bomb.

The piece is sited along the southern pathway of Randall’s Island, in view of Flood Rock’s former location. The monument renders an image of the Flood Rock explosion through the displacement of nearly 9000 lengths of wood (reminiscent of the classic toy known as a “pinscreen”). Tipped on its side–so that both the bottom and top of the monument are visible–Clifford’s work literally upends the traditional monument and illustrates the force and displacement at work in man’s carving of the East River channel.

FLOW.16 is presented by Randall’s Island Parks Alliance and The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Stuart Ringholt, Signpost (2007-2015), Photograph courtesy of OSMOS Adress

Stuart Ringholt,Signpost (2007-2015)
November 10, 2015 to November 4, 2016
First Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

In conjunction with his exhibition nudes, signs, and a contract at OSMOS Address, Stuart Ringholt, Ringholt installed an accompanying large-scale sculpture entitled Signpost (2007-2015) in nearby in First Park. Using the standard materials for a street sign, the artist facilitates an unexpected encounter with the range of emotions named on arrows pointing in different directions.

This exhibition is presented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane, OSMOS Address and First Street Green.

Suprina Kenney,DNA Totem
March 28, 2016 to September 30, 2016
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

The DNA Totem is a 10’ tall spiral in the shape of a DNA helix that is embedded with detritus and discarded items donated by community residents as well as found objects from the artist. The looming structure serves as an historical reference to human evolution and the footprint humans leave behind. The DNA Totem will be on view on the southern overlook terrace near the Fifth Avenue and 120th Street entrance to Marcus Garvey Park, a historic Harlem park located at the intersection of East and Central Harlem just 10 blocks north of Museum Mile.

According to the artist, “The DNA Totem is meant to bring up for discussion the seemingly unconscious disregard for how we affect our planet. I do this by showing a very small sampling of unwanted objects on the iconic, universal structure that is life itself; the DNA strand. Even though this symbol represents all living things, we have forced our compulsion for ‘the next best thing’ onto all others we share this planet with, usually with bad result. Using visual mapping I celebrate us, and our absurdity. We are beautiful, horrid, tragic, and profoundly funny.”

This exhibition is presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Art in FLUX.

Kenny Scharf,NEVERENDINGOGO
June 22, 2016 to September 30, 2016
116th Street
East River Esplanade, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This vibrant banner by internationally renowned artist Kenny Scharf is installed along the waterfront at 116th Street on the East River Esplanade in Harlem. NEVERENDINGOGO spans over 50 feet and conveys the constant motion of New York City, the East River, and the FDR Drive. An accompanying mural by Scharf, TotemOh, is painted on an adjacent brick column and will be on view through June 21, 2017. This public artwork corresponds with an exhibition of the artist’s work at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, NY.

This exhibition is presented by the Friends of the East River Esplanade (60th-120th Streets).

Various Artists,Language of Things
June 28, 2016 to September 29, 2016
City Hall Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Language of Things, a thematic group exhibition explores the nature of language and communications extending beyond spoken and written word. Drawing its title from Walter Benjamin’s essay On Language as Such and on the Language of Man (1916), the show features a diverse international group of seven artists: Carol Bove, Claudia Comte, Michael Dean, Adam Pendleton, Tino Sehgal, Chris Watson, and Hannah Weiner. The show features new and existing objects, a live artwork, sound installation, and poetry suggestive of different forms of coded communication–both manmade and natural–between a person and an object, among people and nature, or connecting people with one another. It speaks to our innate desire to read and understand the patterns and codes inherent in the world around us.

This exhibition is presented by Public Art Fund.

Tom Friedman, Looking Up; photo by Daniel Avila, NYC Parks

Tom Friedman,Looking Up
January 28, 2016 to September 5, 2016
Park Avenue Malls at 53rd Street
Park Avenue Malls, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Looking Up, a 33.3-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture by the American artist Tom Friedman, is by far the most ambitious sculpture from Friedman’s ongoing body of work involving the use of crushed aluminum foil roasting-pans to create figures, which, through a process of molding and lost wax casting, retain the original material’s imprint and markings. A charming yet magnificent piece, the quasi-human figure gazes up to the heavens, inviting others to stand at its base and do the same. The first example of this edition is permanently installed at the Laguna Gloria Campus of The Contemporary Austin in Texas.

This exhibition is presented with Luhring Augustine, New York; Stephen Friedman Gallery, London; NYC Parks; and the Fund for Park Avenue.

Isa Genzken, Two Orchids, photo by NYC Parks

Isa Genzken,Two Orchids
March 1, 2016 to August 21, 2016
Doris C. Freedman Plaza
Central Park, Manhattan
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

Once a rare and exotic flower, the orchid has become one of the world’s most ubiquitous indoor plants. From corporate offices to domestic interiors, from upscale florists to Home Depot, this tropical plant can now be seen anywhere–and acquired by anybody. It’s a striking and decorative flower without any dominant symbolism, except perhaps a hint of luxury left over from the 19th century when orchids were seen as “the chosen ornaments of royalty.”

For eminent German artist Isa Genzken, the mass-produced white orchid has become the quintessential flower of our age: global, accessible, and open to interpretation. Rising to 28 and 34 feet respectively, the paired stems of Genzken’s towering sculpture wind elegantly skyward, capturing light and casting shadows in a play of rhyming forms. Two Orchids heralds the entrance to Central Park in voluptuous full flower, its pristine white petals free from any blemishes. It stands as an idealized, colossal version of the familiar plant: a civic monument to the perfect orchid, now the chosen ornament of contemporary culture.

This exhibition is presented with the Public Art Fund

Various Artists,FLUX Public Art Projects
May 3, 2016 to August 1, 2016
Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan
Harlem Art Park, Manhattan
Eugene McCabe Field, Manhattan

Description:

FLUX Public Art Projects features 12 public art installations in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem Art Park, and Eugene McCabe Field, as an extension of May 2016's FLUX Art Fair. FLUX embodies Harlem's creative spirit and cultural significance by bringing together original works, from large sculptural works and sound pieces to performance art and thought-provoking installations. Works by artists Jordan Baker-Caldwell, Bob Clyatt, Linda Cunningham, Montserrat Daubon, Jon Gomez, Musa Hixson, Lucy Hodgson, Jack Howard-Potter, Naomi Lawrence, Tiffany Smith, Jose Soto, and Stan Squirewell are still on view through August 1. For those who missed the FLUX Art Fair in May, this is a great opportunity to still see part of the fair.

This exhibition is presented by Art in FLUX, FLUX Art Fair, and Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.

Queens

Hou de Souza,FOLLY: Sticks
July 9, 2016 to December 31, 2016
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
Map/Directions (in Google Maps)

Description:

This year’s winning proposal for Folly, an annual juried competition for architects and designers, comes from the New York City-based firm Hou de Sousa, with their inventive proposal Sticks. Modeled to fit and complement existing site conditions, Sticks is a simple assembly of standard dimensional lumber interconnected to form a structural frame for educational and community use, as well as for providing art and material storage and display space. Its porous façade reflects the park’s spirit of accessibility and dedication to transparency of process.

Hou de Sousa’s proposal was selected from submissions from around the world and reviewed by a jury of five esteemed architects and artists. In past years, the Folly program has investigated the intersection between sculpture and architecture through the conceptual framework of “follies”—temporary structures that intentionally served no utilitarian purpose. Marking the program’s fifth and the park’s thirtieth anniversaries, Folly 2016 marks a departure from previous years’ competitions by asking entrants to design a functional structure to enhance the park’s public programs. The result is a durable design that explores the relationship between art and architecture, while also creatively enhancing the park’s education studio, where more than 10,000 students annually participate in art-making classes.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park and The Architectural League of New York.

Wendy Klemperer,Shadow Migration
November 7, 2015 to November 7, 2016
Court Square Park, Queens
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Description:

Shadow Migration exhibits animal silhouettes cut from steel plates and installed throughout the park. Klemperer investigates animal populations that were threatened in the 20th century, but are now rebounding and showing up in “our backyard.” Wild animals are finding their way into suburban and urban environments as human populations sprawl into their natural habitats. While many species have been devastated, some are adapting and thriving on the largesse of urban life. Hawks dive from high rise cornices to feast on the rich urban population of pigeons and rats; bears walk through New Jersey neighborhoods; and just several blocks from Court Square Park, a coyote found its way to a rooftop in Long Island City.

Klemperer’s animal silhouettes are steel forms, punctuated with cutouts in the shape of countries from around the world. Each animal is a melting pot, bearing countries on its body that are also represented in Queens’ population—the most diverse community in the world.

This exhibition was made possible by the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award.

Mary Ann Unger,Unfurling
May 16, 2016 to October 24, 2016
PS1 Greenstreet (Jackson Avenue and 46th Avenue), Queens
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Description:

Created in 1986, Unfurling is Mary Ann Unger’s first artwork to be displayed with NYC Parks. Unger exhibited her work at both MoMA PS 1 and SculptureCenter during her lifetime, bringing her work full circle as it is installed adjacent to these Long Island City institutions. Unfurling reveals the dichotomy the artist was known for in her public artworks: geometric, architectural forms crafted with strong, organic, man–made materials. Inspired by nature, her curvilinear aluminum works allow an interplay between weight and weightlessness, between mathematical structure and airy transparency. These works are contemplative, inviting, and offer an opportunity for nature and the urban environment to collaborate. This work was rendered in an intimate scale and is elevated to the viewer’s eye–level by a plinth. Unger had envisioned Unfurling as a larger piece, in keeping with her other life–size public works; however, a larger version of this piece was not realized in her lifetime.

This exhibition is presented by Mary Ann Unger Estate and Maxwell Davidson Gallery.

Mika Tajima, SculptureCenter, and Yasunori Matsui

Mika Tajima,Meridian (Gold)
June 9, 2016 to September 25, 2016
Hunter's Point South Park, Queens
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Description:

Meridian (Gold) by Mika Tajima is an illuminated plume of water vapor whose color shifts between magenta and pale cyan. The color of the vapor corresponds in real-time to the global sentiment for gold, reflected in the price fluctuation of the commodity. Gold is a peculiar material that derives its value from the social perception of its qualities and collective "moods" toward geopolitical and economic events. The framing structure for Meridian (Gold) is a seating zone that references communal rejuvenation spas and here becomes a site to reflect on the fleeting materiality of contemporary life. The project was selected by participants in Public Process, SculptureCenter’s intensive program for high school students that uses New York City’s rich public art landscape to explore the history and impact of public art and its community influence.

Public Process is an intensive program for high school students that uses New York City’s rich public art landscape to explore the history and impact of public art and its community influence. In July 2015, eight high school students participated in a two-week course providing interactions and presentations by seasoned professional curators, architects, local historians, and public art organization representatives, and opportunities to visit public art sites. Three artists were invited to make proposals for a public artwork in Long Island City and presented them to the students in their studios. On the last day of the course, the students made presentations and debated the proposals, ultimately selecting Tajima’s project for the commission.

This exhibition is presented by SculptureCenter.

Various Artists,LANDMARK
May 8, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens
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Description:

Marking Socrates Sculpture Park’s 30th anniversary this year, the institution presents LANDMARK, a series of artist commissions and projects that transforms the land both physically and symbolically. Once an industrial landfill and illegal dumping ground, Socrates has transformed itself into New York City’s preeminent sculpture park and social space for public art, community engagement and urban discovery. LANDMARK directly addresses the idea of place as intimately tied to social and ecological structures, to maintenance and stewardship, and to evolution over time.

LANDMARK features eight different artist projects including a newly commissioned major earthwork by Meg Webster. Additional artists in the exhibition include Abigail DeVille, Brendan Fernandes, Cary Leibowitz, Jonathan Odom, Jessica Segall, Casey Tang, the curatorial collective ARTPORT_making waves, and a Broadway Billboard by Hank Willis Thomas. Since its inception in 1986, Socrates and the surrounding area of Queens, New York has rapidly changed. Whether by engaging directly with the land or commenting on the neighborhood’s cultural and economic shifts, each artwork in LANDMARK reflects historic transformations in the making.

This exhibition is presented by Socrates Sculpture Park.

ArtBuilt,Studio in the Park: Chance Ecologies: Flushing River
July 1, 2016 to August 15, 2016
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
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Description:

Chance Ecologies: Flushing River is the third residency of the Studio in the Park program at the Queens Museum. Led by curators Catherine Grau and Nathan Kensinger, this project will create an in-depth exploration of the entirety of the Flushing River during a six-week residency, using the mobile studio as a research hub and community engagement space. Artists from Chance Ecologies will engage in a series of week-long mini residencies at the studio space, and lead weekly public events based out of the studio, which will include performative walks, ecological field trips, canoe paddles, and historic and scientific investigations connecting the source of the Flushing River in the park to its mouth in the Flushing Bay.

The Studio in the Park residency takes place in a 150 square foot purpose-built mobile studio situated adjacent to the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The activities of Chance Ecologies will accumulate into an evolving archive of artistic research that will be visually represented both inside and outside the mobile studio, and will be accessible to visitors during regular daytime hours. Chance Ecologies: Flushing River will culminate in a daylong series of public events centered around the studio space, a publication of the research realized during the residency, and the exhibition of resulting new works at the Queens Museum in October.

This exhibition is presented by ArtBuilt and the Queens Museum. For more information about programming and hours, please visit queensmuseum.org/events.

Staten Island

DB Lampman, The Dance, photo courtesy of NYC Parks

DB Lampman,The Dance
November 9, 2015 to November 9, 2016
Conference House Park, Staten Island
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Description:

The Dance consists of five figures floating 15 feet above the ground. The figures, formed with steel and wrapped in nylon, hold hands and dance whimsically within a rectangular steel structure.  At night the figures light up and cast a glow around the neighboring trees. The Dance is inspired by Henri Matisse’s painting by the same name. Similar interlocked figures can be found throughout art history, including Mayan art, African tribal sculptures, and ancient Mesopotamia, among others, to symbolize family, community, and spiritual or universal connectivity. Lampman uses this symbol for the coming together of the Staten Island community.

Lampman lives and works in Staten Island and has embraced the diverse community made up of residents from around the world. In the exhibition, the five figures are entwined in a dance—they could be Flamenco dancers from Mexico, Kandyan dancers from Sri Lanka, or  a dance from West Africa such as the Yankadi, or the Makru.

Many Staten Island neighborhoods were flooded during Hurricane Sandy, and sadly lives and homes were lost in the storm.  However, Staten Island came together during this crisis—strangers dropped everything and join people from around the island and all over the world to rebuild the community.  The neighborhoods’ joint effort is an integral part of the inspiration for Lampman’s public artwork.  Additionally, Lampman hopes that the installation will inspire additional community development, as the informal pavilion can be used for public dance and music performances by community members.

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