2020 Arsenal Gallery Exhibits
Exhibits by Year:
The Arsenal Gallery is located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue inside Central Park, Third Floor of the Arsenal Building. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. (Closed municipal holidays.) Admission is free. For further information please call (212) 360-8163.
January 16, 2020 – February 27, 2020
Namesakes: Honoring African Americans in NYC Parks
Many of New York City’s parks and monuments honor African Americans who have shaped the landscape of our culture. Monuments and green spaces of all sizes, from Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan to Hattie Carthan Community Garden in Brooklyn, pay tribute to the contributions and lives of notable African Americans from the 18th century to the 21st century. “Namesakes: Honoring African Americans in NYC Parks” is an exhibition of photographs that highlights a sampling of such namesakes throughout the city.
Presented by NYC Parks’ Ebony Society and Art & Antiquities.
Image: Children Playing Ping Pong, Marcus Garvey (formerly Mt. Morris) Park, April 26, 1943, NYC Parks Photo Archive
December 5, 2019 – January 2, 2020
37th Annual Wreath Interpretations Exhibition
NYC Parks is pleased to announce the 37th annual Wreath Interpretations exhibition, welcoming the holiday season with an array of inventive, quirky wreaths. This year’s exhibition includes wreaths by more than 40 artists, designers, and creative individuals of all ages who have used a variety of unexpected materials to reinterpret the traditional holiday symbol, often with a touch of humor and light-hearted fun. Drawing on themes ranging from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the bridges of New York City, artists this year have incorporated woven dog leashes, candy, plastic trophies, foil coffee wrappers, and wigs into their wreaths. Celebrate the holiday season with this quirky and one-of-a-kind exhibition.
Image: Aleksandra Vujkov, Checkmate, salvaged and reused chess books, crepe paper, and cardboard box
September 13 – November 14, 2019
FASTNET: Plein-Air Drawings at Freshkills Park
FASTNET: Plein-Air Drawings at Freshkills Park is an exhibition of plein-air drawings and ink studies made within a 20-foot shipping container in the Confluence section at the center of Staten Island’s Freshkills Park. Formerly used by the NYC Department of Sanitation for landfill operations, Freshkills Park is now planned as a future cultural and waterfront hub. The FASTNET project, designed by James Powers, has brought artists of all ages to the developing park before it is fully open. These drawings represent visitors’ impressions of the scenery of the landfill-to-park as an ongoing dialogue between past, present, and future and prompt discussion about the human-nature relationship and what is “natural” in a completely engineered topography.
This exhibition is presented by NYC Parks, curated by Mariel Villeré of the Freshkills Park Development Team, and supported by the Freshkills Park Alliance and Con Edison.
Image courtesy of James Powers
June 13 – August 30, 2019
David Flores, Nueva Bronx: 21st Century Families
Family, in all of its beautiful forms, stands as a cornerstone of the human experience, creating intersections between past, present, and future, simultaneously weaving larger connections in the community. During August and September 2018, David Flores offered free family portraiture in Railroad Park and the greater Morrisania neighborhood with on-site photography, printing, display, and digital sharing. This project is a response to recent nationalist movements that have attempted to remove and erase familial representations of immigrants and people of color. Parents, children, elders, extended family and friends all participated in the making of formal images and left with a large format print of themselves free of charge.
This project is a collaboration with ArtBuilt, Queens Museum, DreamYard, WHEDco, Bronx Defenders and NYC Parks.
This exhibition is an extension of Studio in the Park, made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Surdna Foundation, and The New York Community Trust. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Image: David Flores, Family Plate #14, 2018, image courtesy of the artist.
March 13 – May 31, 2019
Nature in Black and White
Artworks depicting themes of nature are often full of color, striving to stay true to and capture the natural world’s kaleidoscope of vibrant hues: lush greenery, clear blue skies, and verdant flowers. In Nature in Black and White, six artists take natural subject matter and depict it using reserved tones of black, white, and grey, revealing intricate forms and details through the absence of color. Works in the show range from pencil drawings and oil paint, to cut paper and cast plaster.
Artists included are Tatiana Arocha, Marna Chester, Tom Monsees, Sarah Myers, Amy Ross, and Alexandria Tarver.
Image: Amy Ross, Luminous Wanderer, 2017, Charcoal on paper, image courtesy of the artist.
January 17 – February 28, 2019
Power to the People
New York City’s parks have a long history of playing host to public demonstrations and protests that dates to the American Revolution. Since then, people have taken to the city’s streets, plazas, and parks to voice their distress during numerous periods of unrest. Today, parks continue to be some of the most democratic spaces for people to gather and declare their calls to action. NYC Parks Ebony Society’s exhibition Power to the People shares artists’ interpretations of public demonstration, drawing on both the city’s rich history of protest and current social conflicts.
Artists included are Kathleen Celestin-Parks, Mira Gandy, Suprina, Burroughs Lamar, Myrna Marrero, Kirk Maynard, Marilyn Nance, Malcolm Pinckney, Victor Polanco, Mario Tavarez, and Steed Taylor, as well as historical images from the NYC Parks Photo Archive. Curated by NYC Parks’ Ebony Society.
Image: April 22, 1970, First Earth Day, View of Crowds in Union Square Surrounding George Washington Monument, Courtesy of NYC Parks Photo Archive
December 6 – January 3, 2019
36th Annual Wreath Interpretations Exhibition
NYC Parks is pleased to announce the 36th annual Wreath Interpretations exhibition, bringing in the holiday season with an array of imaginative and unusual wreaths. Employing an array of unconventional materials like Jordan almonds, piano keys, foam ears, and plastic bottles, nearly 40 participating fine artists, designers, and creative individuals of all ages celebrate and reinvent a familiar holiday symbol. This year’s wreaths draw inspiration from themes ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to traditional toys. Experience the holiday season through this fun and whimsical exhibition.
Image Credit: Randall’s Island Park Alliance, The Movement of Water, seeds & pods from Cercis Canadensis (eastern redbud), Albizia julibrissin (silk tree), Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea), Catalpa speciosa (catalpa), Rubeckia subtomentosa (sweet coneflower), image courtesy of Randall’s Island Park Alliance
September 13 – November 23, 2018
City as Ecosystem: NYC Urban Field Station Artists Residency
The New York City Urban Field Station brings art and science together with their Artists in Residence program to foster new ideas and programs about urban conservation, environmental stewardship, land management, and community resilience. By engaging artists in thinking about social-ecological systems and natural resource management, the program applies creative approaches to make complex systems and concepts more accessible. This exhibition highlights projects explored in a variety of media by UFS resident artists Katie Holten, Matthew Jensen, Mary Mattingly, Lize Mogel, Heidi Neilson, and Adam Stoltman. The NYC UFS is a partnership between The USDA Forest Service, NYC Parks, and the Natural Areas Conservancy.
Image Credit: Adam Stoltman, Alley Pond Park, Queens, 2015, from the project Parks and People, courtesy of the artist
June 21 – August 30, 2018
Naima Green, A Collective Utterance
A Collective Utterance is a solo exhibition of photographs by the artist Naima Green, presenting a selection of images culled from her ongoing series “Jewels from The Hinterland” (2013–present). With black and brown artists, writers, culture workers, and thinkers positioned centrally in each image, the exhibition spans green spaces throughout New York City—such as Riverside Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Central Park—as well as select sites across the United States.
With each photograph, Green offers a statement of quietude, solace, insistence, and strength, making visible a community purportedly relegated to the margins, yet who critically inform dominant tastes and trends. These gentle, nuanced compositions are particularly urgent within the context of seemingly interminable sociopolitical crisis, where black and brown bodies are continually imaged as sites of violence and trauma. Within the framework of A Collective Utterance, each individual is left to be—in all of their tenderness, complexities, and intricacies.
A Collective Utterance is organized by Oluremi C. Onabanjo.
Image credit: Jason, Central Park North, from “Jewels from the Hinterland,” 2015. Courtesy of the artist.
May 3 – June 14, 2018*
1978: The NYC Parks/New York Times Photo Project
During the New York City newspaper strike from August to November 1978, the Parks Department hired eight New York Times photographers to document the City’s parks. This exhibit features highlights of their 3,000 images. Curated by Jonathan Kuhn.
By popular demand, the Arsenal Gallery will open on Saturday, June 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Image Credit: Photographer Unidentified, Fiesta Folklorica, Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, 1978, NYC Parks
March 8 – April 26, 2018
The tension between mankind and Mother Nature has long been a disturbing battleground. There is a tendency to level the ground and bulldoze over anything in our way—often realizing after the fact that we built too big, too bold, and too quickly. In “Natural Impact,” the new exhibit on view at NYC Parks’ Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, visual artists highlight the ingenuity and absurdity of this cycle through their work. Artists look at how nature sneaks back into our precisely constructed world and either softens the edges, or abruptly overwhelms them. Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi, “Natural Impact” features a variety of mediums including painting, screenprints, and sculpture, from artists Tim Daly, Lina Puerta, Brant Moorefield, Cecilia Whittaker Doe, Dominick Rapone, and Jodie Mim Goodnough.
Image Credit: Dominick Rapone, Eternal Sleep 1, 2008, silkscreen, private collection
January 18 – February 23, 2018
Identity showcases works in fiber that explore imagery of people of the African Diaspora. Curated by Michelle Bishop of Harlem Needle Arts, the exhibition features pieces by nine artists who use a variety of media including embroidery, soft sculpture, quilt, and mixed media. With elements of swag, spirituality, icons, music, and social justice, the works illustrate self-awareness, identify, motivation, and varying backgrounds and traditions that govern the artists’ lives.
This exhibition is presented with the NYC Parks Ebony Society. The Society has helped organize the annual Black History Month exhibition in the Arsenal Gallery since 1991.
Image Credit: Shimoda Donna Emanuel, Goddess 3, mixed media
December 7, 2017 – January 4, 2018
Celebrate the holiday season with the 35th annual exhibition of inventive, unconventional wreaths crafted by a diverse selection of more than 40 fine artists, designers, and other creative contributors. Enlivening this timeless holiday symbol, the participating artists employ a variety of unusual materials like beer cans, eyeglasses, kitchen utensils, and gardening tools to examine themes ranging from climate change to family heritage. This exhibition is an imaginative and fun way to experience the holiday season.
See more past exhibits.